Festive Breakfast: Part Three

I adore Indian food. Usually a treasured lunch outing or a special ethnic dinner at home, Indian cuisine finds its way onto my plate often. However, who is to say that it can't be equally at home in the morning as a great way to start your day? Eggs are often featured in some of the country's finest cuisine and having a hot cup of chai alongside a richly-spiced dish might just be enough to have you seeking more ways to incorporate Indian food into your morning routine.

I am particularly fond of this dish because it makes more sauce than you need for one serving, but it is set up to make one serving. Why is this great? Because making another richly-flavored Indian breakfast is so much faster the second and third time around! I'll make the sauce on a morning that I have a bit of time to devote to cooking and have this fun dish several more times in a week without spending more than 10 minutes on breakfast. Ethnic food can absolutely be fast food!

Eggs Poached in Curry

  • 1/2 tablespoon tamarind paste or 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small serrano pepper, minced (more to taste), or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 3/4 cup cooked basmati rice

If using tamarind paste, soak in 1/2 cup warm water for 10 minutes, strain and reserve the water.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy saucepan or a deep, straight-sided skillet. Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, until it is tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chili pepper and continue to sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spices and stir together for a minute. Pulse the tomatoes with their juice a few times in a food processor or mini-chop, then add to the pan, along with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the tamarind soaking water or lemon juice and the cayenne, taste and adjust seasonings. Simmer for 10 minutes.

For one serving, remove all but about 1/2 cup of the sauce from the pan and reserve for another time. Bring the sauce in the pan to a simmer. Break the egg or eggs into a teacup, and carefully tip into the tomato sauce. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tops of the whites are set but the yellow yolks show through. It’s important that the yolk be runny. Turn off the heat. Season the eggs with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with cilantro. Remove from the heat and serve over basmati rice.

Advance preparation: The sauce will keep for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator.

  • Yields: 1 serving
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

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