Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dimer Jhol / Dimer Dalna

Egg Curry is a very popular dish in India, which we Bengalis say Dimer Dalna / Dimer Jhol. The first term, Dimer Dalna is addressed by the Bengalis residing in West Bengal, proudly calling themselves Ghoti and the second term Dimer Jhol is addressed by the Bengalis residing in the erstwhile East Bengal, now Bangladesh, who are called Bangal. Basically both the dishes are same in texture, taste, and in every angle. The only difference is that, the Ghotis' add sugar in the curry, which is simply a no-no situation for the Bangals'. Dimer Dalna / Dimer Jhol is a very popular Bengali egg curry and is repeatative in our daily food lives because of our love towards egg. We can eat a whole meal with an omlete and butter/ghee and rice. Dimer Jhol is more of a kind of subtle and everyday gravy dish, compared to its Dimer Kosha counterpart, which is a rich, hot and dry dish. Whereas Dimer Kosha goes with roti or chapatis, Dimer Jhol / Dimer Dalna goes perfetctly well with rice. When I was in school, mother used to make this dish in the morning. I used to eat the rice with the egg white and then in the end savored the egg yolk with some salt. My best friend eats mashed egg yolk with salt and green chilies.

Myself, being a proper Bengali (I hate the term Bong), is a Ghoti by birth but since my mother is of Bangladesh origin, I grew up in a complete Bangal attire and atmosphere. Sometimes I mix up the terms or processes in Bangal which my husband can't understand and says, this is what happens when you marry a girl of Bangal Bari (i.e. house).:) 

Both of us love eggs wholeheartedly. So, when it comes to the Egg Curry, I prepare the dish with a bunch of eggs. Normally its the poultry eggs that I use in the curry, but if you can lay your hands on some Haser Dim / Duck's egg...snatch it and add into the curry. The larger size and the big orange egg yolk makes a hell and heaven level of difference. You can also make egg curry, when you are out of fish and meats and have to serve something non-veg on the table. This simple and mouthwatering dish has won the hearts of Bengalis for ages and it will not let you down too. Dimer Jhol is also a favorite among the working bachelors who live alone, because of its simplicity and homely feel.

Dimer Jhol / Dimer Dalna
Serves 2

  • 4 large hard boiled eggs
  • a few green peas
  • some chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 medium parboiled potatoes - halved
  • 1 medium onion - halved
  • 2 medium tomatoes - halved
  • 4-5 fat cloves of garlic
  • 2 inch ginger stick
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tsp + 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp sugar (optional)
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil / any oil of your choice
  • Put the onions, tomatoes, green chilies, ginger and garlic in a blender and blend till it turns into a smooth paste.
  • With a sharp knife create 2-3 slits around each eggs.
  • Take a little salt and 1 tsp turmeric powder in a bowl and mix them evenly with the parboiled potatoes and eggs.
  • Now pour the oil in a large non-stick pan/kadai and fry the eggs and potatoes till they are golden from each side. Get them out of the pan and keep aside.
  • Now in the remaining oil add the green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and sugar and sauté till the oil becomes fragrant. By the time the sugar will caramelize too. Do not burn the sugar, or else it will give a bitter taste to the dish.
  • Now add the onion and tomato paste in the oil and sauté on medium flame till the paste is cooked properly and has started to ooze out oil. You will know its done when the mixture will start to stick to the pan. This step is very important, because if the tomatoes are not cooked properly it will spread its raw flavor to the gravy and the dish will be ruined.
  • When the paste is cooked, put your flame to low and add the fried potatoes and green peas. If you are using frozen green peas then thaw them before adding. I thaw the frozen green peas by holding them in a strainer under a flow of room temperature water. Mix evenly and add water.
  • When the water starts bubbling add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Cover and let all the things cook. Cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Now open the cover and add the fried eggs. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Add garam masala powder and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until your gravy reaches your desired consistency.
  • Serve with some chopped coriander leaves on top.

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