Eggs in garlic tomato gravy with herb fenugreek



Every summer during school holidays, we used to visit my maternal grandparents. They ran a large household, full of children and animals. Every afternoon, without fail, my Dida (grandma) could be found supervising massive cauldrons of whey, hay, starch and some other stuff that were cooked for the domestic cows. That concoction emitted such sweet aroma that I was temped to taste it more than once. And I succumbed to it even. It tasted like…hay. Quite eww. Still, the sweet aroma never failed to reel me in.

Dida also had a pen full of hens. The coop was like any other primitive dwelling, a large mud hut covered with a thatched roof on top. It was always cool on the inside, stacked with hay beds for the birds.My cousins would often use it as a hiding place when playing hide and seek. I, on the other hand, was always scared of the pecking hens. Every morning and afternoon, the hens would respond to the clucking call that my grandma or Aunt made. The sound meant food, and they would flock to her to peck on the small seeds or grains of rice or whatever they used to feed them. They roamed free all over the place, and it was fun watching their antics around the large forest like yards that surrounded my Dadu’s place.

The hens laid a large number of eggs. Sometimes brown, sometimes white, the eggs were large, and so very delicious. Breakfast often meant rice, ghee (clarified butter), boiled pulses and boiled eggs. All the kids would sit in a row together to feed on that delicious meal every morning.

Acquiring those delicious eggs from underneath the hens was a different story altogether. I followed my grandma sometimes to the coop when she went to fetch the eggs. She would retrieve them, while I watched her from outside. She had an uncanny ability to know which eggs would hatch. She would gently put those ones back to be sat upon by the hen. The hens seemed to be so comfortable around her, never lifting a feather as she worked around and over them.

One day I decided to try my hand at fetching an egg. I went into the pen and eyed the nesting hen, trying to gauge a direction from where it would be safest to pry the egg from underneath her without losing my hand.

The hen eyed back, fluffing up her entire body. Slowly, her eyes took on a stinky look. Gingerly, I approached her. As I reached for her belly, she flapped and clucked loudly, pecking at the direction of my hand. Screeching, I snatched my hand back. I tried again. This time her beak got me, and though it didn’t really hurt, imagining the worst, I turned tail and ran, and walked right into my Dida. Chuckling, she shook her head, and told me I was doing it all wrong. She walked right up to the hen, reached underneath, and got the egg. Still shaking her head and chuckling, Dida went away, while I gave the hen a final stinky eye, and followed her. Till date I have no clue what I did wrong, but that was the end of my farming skill development. I still prefer to buy cage free organic eggs though, especially those that have been fortified with Omega 3. They do make a slight dent in my weekly budget, but they are so worth it, both health wise and taste wise. Thinking of those beautiful hens, laying large beautiful happy eggs makes it worth even more.


I miss my Dida a lot. She used to cook food that was out of the world. Being old school, she always favored her grandsons more than her granddaughters, but when it came to food, she always cooked our favorites by turn. Her egg curries were amazing, and though I never thought about getting recipes, I have learned a few tricks of my own, which I know my Dida would be proud of.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Eggs in garlic tomato gravy with herb fenugreek
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
An original recipe by Minnie
  • 8 eggs boiled and halved
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp thick tomato paste (I use Hunt)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of cinnamon powder
  • dash of cardamom powder
  • coriander leaves for garnish
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Fry onions in hot oil in a large pan that will comfortably hold 8 halved eggs.
  2. Add garlic, fry for a few seconds.
  3. Once the onions are golden brown, add in the tomato paste.
  4. Next, put in coriander powder, cayenne powder and vinegar.
  5. Saute for a few seconds.
  6. Measure vinegar and add to the gravy. Lower the flame.
  7. Mash the fenugreek with your fingers and add to the simmering gravy.
  8. Add 1 cup water and salt. Bring to a boil.
  9. Lower the flame once more, and add the eggs one by one, gently, side by side.
  10. Cover the pan.
  11. Cook on low flame for 5 more minutes.
  12. Uncover. Put in a dash of cinnamon and cardamom powder.
  13. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  14. Serve hot with naan or rice.
For the onions that I have used in garnish, simply immerse sliced onions in white vinegar overnight. They will acquire this beautiful pink color and taste awesome.

This post is linked to

Amee’s Savory Dish Fit and Fabulous Fridays

27 comments for “Eggs in garlic tomato gravy with herb fenugreek

  1. July 25, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    i can cook different types of egg curries (my own versions, again) but this one looks different and yummy. i will prepare this for the non-vegetarians at home.

    what i love about your posts are those stories preceding the recipe. enjoyed reading about the fun time you had at your Dida’s place. Ghee, rice, boiled pulses and boiled eggs is the best combination on earth!!

    • July 25, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      It is, isn’t it!!!! And honestly, there was nothing like having rice and dal breakfast sitting with cousins, eying who got the biggest egg, hahaha!

      I would love to know the recipes that you have for the egg curries.

