Monday, June 25, 2012

Eggs in coconut-cashew sauce

This dish uses a cashew chutney from Kerala that would taste good on floor tiles.   The chutney is based one in Yamuna Devi's Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, a wonderful but rather idiosyncratic cookbook.  It is not just vegetarian, but Vaishnava (followers of the Hindu god Vishnu), and avoids onions, garlic and mushrooms for a variety of reasons that I am too lazy to get into at the moment.  I also find a number of  weird undercurrents  in terms of the guru-disciple relationship and Hindu nationalism.  But perhaps I am too sensitive.  It is a great cookbook, with hundreds of recipes and lovely line drawings,  and you can just add onions and garlic wherever they seem to fit.

Over the years I have put this cashew chutney to a number of uses including many of which Yamuma Devi would certainly not approve.  It  is an excellent condiment for an Indian meal, a great dip for raw vegetables, and a versatile sauce starter for sauteed vegetables, fish, chicken and even hard-boiled eggs.  I developed the last dish to round out a meal of leftovers from a vegetarian Indian meal that we had a few days earlier.  It is a cinch, and quite delicious an is similar to a number of Indian dishes based on hard-boiled eggs in a creamy, spicy sauce. The recipe for the chutney comes first, and then the eggs.  I will write up a few variations in the coming weeks, all of which follow the same principles.

For the cashew chutney

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1-2 small green hot chili peppers, sliced,  with seeds if you want a kick (I used Serranos)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped coriander leaves and some of the stems
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4-2/3 cup water
  1. Put the cashew in a mini-chopper and grind to a coarse powder.
  2. Add ginger, chili and lime juice and process until pulverized.
  3. Add salt and coriander, and process until ground.
  4. With the motor running, slowly dribble in the water.  Use as little as possible until the mixture becomes a smooth paste.
Eggs in coconut-cashew sauce

  • 1 teaspoon-2 tablespoons oil (coconut or light sesame oil for authenticity, though I use canola for health)
  • 1/2 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 20 fresh curry leaves rinsed and dried (optional, if available)
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 of the above recipe of cashew chutney
  • 14 ounce can coconut milk (I used light and it was fine)
  • 8 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved
  • Salt to taste
  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet until hot (lower heat is needed if you are using the coconut oil. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop.
  • Add the curry leaves if using and give them a few stirs.  Add the shallots and saute until soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the chutney, the the heat down to medium low and saute, stirring ocassionally, until it looses its raw aroma.  This should take 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the coconut milk until well incorporated, and simmer for a few minutes until you have a smooth sauce.  (I think the lite coconut milk actually works better than the full fat, since it will not break up as easily because of all the vile stabilizers that it contains.  If you use regular coconut milk, be very careful not to let it boil.) 
  • Add the eggs, cut side up, spoon the sauce over them, and simmer on low for 3-5 minutes (depending on their starting temperature) to warm them through. Add additional salt if necessary.
  • Serves 4-6.  The gravy is excellent spooned over rice.

1 comment:

  1. nice posting. thanks for sharing