Many of you will know that Mahe is a coastal town in Kerala that was under French rule in the pre-independence era of India. This made for a very interesting situation as it was a French colony within a British colony and it remained a part of "French India" until 1954, a solid 7 years after the British left! There were a lot of cross-cultural influences, be it in language, food, customs, etc.
Being my dad's ancestral town and where I spent a good 7 years of my life, I have a lot of memories associated with it-from the famous St. Theresa of Avila's Church to the beautiful beaches and the estuary where you can see the Mahe river blending into the Arabian Sea, giving you unforgettable sunsets (right behind my grandparents' house). Nights are spent with the cool sea breeze wafting through the house and the sounds of the gentle waves lapping on the banks of the river....well, sometimes I forget that this is a food blog! So to get back to the topic at hand-Poached Egg Stew! I figured this was definitely a "love child" of the French and Kerala cuisine....like so many other fantastic recipes, some of which I've featured on this blog (see the end of this post for more Mahe-special recipes). This one is easy to make and we usually pair it with "appams" or bread for breakfast. For me, the best part of this, apart from the fact that its delicious, is that I don't have to boil any eggs and shell them!
For 4 people
4 eggs (of course, this is up to you-take 8 if you're all egg lovers!)
2 large onions, sliced long and thin
2 large tomatoes, sliced long and thin
2 green chillies, slit (add or reduce, according to taste)
1-inch cinnamon stick
4-5 curry leaves
1 tablespoon cornflour (optional)
1 cup thick freshly squeezed coconut milk (or 4 tablespoons coconut milk powder dissolved in 1 cup warm water)
2 tablespoons coriander leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
White or black pepper powder, to taste
Salt to taste
In a wide pan, heat the oil and let the cloves, cinnamon, and curry leaves sizzle.
Add the onions and fry till translucent.
Now tip in the tomatoes and green chillies and stir till it is semi-pulpy.
Add salt to taste and then the water. Let it boil.
Turn down the heat and break the eggs carefully, one by one, into the pan, taking care to leave some space between them.
Simmer for 3-4 minutes until the egg white coagulates or solidifies around the yolk. Ideally, it should still be runny and not too firm.
Now add in the coconut milk (stir the cornflour into the milk first).
Let it simmer for another minute or two.
Sprinkle the pepper powder on top, garnish with the coriander leaves, and serve hot.
TIPS: After you break the eggs in, do not stir around with a spoon. Just tilt the handles of the pan and give a gentle shake when you want to mix everything together.
For other "Mahe fusion" recipes on my blog, try these:
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