We had a lovely Sunday! Finally a Sunday of no work, home made Bengali food and lots of reading. By Bengali friend I didn't mean complicated stuff like Muri Ghonto or Shukto or Ilish Bhapa. Nope. I made Deemer Dalna and if you are a Bong you'll know that you can never go wrong with this dish. Unless you burn it black of course. I'll pretend that never happened with me! I think this is one of those dishes that I had to learn as soon as I got married as my husband is super crazy about it. He is crazy about anything that has boiled eggs in it! In fact he loves boiled eggs so much that his motocross friends have a fond story about him eating 12-16 boiled eggs after every practice session! Thank God I didn't know him then coz I don't think I'd ever fancy a guy hogging down a bucketful of boiled eggs!!!
Hence my Ma-In-Law taught me this egg curry the very first time I cooked a meal for us two when we moved to Delhi. I must say I've come a long way as the taste of this curry has evolved so much. It is a typical Bengali recipe and it's cooked atleast once a week in every egg loving household! Poor husband doesn't get to eat eggs much these days because of dietary restrictions. But I make it a point to cut down on other egg consumption and let him eat this curry more often. :)
Dimer Dalna - A Spiced Egg Curry
Free Range Eggs - 4 large
Potato - 1, cubed (Optional)
Onion - 1 large, grated or blended into a smooth paste (this is important as the gravy needs to be of a thick paste like consistency)
Ginger - 1 tbsp (Paste)
Garlic - 1 tbsp (Paste)
Plum Tomato - 1 large, skin off and ground to paste
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Corriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp or more
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Bay leaves - 2 (available in Asian grocery stores)
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 3 tbsp
Water - 2 cups
Chillies - 2 to garnish
Corriander Leaves - 2-3 leaves to garnish
Hard boil the eggs, take the shells off and make 4 vertical slits on each egg, leaving equal spaces between each slit. Add 1/2 tsp of salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder each to the eggs and toss to coat the eggs with the spices. Add 1/2 tbsp of oil in a non stick wok and fry the eggs. Reserve the eggs in a bowl. Fry the potatoes and reserve.
Heat rest of the oil and add the cumin seeds and bay leaves and let them sizzle and splutter. Add the onion paste once the dry spices start spluttering. Colour the onion and add the ginger and garlic pastes. Cook till the raw smell is gone. Add the tomato paste and cook till oil separates.
In the meantime make a spice paste by adding all the ingredients from Cumin powder to Sugar in a bowl and blending them together with 2 tbsp of water. Add this spice mix to the cooked onion paste and mix well. Add splashes of hot water if required.
Cook the onion-spice mix well. Add 2 cups of hot water and the fried potatoes. Cover and cook till the potatoes are tender. Uncover , check seasoning and add the eggs, cooking on high heat. Sprinkle the garam masala, chillies and corriander leaves before turning off the heat.
Serve with hot steamed white rice and lime wedges.
** An authentic Dalna should be quite runny but with a thick consistency that comes from the onion ginger garlic and tomato paste and the colour comes from the spices. **
Serves - 2
Preparation time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 30 minutes