Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Hansher Dim Kosha- Duck Eggs Fry

I always cook with a story behind it! And my past reflects majorly in all that comes out of my kitchen. Why won’t it, we bongs have a major past entwined with food. And one of the most loved dishes was Hansher Dimer Kosha- Duck Egg Fry. Don’t be misguided by the word fry; kosha/fry means a curry which is made with minimal amounts of water. Its dry and lip-smackingly spicy, to be had with hot peas pulao or plain white rice.
Upper caste Brahmin Bongs never really cherished poultry ever. 

Widely believed to be impure amongst the clergy, poultry was taken as a food for other religions. But, so was true for onion and garlic, and you would find a lot of grannies till this date averse to the smell of garlic and/or onion. Poultry was slowly introduced in the Bengali diet, and it was through the humble duck eggs back then. Somehow people were tolerant for the ducks, and the tasty dim/egg helped as well. A lot of moms of various different households all over Bengal will still crinkle up their nose on the mention of a hen’s egg, but would happily tuck in if it’s Hansher Dim.

Now the equations have changed though, and sourcing duck eggs in the metro city of Mumbai was pretty difficult and expensive. But it’s a classic, and a classic recipe never fails!

4 duck eggs hard boiled
1 potato peeled and quartered
3 tbsp mustard oil
1 Bay leaf
1 inch Cinnamon stick
2 small onions finely chopped
1 medium tomato grated
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp curd
¼ tsp kashmiri mirch
1 tsp ground coriander
1 big pinch cinnamon powder
Turmeric and salt to taste

Peel the eggs and score the surface, so that it will soak up the curry. Marinade the eggs in salt and turmeric and set it aside.

In a non-stick wok, heat 2 tbsp oil and fry the potatoes to golden on each side. Take off from heat and salt it.

In the remaining oil, fry the eggs till light brown on each side. Set it aside.

Now add another tbsp of oil in the hot wok, and put in the whole spices till aromatic. At this stage add the onions and fry it till it reduces to golden mush.

Tip: to accelerate colouring of the onions, add a big pinch of sugar. The sugar will fasten caramelizing.

Once the onion is cooked to your liking, add the grated tomato flesh and ginger. Fry till the oil separates out from the sides of the pan. It should take about 3-4 minutes to achieve this stage on medium flame.

In the mean while, make a paste out of the coriander, red chilli and turmeric powders. Once the oil separates, add the spices onto the hot curry mix, and fry till its aromatic.

Nicely whisk the curd, and add it to the curry mix, whisking constantly to avoid it from curdling.

Once happy with the look of the curry paste, add the eggs and potato, mix it in gingerly so as to not break any of it. Add about ¼ cup of water and let it simmer covered so that the potatoes cook down and eggs soak up the curry.

Once the potatoes are soft, sprinkle over cinnamon powder, mix it well and take it off the heat. Garnish with slit green chillies and serve with rice or hot phulka.    

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