This Kerala style egg roast has soft boiled eggs nestled on top of an onion and tomato masala with South Indian spices like curry leaves, coriander, ginger, and garlic. This egg roast is considered a "dry" curry that doesn't have too much liquid but rather has a chunky onion tomato masala perfect to pair with chapathis and dosas.
Kerala is a state in South India known for its mutta or egg dishes. Specifically there are various egg roasts that are a more dried preparations and egg curries that contain coconut milk. This egg roast is a drier variation with loads of tomatoes and onions cooked down in strong aromatic spices. It makes a great side dish that pairs perfectly with rice dishes like thayir sadam (yogurt rice) or lemon rice.
- Coriander Powder
- Cumin Powder
- Garam Masala - Adds heat as well as warmth
- Sugar - Helps round out all the flavors
- Sea Salt - Remember to always season to taste
- Curry Leaves - Curry leaves give dishes their iconic Indian taste. There is no real substitute. Check out your local Indian store to find some near you. If you can't find it, you can leave it out of the recipe
- Thai Chili - Adds heat to the dish. Substitute with serrano or jalepeno, or omit for less spice.
- Tomatoes - Used crushed and peeled tomatoes if tomatoes aren't in season
Egg curry vs. roast
Curries and roasts are often interchangeable words to describe a side dish. Everyone has their own interpretation of how these differ from one another. The distinction I make is that a curry is more liquid-y and has more gravy whereas a roast is typically a dry or drier preparation. If you go to an Indian restaurant in India, you will often see the menu list the same dishes with classifications of "wet" and "dry" which help distinguish if the dish is more like a curry or roast.
Tips on boiling eggs
For this recipe, I like a slightly jammy boiled egg. However, cook the egg to your liking. Here are some tips on cooking your eggs:
- Bring water to a rolling boil before adding the eggs - This helps get a consistent cook time for the eggs.
- Have enough water to fully submerge the eggs - It's important to have at least 3 inches of water so that the whole egg is submerged in water in order to guarantee that the egg cooks through properly.
- Gently lower the eggs with a slotted spoon. Gently lowering the eggs into the boiling water ensures that the eggs don't crack when added into the pot.
- Choose cook time based on preference. Cooking the eggs in boiling water for 6 minutes leads to runny egg yolk, 7-8 minutes results in eggs that are set but are jammy, and 9 minutes or more results in eggs that are hard boiled.
Tips on peelings eggs
- Add eggs into ice water bath once cook time is complete. This step helps stop the eggs from continuing to cook.
- Gently crack the egg. Unless you have a hard boiled egg, it is important that you gently crack the egg and not use excessive force when breaking the shell. Too much pressure can cause a runny egg to leak and spill out.
- Crack the egg on the tops and bottom. The top or bottom of the egg tends to have a small air pocket between the shell and the inside of the egg. Finding that pocket helps easily get the initial bits of shell off the egg.
- Dunk the egg in water. It often helps to dunk the egg in water to help lubricate the egg and help easily slide the shell off the egg.
- Give the egg a final rinse in cold water. Giving the eggs a rinse in cold water ensures that all the shells are gone.
Tips on roasting the onion tomato masala
- Dry curry leaves before adding them into the oil to prevent splatter. The curry leaves will inevitably pop a little because they contain water but make sure they are not drenched in water when adding them to the hot oil or else the oil will spatter all over the place.
- Allow the onions, garlic, and ginger to soften and sizzle in the oil. It is really important to allow the raw and harsh flavors of the onion and ginger to mellow out in the oil before adding any more ingredients. This will also ensure that the oil is flavored properly with the aromatics.
- Roast and cook the tomatoes until they reduce in half. It is really important to wait for the tomatoes to mix and meld with the spices and completely break down and thicken. If you skip this step, you won't have a roast that has robust flavor.
- Use crushed, peeled, canned tomatoes when tomatoes aren't in season and fresh tomatoes when they are!
- Adjust the roast to your spice level. This egg roast gets its heat from both the Thai chilis and the garam masala. Reduce the quantity of either of these spices to fit your palate.
Frequently Asked Questions
This egg roast lasts for 3-4 days. It will last longer if the eggs haven't been added to the dish.
Yes. It is best to use crushed, peeled, canned tomatoes, especially when tomatoes are not in season.
Any type of onion will work for this recipe from red to white!