Sunday, December 04, 2011

Poached egg with spiced cabbage

Madhur Jaffrey suggests this combination (or rather, eggs with any kinds of spiced vegetables, including leftovers), in her book Curry Easy.

I used a quarter of a cabbage, finely chopped and washed; 1 clove of garlic, chopped; 1tsp mustard seed; 1tsp cumin seeds; a few pinches of ground ginger; cayenne pepper; and salt. Normally, I like to soften cabbage by boiling or steaming it, if only briefly; but here I prefer the crunchier texture and more assertive flavour that results from simply cooking the cabbage in the spiced oil. (Of course, the washed cabbage will introduce some water, which will soon evaporate.)

The earthenware dish in the picture will go on the hob. I warmed about a tbsp of sunflower oil in it over a low to medium heat, and cooked the garlic, mustard seed, and cumin for a minute. I threw in the cabbage, with the ginger, cayenne, and salt, and cooked it for a further eight minutes or so. The cabbage cooked down and became glossy with the oil and spices. I turned down the heat towards the end, as the cabbage threatened to catch.

For the eggs: I broke two eggs into separate cups, and slipped them into a saucepan of boiling water (with no salt, or vinegar - see this entry and the note it refers to). When the water was on the point of returning to a simmer, I turned off the heat, covered the pan, and left it for five minutes. I lifted the eggs one-by-one from the pan with a slotted spoon, shaking them gently to get rid of excess water, and placed them on the cabbage.