Yes, you read that correctly! My Sunday breakfast took two favourite dishes and totally mashed them up. Oooh, mashed potatoes, haven’t had those in a while… I digress. Breakfast. We were at our favourite Pakistani restaurant the other eve, and of course dinner included Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala. And I realize that these dishes are really UK interpretations of Indian cuisine. But those flavours are quite compelling. And don’t hold back on the heat.
So, I had those dishes on the brain when I was walking into the kitchen to prepare a leisurely Sunday brekkie. And usually my brekkies include eggs. I could eat eggs each and every day, what about you?! So, how to combine the flavours I was reflecting on, and eggs? Then I thought, why not make a quick veggie curry that paid homage to tikka masala (the words actually translate as ‘cutlet or piece’ and ‘mix’, in other words, pieces or cutlets of meat or veggies in a mixture of spices etc) and would be a great setting for an egg? Then I realized that I was really just talking Shakshuka. But instead of the Middle Eastern vibe, I would replace the spices etc with Indian/Pakistani ones.
So I started my base with sautéing up some shallot and garlic. Then I added a goodly amount of Entube Curry Paste. When you turn the tube over and see that the ingredients are cumin, turmeric, sunflower oil, fennel, onion, sea salt, garlic, coriander, fenugreek, acerola berry, cayenne, ginger and spices, you know you’re pretty well covered with all the necessary ingredients!! Once that all had sautéed another minute or so, I added choppped cherry tomatoes. Cooked these down till the juices started combing and creating a sauce of sorts. Added some yogurt, salt and pepper, and I was happy with the flavour. Then I thought about the palak dal that we usually order when out for Indian, so I quickly chopped up some spinach (and bok choy, to use the last bits up) They wouldn’t take long to soften, so I didn’t want to add them too early. Once they went in, I made a little well, for muh egg! I let it set up and simmer in the masala. Then to finish it up, I put a lid on the pan, to speed up the cooking of the yolk.
It was wondrous!! Used a piece of warm naan bread to sop up the golden yolk, and breakfast was done. And it was a winner. I will make this often. All of the ingredients are pretty well kitchen staples, nothing exotic or hard to source.
This recipe will easily translate to a large pan or baking dish if you are feeding a crowd. You may want to finish the eggs in a preheated oven if you are cooking 4 or more eggs.
And don’t stop at breakfast. This would be a perfect Meatless Monday type of dinner. Add a salad and you’re off to the races. Enjoy.
INDIAN CURRY SHAKSHUKA
- 1 shallot , minced
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
- 2 tsp Entube Curry Paste
- 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes (if you are not using cherry tomatoes, then use Roma/Italian tomatoes, they are more flesh and less liquid. Avoid any other type of tomato. You don't want the curry to be too runny, or else you will lose the egg in the sauce)
- 2 tbsp greek yogurt
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 3/4-1 cup chopped baby spinach (or bok choy, or a combo of both)
- 1 egg
- chili flakes (optional)
In a small sauté pan (I used a mini 6" cast iron pan) heat butter or oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and sauté for 1 minute. Add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds or so, to soften.
Add the curry paste and stir to blend into the veggies completely. Sauté for 1 minute.
Add the quartered tomatoes and let them cook down to start breaking open and letting the juices release, about 4 minutes. Cook until some of the juices start to cook off and it becomes slightly thicker.
Add the yogurt and stir to make a cream sauce. Taste at this point and add salt and pepper to your liking.
Add your chopped greens and give it a quick stir. Reduce heat to medium.
Make a slight well in the middle of the mixture for the egg. Crack an egg gently into the well.
Allow the egg to set in the simmering sauce. To speed up the baking process, you can place a lid on the pan, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Watch the yolk, so that you don't overcook it to your liking. Sometimes the sauce may spread over the white. Don't worry, it is cooking perfectly. As long as the yolk is the way you like it, the rest is cooked.
Serve with warmed naan bread to sop up the golden yolk! Unless of course you cooked it longer, because you wanted to!
You can easily double, triple or quadruple this recipe. Adjust your saute pan accordingly. A large 10" or 12" oven proof pan will be great for 4 to 6 eggs.
TO COOK THE EGGS EVENLY, YOU MAY WISH TO TRANSFER THE PAN TO A PREPARED OVEN
Move rack to the top third of the oven, and set the broiler to high. Place the pan onto the rack, and cook for 3-5 minutes. The time it will take to set will depend on the heat from your broiler. Start checking after 3 minutes, but if the white isn't opaque and set yet, keep baking until white is set and yolk is starting to set. Remove from the heat, and let the pan set for 3 minutes or so- the eggs will continue to cook in the residual heat.
You can garnish the pan with cilantro or nigella seeds etc.