I’ve been meaning to tell you about these eggs for a while, but I keep getting side tracked by smoothie bowls and sweet potatoes.
I made this recipe last weekend when I needed some comfort food. The dish is basically shakshuka, just renamed Bombay Eggs in Meera Sodha’s Made in India cookbook (which I’m slightly obsessed with). It’s rich and spicy and the sauce is addicting. I bought some baguette and used it to mop up the tomato juice. But naan or roti would also work just as well.
The trickiest part about this recipe is getting the eggs to cooperate. You have to make little wells in the sauce, and then crack eggs into the holes as fast as you can. I’m not going to lie: It’s a little stressful.
But as I was cracking the eggs, some words that my friend Carly said to me came to mind. We went to tea one time and I was pouring some into both of our glasses. I was worried that I was going to spill it everywhere. “Pour with conviction,” she said. So, I decided to crack with conviction. Everything ended up working out.
Here’s a song to get you through the perils of egg-cracking, or other moments when you’re losing your nerve.
Bombay Eggs (from Meera Sodha’s Made in India)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
4 tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 large onions, finely sliced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 1/4-inch piece of ginger, peeled, then finely chopped or grated
2 pounds 3 ounces juicy ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
8-9 oz fresh spinach
6 medium eggs at room temperature
ground black pepper
a small bunch of cilantro (1 oz), leaves chopped
1 cup homemade or Greek yogurt
In a large, lidded saucepan, toast the cumin and coriander seeds over a medium to high heat, swirling the pan around until the spices are a pale golden brown. It should take 2 to 3 minutes. Then lightly grind them in a mortar and pestle.
Pour the oil into the pan on a medium heat and, when it’s hot, put the spices back into the pan. Stir-fry for a minute, then add the onions. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until they’re starting to turn golden, then add the garlic and ginger. Cook for another couple of minutes before adding the chopped tomatoes.
Let the tomatoes cook and reduce for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they have thickened into a rich, bright sauce. Then add the tomato paste, salt, sugar, chili powder and turmeric, mix well, and leave for a minute. Add the spinach, handful by handful, mix again, and leave the spinach to wilt in the sauce.
To bake the eggs, have them all ready to crack and put into the pan in quick succession. Make your first egg-sized well in the tomato sauce using the back of a wooden spoon and crack and egg into it. Then repeat as quickly as you can for the other eggs and put the lid on the pan. Turn the heat down really low and cook for 10 minutes, or until the whites of the eggs are set but the yolks still creamy.
Serve immediately with a sprinkling of pepper, the cilantro, a dollop of yogurt, and some hunks of bread.