Bittarai Kirihodi – Sinhalese Egg Curry

I have not made it less known that eggs are my favorite protein. Not only because I am vegetarian…I always look for making and serving eggs in a different way, and this is my latest discovery. This Sri lankan egg curry is from the book ‘660 Curries’ by Raghavan Iyer and is made by smothering hard cooked eggs in coconut milk and a unique Sri Lankan spice blend. I was surprised by the unique blend of spices used in this curry. Indian cuisine is in no way alien to these spices, but this was a unique combination that I had never tried before. I increased the amount of spice added to the curry and also made it a little bit watery, so that we could have it for rice and for dosa.

For Sinhalese Untoasted Curry Powder
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds (obtained by opening up green cardamom pods)
1/2 tsp nutmeg shavings
2 cinnamon sticks

For the Curry:
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup finely chopped onion
5 green chillies slit
1 tbsp of Untoasted Sinhalese curry powder
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
6 extra large eggs, hard cooked and peeled

My secret to perfect peelable hard cooked eggs:
1. Start eggs in cold water.
2. Salt the water.
3. Start on high heat until the water comes up to a boil, when it does bring it to a slow simmer.
4. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
5. Drain the hot water. Fill with cool water. Drain the cold water and fill again with cool water.
6. Let sit for no more than 5 minutes, meaning peel as early as possible.

Place all the ingredients for the untoasted curry powder in a dry mixie and grind it into a fine powder. Save any remaining powder in an airtight container. (I used all of it in one shot 🙂 )

Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the fenugreek and cinnamon. When spluttered, fried and golden brown, add the onion, turmeric powder and salt. Cook until the onions are soft, but golden brown. Add the spice powder and saute until cooked for another 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the eggs and let cook in the sauce for about 5 minutes longer. Serve hot with rice or dosa.

Verdict: Creamy and luscious and a very different spice blend. The fenugreek and nutmeg tastes came through really well. I liked it better with the dosa than with rice.

I am sending this to ‘Inftar Moments:Hijri’ Event hosted by ‘Taste of Pearl City’.

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