Chettinad cuisine is the most renowned culinary tradition from the Karaikal region of South Tamilnadu. The Chettiar community moved from the Coromandel Coast to the interior land at Karaikal when their land was affected by the flooding. But, Chettiars were and are a business community. They traded in spices even to the far flung regions like Burma, Srilanka, Jawa Cambodia etc. And they adopted the culinary tradition of these regions and mixed with their own tradition to make one of the best cuisines in the world. Their cuisines are generally accompaniments to steamed rice or rice based dishes like Appam, Dosais, Idiyappams, Adais and Idlis etc. Due to the arid region of Karaikal, the Chettinad cuisines use dried vegetables and homemade spices like anasipoo (star aniseed), kalpasi (a lichen), puli (tamarind), milagai (chillies), sombu (fennel seed), pattai (cinnamon), lavangam (cloves), bay leaf, karu milagu (peppercorn), jeeragam (cumin seeds), and venthayam (fenugreek) etc. The Chettinad cuisines are one of the most flavorful dishes. We will see how to make a simple Egg Pepper Fry in the Chettinad way.
Eggs – 5
Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds- ¼ tsp
Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
Onion – 2 (finely chopped)
Green Chillies – 2 (sliced)
Curry Leaves – from 1 twig
Tomato -1 (chopped)
Turmeric Powder- 1/8 tsp
Salt to taste
Finely Chopped Cilantro (Coriander) Leaves – 2 tbsp
To roast and powder:
Black Pepper Corns- 2 tsp
Fennel (Saunf) Seeds- ¾ tsp
Cumin Seeds- 1 tsp
Coriander Seeds- 1 tsp
Cloves (Lavang) – 2
Cinnamon Stick – 2
We will prepare the hard boiled Eggs first. Boil water in a pan. Immerse the Eggs in the hot water and continue to boil for about 8 to 10 minutes in medium flame. Once done, transfer the Eggs to a bowl with normal water and allow the Eggs to cool in the water.
Once cooled, remove the Eggs shells. Cut the Eggs vertically into two and keep aside.
In the meanwhile, heat a pan and dry roast all the ingredients for roasting till they turn little brown and aromatic. Allow them to cool. And then grind all of them together a fine powder.
Heat the Oil in a pan. Crackle the Mustard Seeds. Add Ginger and roast for 30 to 40 seconds. Add the Onion, Green Chilli and Curry Leaves. Cook till the Onion turns brown. Add the Tomato, Salt and Turmeric Powder. Cook till the Tomatoes become soft.
Add the ground spice Powder. Sauté them 2 to 3 minutes in medium flame. Add ½ cup of water and Coriander leaves.. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the Eggs gently with the cut side facing down. Place some Masala on top of the Eggs. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes in medium flame. Turn the Eggs and cook further for 2 to 3 minutes covered with the lid.
Cook both the sides till the Masala become dry. Transfer gently to a serving bowl.
Serve with Rasam Rice, Dahl Rice, Roti etc.
This Egg fry is a spicy preparation. If you want it to be spicier, sprinkle with freshly ground Pepper Powder. Roast the Pepper Masala well to remove the raw smell.