  2. CCU
    July 25, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    This is one delicious looking egg curry my friend – wonderful ingredients 😀
    I really enjoyed reading your coop story too, like a thriller – will she get it or not 😉
    Thank you 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru
    CCU recently posted..CCU Undercover: Criniti’sMy Profile

    • July 25, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      hahahaha! Uru,you made my day! This egg curry is really really good. And great thing is it refrigerates even better. You can make it in advance and then heat it before serving. Because the eggs are halved, they are easier to microwave and don’t go off like atom bombs.
      Minnie recently posted..Eggs in garlic tomato gravy with herb fenugreekMy Profile

  3. July 25, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Loving this recipe, Minnie! What a great meatless meal – definitely on my “must make” list! Thanks for sharing! BTW, the chicken-egg-thing? You just have to walk up to them like you’re in charge, it’s no big deal and don’t make eye contact!
    Stephanie @ It’s not just about the recipe . . . . recently posted..What’s in the oven? Classic Peach CrispMy Profile

    • July 25, 2012 at 6:39 PM

      I love making egg curries. They are easiest meal to make when you are feeling a bit lazy, low or simply want a change in taste.

      Though I don’t ever plan to go back to prying eggs from irate hens, but that’s a great tip!Thanks so much. One never knows when it comes handy though. Imagine a situation where the only way to get eggs were getting them from under the chicken….me and my imagination :))

  4. Pam
    July 25, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Great story! The dish looks really flavorful and delicious.
    Pam recently posted..Grilled Corn, Poblano, and Black Bean SaladMy Profile

  5. Bhaskar
    July 25, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Nice story about you getting “Hen-Pecked”. 😉 =)) The trick is to befriend them first and best if that was done with your dida. Warna to they were thinking you are chooring their eggs. And yes, good to know you are “Scared” of Hens. 😛

    I know even this egg recipe would be great like all earlier egg ones you sent. I still make the one you made with coriander leaves whenever I feel like having something good. This weekend I’ll try this one out and send you my report for sure.

    • July 25, 2012 at 9:38 PM

      I am NOT scared of hens. Just don’t like them making a food of my hand. And I think I am quite happy with my dogs, thank you very much.

      I’ll be waiting for your report :))

      • Bhaskar
        July 28, 2012 at 10:15 AM

        Okay, finally we cooked and had some home made food. 😀 This is also really good like your previous egg recipe. VERY TASTY!!!!! 😀 😀 And with roti its superb!!!!

  6. July 26, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    Aww you were so cute trying to get that egg! Good on you for trying I say and I bet your Dida was proud of you for trying 🙂
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted..Chocolate Hedgehog Cupcakes!My Profile

    • July 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      I am not sure if she was proud or not….but to me it was adventure of a kind :DD

  7. July 26, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    I’m scared of chickens..ha-ha, but this looks delish!
    cathy @ Noble Pig recently posted..Coconut-Cherry-Chocolate Chip Ice CreamMy Profile

    • July 26, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      Thanks Cathy 🙂

  8. July 26, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    I was worried about little you trying to get the egg from the hen
    we had birds and I know they can really bite hard
    this recipe is totally new to me, love all the spices and flavors that go into it
    Sawsan (Chef in disguise) recently posted..Peppermint chocolate almond butterMy Profile

    • July 26, 2012 at 10:51 PM

      I can only imagine…..I think I got lucky. Egg curry is such a great alternative to a full meat meal.

  9. July 26, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Oh my… gorgeous!

    I’ve only made this once and I loved it. Thanks for the big reminder. 🙂
    Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef recently posted..Want to Guest Post on Orgasmic Chef?My Profile

    • July 27, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      Thanks Maureen :))

  10. July 27, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    What a sweet story! My parents have chickens as well, and I never try to get the eggs from underneath the chickens! My sister does have a way with the hens, so she gets that task
    Erin {Recimplicity} recently posted..Workout to Work PonytailsMy Profile

    • July 27, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      Your sister must be very brave!

  11. July 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    I absolutely love simple eggs in a complex and flavorful sauce or curry. This one looks wonderful. And what adventures you had! I would love to read more about Dida and life on the farm!

  12. July 27, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Love your food story, Minnie 🙂
    CJ at Food Stories recently posted..National Coffee Milkshake Day & GiveawayMy Profile

  13. August 1, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    Minnie, this sounds so delicious!!! I love the story about the eggs, too, lol. Those are great memories! 🙂
    Amee recently posted..Gluten-Free Zucchini BreadMy Profile

    • August 3, 2012 at 4:36 AM

      Yes they are….when they happen, you don’t realize the importance. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  14. May 31, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    With egg as a main ingredient, one can do so many combinations and I love your version!
    Looks very creamy and delicious! I will try this !
    I love the addition of kasuri methi(Which i have never added so far) and also the idea of Tomato paste instead of Puree gives the cool creamy texture, I guess!!
    Love it.

    • May 31, 2013 at 10:35 AM

      So true!! Kasuri methi adds another dimension, and takes this dish to completely different level. If you subtract that, you could be eating a totally different preparation. Thanks so much!

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