Everyday Healthy Egg Curry is a comforting dish made by simmering tomato gravy (sauce) topped with hard-boiled egg. It is a meatless and gluten-free dish that can be served for lunch or dinner.
March is National Nutrition Month®, an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Unlike previous years, this year Academy has decided to honor National Nutrition Month® as its own theme in order to celebrate the diversity in dietetics and allowing more flexibility so practitioners can share healthful messages to their relevant audience. I personally find this theme to be a powerful one because diversity to me (in this context) means celebrating different diets/lifestyles, acknowledging wide-variety of culinary habits, and representing RDs from different backgrounds, ethnicity, gender etc. I am a Southeast-Asian Dietitian from Nepal and I am taking this opportunity to share how healthy looks different in other cultures. Also, sharing a recipe for Everyday Healthy Egg Curry, an comforting weeknight dish that comes together in 30 minutes or less using simple ingredients from your kitchen.
Curry is a loose term implying a dish is made with meat, fish, or vegetables & simmered in a spicy sauce. Everyone has their own interpretation of curry and curry powder based on a family recipe, spice-blend of their choice, and/or the thickness of gravy. I find that nuance in curry to be very beautiful because it’s different each time. I am sharing my interpretation of Everyday Healthy Egg Curry which uses less oil and only handful of spices, redeeming it to be a healthy weeknight dish.
Egg curry is a staple in Southeast Asian kitchen but the tomato-spice base varies widely depending on who is making the dish. At a glance, dishes from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh may look alike but each country has a diverse culinary history of their own and even within each countries, there are unique regional differences.
So going back to celebrating diversity and different culinary habits, I grew up eating white rice, lentil soup (daal), a vegetable dish, pickle/achar (relish), and occasional meat dish at least 5-6 days a week. My mom would rotate vegetables depending on what’s in season and the type of lentil but for the most part, that’s what we ate. I didn’t appreciate the repetitive daal-bhat (rice and lentil soup) routine but nutritionally speaking, it’s a pretty darn balanced, wholesome meal covering all your macronutrients.
Based on my personal experience and observations, I strongly believe that Southeast Asian food is wholesome and nourishing but we can do a thing or two differently when it comes to cooking techniques and portion size. Here is my 2 cents:
Stir-frying, deep frying, sautéing, and pressure cooking are common ways of cooking in South East Asian culture as opposed to baking and roasting in the oven. Rather than deep-frying and sautéing food in large quantity of oil, I encourage everyone to start experimenting your favorite recipes in the oven and use less oil while sautéing vegetables and meat. Did you know you can sauté vegetables in water or broth? It is a natural tendency to grab oil before sautéing our aromatics but with practice, you can do with little to no oil for everyday meals. Tempering aka tadka (frying spices and aromatics in ghee or oil) adds a depth of flavor and fats/calories to dishes like daal and curries. For weeknight meals, try skipping tadka altogether or sauté aromatics and spices along with daal.
The ratio of grains : protein : vegetable on a plate seems to be a common issue across the board. Typically, I see 50% or more of the plate filled with grains like rice, roti, or naan followed by vegetable or meat curry, and green vegetable/salad are often used as a garnish. Ideally, about 50-60% of calories should come from carbohydrates as it provides our body with energy but it doesn’t have to be just grains (like rice or bread). Fruits, vegetables, lentils, beans are a wonderful source of carbohydrates, fiber, and many other nutrients which we need to incorporate more frequently. White rice and naan is a staple but there are other wholesome grains like brown rice, quinoa, freekeh, farro, whole wheat naan etc that can be added to the rotation.
Meat and poultry are appearing more frequently on the dinner table and sadly vegetables are just an after thought. I am not against meat consumption but we seriously need to eat less meat and more vegetables everyday.
Before I sign off, I want to reiterate that no one diet fits all and it looks different for everyone. A balanced, nutritious meal is determined by one’s age, health condition/goals, cultural habits, dietary preference etc and most importantly one that truly elevates your health and well-being.
While it’s important to treasure authentic recipes and traditions, it’s completely okay to break-free and make a healthier version of your favorite dish. Most of my recipes are not traditional or authentic by any means and I share what tastes good to me and are nutritious and healthyish for my lifestyle. I hope this post inspires you to create healthier dishes in your kitchen, inspired from your family recipe or your culture.
Everyday Healthy Egg Curry
Serves : 4-6
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon neutral oil such as canola, avocado, corn
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
½ ginger knob, grated
2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder (or use garam masala)
2 teaspoon red chili powder
14-oz crushed tomatoes (use 5-6 whole or about 1 pound tomatoes)
salt, to taste
2 tablespoon plain yogurt, optional for creamier texture
chopped cilantro, optional for garnish
In a large sauce pan, add eggs and and cover them with cool water by 1 inch.
Bring the water to a rolling boil and boil eggs 6 – 7 minutes for perfect hard boiled eggs.
Transfer eggs into a bowl with cold water. Once cooled, peel them and keep aside.
Heat oil over medium in a skillet. Fry cumin seeds until fragrant and sauté onions for 5-7 minutes.
Add ginger and garlic to the skillet and sauté for few more minutes.
Stir in seasonings : cumin powder, turmeric powder, and chili powder and mix everything well.
Pour crushed tomatoes (or chopped tomatoes) into the skillet.
Lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens a bit.
Season with salt and adjust seasonings per your liking.
Add yogurt if desired for slight tang and smooth texture.
Slice eggs vertically and add it to the tomato mix.
Garnish with chopped cilantro right before serving.
** I like to add eggs to the tomato mix right before serving. The tomato mix heats up really well so feel free to make a batch ahead of time.
***If you do not eat eggs or have extra tomato gravy left, stir in chickpeas or frozen veggies to make a new curry altogether. Instead of hard-boiled eggs, you can crack eggs on top of the tomato mix, close the lid and make soft-eggs like shakshuka.
I hope you will give this Everyday Healthy Egg Curry recipe a try or pin it for later use!! If you do, do not forget to tag @foodpleasurehealth on instagram.
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