Dimer Dalna, or the Bengali egg curry which is often called dimer jhol, is a dish for which I can never refuse to eat! This East-Indian Dimer dalna is an “egg-celent” dish and visually appealing too! Worthwhile to say here is that soft-cooked or somewhat raw eggs have Salmonella bacteria in them, which leads to a disease called Salmonellosis. This is the reason why these days people prefer eating hard-boiled (as in this dish), poached or scrambled eggs. What about you?
An “egg” has a tremendous potential to add volume, variety and look to any dish. Be it the Chinese lou shui eggs, the Italian frittata or the humble Indian egg curry. If you go to Foodbuzz’s “Eggland’s Best” recipe collection, you’ll be amazed by the plethora of egg recipes from across the world!
Nutritional facts and benefits on health
Eggs are highly nutritious. These are a very good source of selenium, iodine and vitamin B2. These are also rich in protein, phosphorus, molybdenum, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and vitamin B5.
An egg in your diet actually promotes weight loss and latest research has shown that it really helps in improving the cholesterol profile. Eggs protect eyesight, delay cataract signs and are good for heart. To some extent, these prevent blood clots. Rich in choline, eggs help in improving the memory. The incorporation of eggs in the diet is highly recommended for pregnant women, lactating mothers and older adults. Last but not the least, these are good for your skin, nails and hair too!
Egg curry variations in India
In India, egg curry is cooked in a number of ways. The kinds of spices (and their amounts) used in this dish may vary. The same dish, the all-time-favourite Indian egg curry, is cooked in different parts of India in different ways.
In Andhra Pradesh, the egg curry has mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and tamarind, which is popularly known as guddu pulusu. The Chettinad ( Southern India) way of cooking this curry essentially involves curry leaves and grated coconut in the recipe. The Punjabi egg curry requires garam masala and red chilli powders, whereas the Goan variation uses vinegar and tamarind pulp!
In the Eastern part of India (e.g., West Bengal), people prefer to make a medium-spicy curry with boiled eggs, cooked in a special way. This is called dimer dalna or the Bengali egg curry!
Dimer dalna is a special egg curry in which the hard-boiled eggs are carefully slit lengthwise all around the egg and then each egg is marinated with turmeric powder and salt and shallow-fried to get a rich yellow colour (as in the picture). After we get the fried hard-boiled eggs, we then proceed towards the making of the actual curry!
[Thank you, Ann, of Cooking Healthy For Me, for mentioning Cosmopolitan Currymania and honouring my cooking with your kind words on your post on Tandoori Chicken. Ann was recently among Foodbuzz Top 9 for this post.]
Dimer Dalna (An Indian Egg Curry)
- Hard-boiled eggs: 6
- Whole cinnamon stick (one-inch): 1
- Green cardamoms: 2
- Cloves: 3
- Bay leaf (optional): 1
- Onion (slit lengthwise and crushed lightly with pestle and mortar): ½ cup
- Garlic (chopped finely and crushed lightly): 1 tbsp
- Ginger paste: 1 tsp
- Coriander powder: 1.5 tsp
- Cumin powder: 1 tsp
- Red/green whole (or slit) chillies: 3
- Turmeric powder (divided): 1 tsp
- Salt (divided): 1.5 tsp
- Oil (divided): 3 tbsp
- Water: 1.5 cup
Method of preparation:
The first step is to make long slits all around each hard-boiled egg and marinate them for 15 min, after coating them evenly with ½ tsp turmeric powder and salt. Shallow fry these eggs now in 2 tbsp oil, until these have “fried” marks on them. Add the eggs only when the oil smokes and keep the flame to the medium level. Remove on an absorbent paper.
To make the dalna or the Bengali-style gravy, add the remaining oil to the same skillet and wait till the oil smokes. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, green cardamoms and cloves.
When these just turn brown, add the onion and the salt and sauté till these these become brownish. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 min and then add the ginger paste, mixed with a little water. Sauté for 1 min.
Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder and cumin powder, dissolved in a little water. Reduce the flame to minimum and stir the mixture continuously till the oil just starts leaving the sides.
Add the fried eggs now and smear these with the dried paste in the skillet, till the water is evaporated and the eggs are coated well.
Add a little more water (2 tbsp) and continue stirring till the mixture is again dry.
(Note: Please make sure that the gas flame is at the minimum while you do this, otherwise there are chances of the curry to turn bitter. Also, take extra care not to break the eggs.)
Add the rest of the water and the chillies now. Cover and increase the flame to a medium. Boil this for 15 min. This dish tastes scrumptious if teamed with plain, steamed rice.