How lovely to see this common-place dish featured in the NYT! Gotta love those poached eggs with tomatoes– it works for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in my house! Original article follows:
Published: October 25, 2011
This is like a South Asian version of huevos rancheros. The sauce yields more than what you’ll need for one serving. Refrigerate or freeze what you don’t use.
1/2 tablespoon tamarind paste, or a 1/2-inch ball of tamarind pulp (1/4 ounce) plus 1/4 cup warm water, or 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small serrano pepper, minced (more to taste), or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1 to 2 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
3/4 cup cooked basmati rice
1. If using tamarind paste or a tamarind ball, soak in 1/2 cup warm water for 10 minutes, strain and reserve the water.
2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy saucepan or a deep, straight-sided skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until it is tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chili pepper and continue to sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spices and stir together for a minute. Pulse the tomatoes with their juice a few times in a food processor or mini-chop, then add to the pan, along with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the tamarind soaking water or lemon juice and the cayenne, taste and adjust seasonings. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3. For one serving, remove all but about 1/2 cup of the sauce from the pan and reserve for another time. Bring the sauce in the pan to a simmer. Break the egg or eggs into a teacup, and carefully tip into the tomato sauce. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tops of the whites are set but the yellow yolks show through. It’s important that the yolk be runny. Turn off the heat. Season the eggs with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with cilantro. Remove from the heat and serve over basmati rice.
Yield: 1 serving.
Advance preparation: The sauce will keep for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator.
Variation: There is a Moroccan version of this dish that is very similar. Follow the recipe instructions but change the ingredients as follows: Omit the tamarind, increase the amount of garlic to about 4 cloves, increase the amount of cumin to 1 1/2 teaspoons, and substitute 1 teaspoon caraway seeds for the curry powder. Add 1/3 cup each chopped parsley and chopped cilantro and simmer with the tomatoes. Instead of tamarind water add 1/2 cup plain water to the tomato sauce.
Nutritional information per serving (analyzed for 1 egg only): 298 calories; 2 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 186 milligrams cholesterol; 43 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 101 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 11 grams protein