Caregiving from my kitchen

Eggs in Curry Sauce

Would you like a recipe that covers half a dozen current food trends at once?

  • Vegetarian – whether you want that for Meatless Monday, Lenten Friday, or you actually are a vegetarian. (Or you have an unexpected vegetarian guest…)
  • Dinner in less than half an hour. (Less than 15 minutes if you have certain basic foods already cooked.)
  • Dinner that, without any planning, you can easily make from food you usually have on hand.
  • Fusion Food.
  • No “weird ingredients you can’t pronounce,” or preservatives, and the only packaged food is a basic spice blend.
  • And your (proverbial) great grandmother ate it!

 

What is it? Eggs in Curry Sauce!

Eggs in Curry Sauce - Fast and easy, meatless, American fusion food, that Grandma made!

Now, there are wonderful Indian recipes for eggs in various sauces. This is not one of them. I know it as an American dish, though I’m sure it has English roots. And without any serious research  I can document it to a book I have  – The Hostess of To-day – copyright 1899. (I’m sure it can be traced earlier, that’s just the oldest book I own.) And Joy of Cooking (1975 – and older editions…) and just about every big fat family cookbook in between.

Wait, you ask – you think my great grandmother ate curry? (Or at any rate – you may ask that if you are the person that trope seems to assume we all are… American born to a family who came to the United States from Europe more than a hundred years ago. Many Americans, of course, indeed the majority, do not fit that narrow assumption – their families arrived later, or from other parts of the world, and they ate all kinds of things.) But yes… This was a very common recipe. All right – The Hostess of To-day was not written for Everywoman, or for everyday meals.  My other books, though…

Eggs in Curry Sauce - Fast and easy, meatless, American fusion food, that Grandma made!

Writing this, I remembered an article I’d seen a year or so ago, about the discovery of a tin of curry powder in the tenement building that was converted into the Tenement Museum here in New York. The prototypical Irish families I wrote about cooking corned beef with their cabbage when they couldn’t get Irish bacon were living in that building at the right time… as were German families (trying to find good sausages, I’m sure… ) Which poor immigrant also put curry powder in what recipe?

Looking for that reference, I discovered a fascinating blog about Historic Gastronomy – Four Pounds Flour – with a post about the history of curry powder in America. (Spoiler: it did not come here with immigrants from India…) She traces a recipe using it to 1857 Philadelphia! It has been part of American cooking since at least then.

The recipe for eggs with curry sauce itself is essentially unchanged over all those years. You just make a white sauce, season it with curry powder – that exotic spice blend that is in every kitchen! – and pour it over hard cooked eggs. Could not be much easier… There are slight variations – most notably, the recommended amount of curry powder ranges from half a teaspoon to a whole tablespoon!  Some add a little onion, a later version adds raisins, I could have sworn I got the peas from somewhere but I can’t find it now… I kept them because I think it’s good, but they’re optional. (Several books did suggest serving the curried eggs with peas as a side dish – maybe that’s what gave me the idea?)

Directions

If you already have hardcooked eggs, the whole thing takes about fifteen minutes. If you don’t, put them on to cook… but then start the rest of the meal, since they don’t take much attention once you turn off the heat. If you do have them, take them out and peel them before you start everything else.

I make the white sauce with whole cow’s milk (you can certainly use non-dairy milk if you need to) and my Roux Cubes. I use Gluten Free, of course. Note: I will shortly  have a new post about these – it has been pointed out to me that, accurate or not, the use of weight to measure flour is discouraging people without scales from making them… so I will revisit them, tell you a few things I’ve learned in two years, and give volume measurements. If you don’t have them yet, just make a white sauce with your own preferred method…

Eggs in Curry Sauce - Fast and easy, meatless, American fusion food, that Grandma made!

I measure out a cup and a half of milk, but then start with just a little in the pan, because it is easier to blend the curry powder smoothly into a small amount of liquid. And I’m suggesting starting with a teaspoon of curry powder. Now, there are two problems here – tastes vary, but so do the blends used commercially. We finished a jar of Hot Curry Powder from one source recently, and I got Medium from another (because the store was out of Hot in the size I wanted) – and the first three meals I made with it were super hot, because I was using the amount I’d gotten used to needing with the (theoretically hotter) other brand! Now, dairy does smooth out the flavor quite a bit, and diminish heat – you may find you want more. But you need to adjust to your own taste…

So, anyhow… put a splash of milk in the pan, add curry powder and paste it in, then add the rest of the milk. Add two roux cubes, and place over medium heat, stirring frequently. As the milk heats, the frozen roux melts and gradually blends into the milk without lumping. You don’t need the constant stirring and fuss you do with the traditional method, but you do need to stir enough that the milk doesn’t scorch, for one thing, and the cube doesn’t sit and all melt in one soggy lump. Once it is all melted in smoothly, raise the heat just a little, to bring the milk to a simmer. Once it simmers, lower a little, still stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens.

That’s the basic recipe…

Eggs in Curry Sauce - Fast and easy, meatless, American fusion food, that Grandma made!

OK, so now, taste for seasoning, and add more curry powder if you want. (And make yourself a note for next time!) While it was simmering, you could have peeled the eggs if you still needed to, and cut them in half. If you want (I did) add a cup of frozen peas and stir them in to heat. If you just cooked the eggs, you may just then pour the sauce over them and serve – most of the older recipes call for that. But if you used cooked eggs from the refrigerator, you may want to put them in the sauce to heat them a little first… I just put them on top and covered the pan for a minute or two, so they didn’t break up in the sauce.

Eggs in Curry Sauce - Fast and easy, meatless, American fusion food, that Grandma made!

I served it over rice, you can use toast, or serve them plain… whatever you like. I always have the ingredients of the meal in the house – it’s an option for days I get home late, or the meat didn’t thaw, or any time I need an unplanned meal in a rush. It’s meatless. It’s just been a terrific recipe to have up your sleeve for more than a century, now…

Eggs in Curry Sauce - Fast and easy, meatless, American fusion food, that Grandma made!

Yields 2 servings

Serves 3 eggs and sauce

71

Eggs in Curry Sauce

Eggs in Curry Sauce - Fast and easy, meatless, American fusion food that Grandma made!

15 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Peel the eggs, and cut them in half lengthwise. Set aside.
  2. Mix milk and curry powder in a pan, stir until smooth. Add roux cubes
  3. Gradually heat the milk, stirring often, until the cubes melt and blend in, and then until the milk comes to a simmer.
  4. Let it simmer, continuing to stir, until the sauce thickens.
  5. If desired, add the peas, stir well, and heat until the peas are heated through.
  6. Pour the simmering sauce over the eggs. (Or heat the eggs in the sauce, if needed.)
  7. Serve at once.
7.8.1.2
230
https://www.inhabitedkitchen.com/eggs-curry-sauce/

Nutrition

Eggs in Curry Sauce - Fast and easy, meatless, American fusion food, that Grandma made! Gluten Free

Save

Save

Save



2 thoughts on “Eggs in Curry Sauce”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.