Keralan Egg Curry


Coconut milk, tomatoes, and onions add vegetal sweetness that rounds out the fruity piquancy of Kashmiri chile powder and Thai chiles in this warmly-spiced egg curry. It's South Indian dish that chef Margaret Pak of Thattu in Chicago, a 2020 Food & Wine Best New Restaurant first learned to make from her husband, who is originally from Kerala. "The first time I had egg curry, my boyfriend (now husband) made it for me. I was mesmerized that a simple egg dish could be so comforting and delicious," she says. For the brightest flavor, toast and grind whole spices in small batches just before adding to this curry or any dish. Curry sprigs are tender and will continue to add flavor after cooking; feel free to leave them in for serving.

Keralan Egg Curry
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Total Time:
45 mins
4 to 6 servings


  • 5 teaspoons coriander seeds

  • 4 teaspoons fennel seeds

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons Kashmiri chile powder or smoked paprika

  • ¼ cup canola oil

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)

  • 4 to 6 fresh green Thai chiles, split lengthwise with stem ends left intact, seeds removed

  • 2 (8-inch) curry sprigs

  • 2 medium-size red onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), chopped (about 4 cups) 

  • 4 medium-size plum tomatoes (about 14 ounces), cored and finely chopped (about 2 cups)

  • ½ cup water, plus more as needed

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and halved lengthwise 

  • 2 (13.5-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk, shaken and stirred

  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish 

  • Cooked basmati rice, for serving 


  1. Toast coriander and fennel seeds in a small skillet over medium-low, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove from skillet, and let cool 5 minutes. Using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind coriander and fennel seeds until a fine powder forms. Transfer to a small bowl; add turmeric and chile powder, and set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add ginger, garlic, Thai chiles, and curry sprigs; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to 14 minutes. Stir in coriander mixture; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, and salt; cook, stirring often and scraping bottom of pan, until tomatoes begin to break down and mixture forms a coarse paste, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add eggs, cut sides up, to mixture in pan. Pour in coconut milk, and gently stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld and eggs are heated through, about 10 minutes. Add additional water, 2 tablespoons at a time, if a thinner consistency is desired. Season with additional salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with basmati rice.


Find Kashmiri chile powder, fresh Thai chiles, and curry leaves at South Indian food stores.

Suggested Pairing

Full-bodied, fruity white: Raeburn Russian River Valley Chardonnay

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