Manu Chandra is one of India’s most celebrated, young chef-restaurateurs. His egg dish is a comforting distillation of Kayasth cooking – drawing inspiration from various parts of India.
Takes: 1 hr
8 hard-boiled eggs, halved
16 small slices mild cheese
mustard oil, for drizzling
chopped coriander, to serve
For the purée
1 tbsp mustard oil
⅓ tsp cumin seeds
1 bunch bathua, chopped
½ tsp crushed green chilli
3 garlic cloves, crushed
For the masala
2 tbsp mustard oil
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 large onion, coarsely grated
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp garam masala powder
⅓ tsp turmeric powder
1 large tomato, coarsely grated
120g yoghurt, beaten until thick
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. For the purée, heat the oil in a medium pan until smoking. Add the cumin seeds, wait for them to pop, then add the bathua and chilli; season. Stir in the garlic.
2 Add 230ml water and simmer, stirring, until half the water has evaporated. Whizz in a food processor until smooth.
3 For the masala, heat the oil in a small pan until smoking. Add the fenugreek and fry until browned; discard the seeds.
4 Add the onion and cook until golden. Stir in the ginger and garlic pastes, and dry spices. Add the tomato, season with salt and cook for 8-10 mins.
5 Add the yoghurt and 3 tsp water; stir vigorously. Cook for 2-3 mins more, then remove from the heat and set aside.
6 Put the purée in a baking dish. Spread each egg half with 1 tsp masala, a drizzle of mustard oil and a cheese slice; arrange in the dish. Bake for 8-10 mins, until the cheese has melted. Scatter with coriander.
Published in Issue 1 of National Geographic Traveller Food