Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lemongrass Egg Curry

I first tasted this dish in Boston, lovingly made by my friend Gillian. I always thought it came from her husband's mother, but in a recent email I was told that the recipe is from Bollywood actress turned chef Madhur Jaffrey. Her version involves straining out the onions and spices which makes for a lighter, more subtle curry. Mine is more intense since I puree all ingredients and dilute with coconut milk.
The primary flavor in this curry is lemongrass, also known as cymbopogon or cochin grass. The soft inner part of the stalk is used for cooking in the Caribbean, West Africa, Southeast Asia and South Asia. As the name implies, lemongrass has a citrus flavor and scent which comes from citral oil, its main constituent. It is widely used in curries, tea, soups and fish dishes. Lemongrass is closely related to citronella grass which produces the citronella oil used in soaps, insect repellants, disinfectants and candles.
In this curry, aromatic lemongrass is complemented by ginger, garlic and a touch of tamarind.
Serves 6

1 stick lemongrass, minced or 2 teaspoons lemongrass paste
2 inches cubed fresh ginger, minced or pureed
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1/4 cup friend onions
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans coconut milk (about 800 ml)
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate, or to taste
12 – 14 hard boiled eggs, shelled at room temperature
mint leaves for garnish

1. In a small bowl mix lemongrass, ginger, cayenne, pepper, coriander and turmeric until it forms a thick paste.
2. In a large pot, sauté both types of onion and garlic in oil until golden.
3. Add paste and sauté for a further ten minutes.
4. Transfer the onions and paste to a blender, add some coconut milk, and liquefy.
5. Transfer back to the pot. Add remaining coconut milk, salt and sugar.
6. Add tamarind paste in small amounts to make sure the curry does not become too bitter. Mix well.
7. Add the eggs and bring to a simmer.
8. Garnish with chopped mint leaves and serve over rice.

If you make this recipe (up to 3 days) in advance, do not add eggs to the curry until the final heating before you serve. Otherwise they may overcook and become hard.


TBC said...

What an interesting recipe, I've never used lemon grass like this.

Raaga said...

I must try this. Am always looking for new ways to make egg.

Dee & Chai said...

hey there, u have a very informative blog! added u to our roll