Muttai Kuzhambu(Eggs poached in a curry sauce)

This post is long pending…I seemed to have lost the photo of this one, in the midst of the tons of photos I have been taking recently, and this just slipped through. I made this to go with the Chicken Briyani a while back. It is made by poaching the eggs in a spicy and peppery coconut curry.

Black Pepper and eggs are such a good combination. Although pepper is the general spice of choice in America and other places in the world, it is not very widely used in India. Our choice of pepper remains the hot and fiery cayenne pepper. But, any egg dish made would never go out without a sprinkle of pepper powder, at the least. And so, when I saw the announcement for ‘Cooking with Seeds – Pepper’ event, I knew I had to make an egg dish.


6 eggs

1 onion chopped

2 tomatoes chopped

1 tsp of tamarind paste (optional)

salt to taste


1 tbsp oil

1 cinnamon stick

4 cloves

4 cardamom pods

sprig of curry leaves

To grind:

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 1/2 tsp whole pepper

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp poppy seeds

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/2 cup of grated coconut


Grind everything under ‘to grind’ into a smooth paste and set aside.

In a wide bottomed pan over medium high heat, heat oil and add the seasonings: cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. When fried, add the onions and curry leaves and cook until soft. Add the tomatoes and salt, and cook until they are mushy. Add the spice paste and a cup of water. Bring this mixture to a boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes. Check for seasoning.

Now, reduce the heat to a slow simmer and break the eggs gently. Space the eggs so that they don’t touch each other and become one big mass. This is why you need the widest pan you own. Gently let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Dissolve the tamarind paste in a 1/4 cup of warm water, add it and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve hot with rice or pulav.

If you want to serve this as a kurma for idli, dosa or for rotis/chapatis, omit the tamarind extract and reduce the amount of pepper by a tsp and increase the poppy seeds by one tsp.

Verdict: The kuzhambu was peppery and spicy, and the eggs came out perfect, just like my mom used to make. I used to call this ‘aama muttai kuzhambu’, when I was a kid, because the poached egg white covers the yolk like that of a tortoise. We enjoyed it with briyani, for a sumptuous lunch.

I am sending this to ‘CWS – Pepper’ hosted by Padma. CWS is the ‘Cooking with Seeds’ event started by one of the bloggers I admire a lot – Priya. I am planning on sending more entries to this lovely event.

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  1. Tamilachi

    I made this kulambu many times and I love it. One thing, the link for the googled photo of ur muttai kulambu is not taking to respect post instead t takes to moor kulambu post..check it.

  2. Sang

    I loved it..Thank you for sharing this receipe.. I think this is the best muttai kuzhambu receipe I have ever tried. We loved this dish with Dosai and Rice..

  3. Love the name u have given to this gravy’aama muttai kuzhambu’, beautiful gravy to enjoy with rice and papads..droolworthy dish!

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