Sunday, March 31, 2013

Busy Day's Egg Masala -- with some tips


If you are a Mother, like me or you are a Father, unlike me, you will appreciate what I am going to tell you about today's egg masala. In fact even if you are not a parent you should certainly appreciate the wisdom imparted in the post.

But if you are a parent, and if you have kids,
and the kids have homework,
and piano,
and taekwondo,
maybe even swimming 
or add some bharatnatyam to the mix
and you are the one who makes sure that all of these get done
and in spite of all this you insist the kids eat a good home-cooked meal at the end of the day
you will really really appreciate a peek into my cheat sheet.

At least I did, when years ago in my noveau blogging days I had landed on the blogs which showed me how to make the "All Purpose Masala". Those had saved my life on many busy evenings. But as it happens one day you are making and freezing masalas like a maniac and then next you are not. I still make ginger-garlic paste and fried onion pastes but for a while I had not frozen these all purpose masalas.

Then when I made this egg masala a few days ago, I did it again. Only I did not have any more ice trays, so I just froze a portion enough for two curries. And did it help me on a busy Wednesday. Phewwww. I saved so much time that if I wanted I could have got a pedicure done. But of course I didn't. The pedicure I mean. Instead I read a book. The Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan being one of them and Yes Chef by Marc Samuelson the other.

So what is your cheat sheet ?

Busy Day's Egg Masala

Make the all purpose onion-tomato-ginger-garlic masala

Chop 1 red onion in chunks

Chop 1 tomato in chunks

Peel 4-5 fat cloves of garlic

Peel and chop coarsely 1" knob of ginger

Now we will make an ubiquitous, everyday masala with this.

Heat 1-2 tsp of Olive oil in a frying pan. Add the above chopped onion-tomato etc.. Saute. Sprinkle some salt. Fry the onion tomato till onion is soft and pink, tomato is cooked down and garlic, ginger is softer. You can fry them more till onion is browned etc. but this stage works well too. Now cool the above, put in a blender jar and with only splashes of water make a thick paste.

Ta-Da. This masala paste will serve as your savior in most week days. Use it as a base to make different gravies.

Cook Egg Curry

For the egg curry now boil 4 eggs. Once the eggs are cooked and peeled we will fry them. For this purpose, heat a tsp of oil in the same frying pan. Add about 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. Add the eggs and fry till the skin of the eggs blister and gets a pretty golden brown.

Remove the eggs and keep aside.

Heat some more oil for the gravy. Temper the oil with 1/4 tsp of Cumin seeds and 2 tej-patta

When the spices sizzle, add half of the the onion-tomato-ginger-garlic paste and fry for 2-3 minutes.

Next add
1/2 tsp Kashmiri Mirch
1/2 tsp cumin powder
and 1/4 tsp coriander powder
Fry the masla with a sprinkle of water.

Add a tbsp of Tomato ketchup and cook the masala.

Once you see the oil seeping or that there is no raw smell, add about 1/2 cup of water, salt to taste, little sugar and let the gravy come to a boil.

When the gravy is boiling, check and adjust the seasonings.
Now add about 1/4cup of whole milk and mix well. Lower the heat and let the gravy simmer.
Crush/warm a tsp of Kasoori methi between your palms and add that.

Halve the fried eggs and add them to the gravy.
Also add about 4-6 green chilies cut in halves along their length.
Finish off by garnishing with chopped coriander leaves.


  1. this is smart way of cooking .
    I always do that too and for rich gravy just add cream or yougurt .
    anshu bakshi

  2. Love that halved onion in the photo. Ami kokhono bheje baatini ... koshano'r time ta benche jaabe! Darun idea dile.

  3. Looks yummy! Even I like to cook the masala before grinding. The taste is so much better than grinding onion,tomato, etc first and the cooking.

  4. Sandeepa, dol er din kichhu chilo na barite, maach .. chicken.. nothing .. tomar blog er dumpakht er gravy ta boiled and fried egg diye banalam .. hubby loved it :)

    bhaja peyaj blend korar idea ta darun :)

  5. humm good idea! Of all said and written about cooking only in weekends and preparing many batches of food and then freezing them or masalas, I don't know I did not do so much of this in my expat life (well I am still an expat in crude sense). I was thinking the reasons might be not having big freezers in European petite kitchens, or not being a planned person and I being very impulsive in terms of food. We used to cook somethings to be used up for 2-3 times and kept them in fridge, ate them till they come to an end! One dinner of home delivery and one or 2 of pasta et al. would be good for us for the week. Now after coming back to India when people ask me how I used to manage without a maid in my 'foreign' life and whether I used to cook only during the weekends, I simply don't find much to say. I tell them no actually we cooked as and when we got time and that was good for us! Even now we follow the same thing. Some evenings we do come back hungry like monsters and find nothing in the fridge and then we through our hands to the air and try to assemble a simple biriyani or khichuri or pasta within few minutes!
    Now your this particular masala is tempting me. May be I should start freezing masalas after all and give a feeling of elaborate cooking to my family in the middle of the week!

  6. Whenever I go home to my parents I make the cook there grind some ginger garlic paste that will last me till my next visit, usually 2-3 months later. I just scoop out however much I want with a spoon when I need to use it! That's my cheat sheet. I guess I don't have any other shortcuts!

  7. Freezing the masala is a time saver, mine is usually cooked dhal (for rasam), ground coconut and the Makhani masala (without the cream)! I should do this AP masala too :)

  8. My mom's kuzhambu thool (not a garam masala but a masala made with the basic coriander, cumin, pepper and chilli powder).

  9. I store a paste of ginger garlic green chilli paste, the onion,tomato paste,tomato roasted and pasted by itself, and sambar powder,a mixed curry powder in my freezer. Also a mix of jeera,coriander red chilli powder mix made at home.makes life easier.

  10. I have realized that if one can store some homemade masala in advance, life becomes easy. I am not a mom and definitely not as busy as you are but I still always have some kind of spice paste ready, different kind of infused oil and dressings too, sauces, pesto etc :)

  11. good idea freezing the masala! I have a busy day pasta that I should post... :) but we finish it off before I can click a picture.

  12. Great idea.. its very simple and easy to prepare.. For north indian recipes check at North Indian Recipes

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  14. You are so right about managing a full-time job, 2 kids, their homework, classes (piano, dance, ice skating, swimming etc etc) and still setup a decent dinner at the end of the day. Your idea of making the onion-tomato-garlic paste is a good one(this should save me a lot of time).
    - Lakshmi

  15. I know how bhuna masala can save your life ... Has been my lifesaver from past many years.

  16. good idea i add coconut milk instead of milk as we do inKerala. here in Canada we get c.milk in small cans

  17. My life is the same these days ,,I cook the curry in the morning to save time,,,:)

  18. I love u so much for this blog also ordered your book from flipkart just for the dum aaloo recipe...born nd brought up in bengal for 18 years, I now stay in Mumbai for last 12 years...I so so much ve missed bengali food..dum aaloo, khichudi and lakkhi pujor tarkari are my most fav... Today only came across your blog.. Thanks now I can learn to cook all my fav bong food for myself nd hubby :) am preparing this egg recipe today.. Hope my hubby likes.. Preeti


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