Tamarind has been a vital ingredient in a lot of traditional south Indian recipes. Strong pungent flavour and colour create quiet a complex dish. The recipes involving tamarind are very simple keeping the ingredients to the minimum. However, handling the master ingredient itself decides the virtue of the entire dish. measurement, time and temperature are three factors which need focus in preparing the dish. While the prep and concentration lets you present the dish with a bang there is….umm…. one secret ingredient which will take the dish to entirely a next level and give the dish a heroic climax. Well I am going to have to decide whether I should spill the beans or keep this secret ingredient to myself whilst continuing writing this post.
You will need :
5 Boiled eggs
1 Tbsp Red Chilli powder
5 Green chillies whole with a small slit
3 Tsp. tamarind paste in 2 cups water
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Onion finely chopped
1 Small tomato finely chopped
5 Garlic whole
One pinch Turmeric
2 Tbsp. oil
In a deep pan heat the oil and sauté the onions until they are golden. Add the green chillies , Garlic, tomato and salt. stir them for 2 min or until the base gravy starts to leave oil around the walls of the pan.
Add the chilli powder and turmeric , and you may want add some more oil at this stage if you feel the gravy is sticking to the pan. Slit the eggs to ensure the flavours reach to yolk and inside the egg. Place the boiled eggs in the pan and let the eggs fry in the gravy till they have slightly crusted surface. Add the tamarind water, cover the pan and let the eggs cook in the sauce for at lease 10 minutes. It should end up with a thick gravy like consistency.
Check for seasoning again , add a bit more if required.
Don’t worry if the sauce turns very thick, just add more water and bring it to boil again.
Make sure you don’t stir the sauce too much after you have added the eggs and tamarind. You don’t want the eggs to break into pieces.
Now for the finale …… and the secret ingredient ………add a pinch of sugar and watch the magic .
Do take a sniff of the sauce before and after …and you will know how important that pinch of sugar is. The sweetness cuts through the bitter tamarind and gives the sauce and excellent balance between all the diverse flavours we have used.
Do enjoy the eggs with hot steamed rice.