Punjab is a region in northern India and a dhaba is a typical inexpensive roadside restaurant you'll see all over South Asia. This egg curry is a great example of the simple and delicious food you'll find served at any traditional dhaba. A boldly spiced tomato and onion sauce tops crispy fried eggs in this traditional dish. So easy to make and pairs perfectly with rice, rotis, or parathas for a fantastic Fall lunch or dinner!
As I've said before, Nepali eggs are just incredible. Look at those beauties in the photo above! Those would be like grade AAA super jumbo premium eggs in the US. I don't normally even care for eggs that much but these buttery, saffron yolked Nepali eggs are something else. We get them so fresh they're still warm here in Nepal but older eggs work better for this dish. Yes, fresh eggs stick to their shell and don't make for smooth hard boiled eggs when peeled. Frying the hard boiled eggs gives them more texture and extra flavor. If you don't have time to fry the hard boiled eggs or don't wish to, just score them shallowly with a knife so they'll soak up some of that spicy sauce.
5-6 hard boiled eggs, shelled
3 TBS cooking oil or ghee
3/4 C onions, sliced thinly into half moons
1 cassia leaf/tej patta
1&1/2 inch piece cassia bark/dalchini (or cinnamon stick)
2 tsp garlic/lahsun paste
2 tsp ginger/adrak/paste
1 tsp salt
2 tsp kasoori methi/dried fenugreek leaves
Grind until smooth for masala:
4 tomatoes/tamatar, chopped roughly
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp cumin/jeera
2 tsp coriander/dhania, ground
2 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1 tsp paprika plus 1 tsp cayenne powder)
3 green cardamoms, elaichi
1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi
Here's what to do:
1) Grind all ingredients listed under masala to smooth paste in mixie, blender or food processor and set aside. Heat oil in deep, heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai for 7 minutes. Sprinkle one teaspoonful of salt in hot oil. Fry shelled hard boiled eggs for about three minutes on each side in hot oil until golden brown. Remove eggs from hot oil and set aside on plate.
2) In the same oil and pan fry onions until golden brown, this should take about 7 to 9 minutes.
3) Add cassia leaf/tej patta, cassia bark/dalchini, garlic paste, and ginger paste. Fry for 2 minutes or until raw smell has left garlic paste. Add ground masala paste from step 1 to fried onion mixture, stir well. Crumble dried fenugreek leaves/kasoori methi into mixture, stir well and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. If mixture begins to stick or scorch reduce heat, add 1/4 cup of water, stir well, and continue simmering.
4) When oil separates and floats to the top of the simmering masala mixture your sauce is ready. Add fried hard boiled eggs to sauce, stir well, and allow to heat through for 3-4 more minutes. Salt to taste and serve with rice or rotis.