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Budget bites

Spinach egg curry.

If waiting in lines and facing empty supermarket shelves is not on your to-do list, Preeti Maheshwari shares an easy recipe for the days when you need to get creative with what is left in the fridge. By combining eggs that need to be eaten and spinach that’s nearing its use-by date with spices that are in most people’s cupboards, Preeti concocts a delicious, warming curry that’ll be sure to please even the fussiest eaters.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SPINACH PUREE

1 bunch fresh spinach leaves (approximately 120g)

1 green chilli (optional)

INGREDIENTS FOR THE GRAVY

4 hard-boiled eggs

2 tablespoon cooking oil

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup tomato puree

Salt to taste

½ cup water

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 tablespoon fresh cream (optional)

INGREDIENTS FOR THE TEMPERING

1 tablespoon ghee/butter

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 whole dry red chillies

METHOD

Blanch and puree spinach:

Boil water in a large saucepan with a pinch of salt. Fill a heat-proof bowl with ice water and set aside.

Add spinach leaves to the boiling water. Cook for a minute or two or until the spinach is tender. Turn off the heat.

Drain the water and immediately transfer the blanched spinach to the bowl of ice-cold water. This blanching step helps to retain the vibrancy of the spinach leaves.

Blend the blanched spinach leaves and green chili to a smooth puree. Set aside while preparing the gravy.

Boil eggs:

Place eggs in a large saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water until the eggs are covered. Season the water with a tablespoon of salt. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Boil the eggs for 12 to 15 minutes over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and let cool for five minutes then run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Peel and slice the eggs into equal halves. Set aside.

Prepare gravy:

Heat oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Add bay leaf, cumin seeds, and chopped ginger and garlic. Fry until garlic turns light golden in colour.

Next, add the chopped onion. Saute over low heat until onion becomes transparent.

Add the tomato puree and salt. Cover and cook for five to seven minutes.

Next add spinach puree and season with remaining spices. Stir to combine. Cover and cook again for another seven minutes.

Next add water. Then mix the eggs gently into the spinach gravy. Simmer the curry for one to two minutes while you prepare the tempering.

Add a tablespoon of cream to enhance the taste and make it less spicy.

Prepare tempering:

Heat ghee or butter in a small pan. Add cumin seeds and dry red chilli. Fry for a few seconds until fragrant. Pour this tempering over the spinach curry.

Serve the curry warm with naan/chapati/paratha or steamed rice.

Spinach egg curry served with plain paratha and steamed rice.