I’d love to tell you a story about how I once found a man from Bengal hiding in a cupboard, but sadly that isn’t true. This is a classic Bengali curry, and rather happily this dish can probably be made using ingredients from your pantry.
NOTE: The bay leaves in this curry are Indian bay leaves, which have a flavor similar to cinnamon. They are very different from ordinary European bay leaves, so if you can’t find them, leave them out.
Serves 4 as a main course
1¾-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 red onions, finely diced
2 Indian bay leaves
1½ x 14-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground red chile
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1½ teaspoons garam masala
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon sugar
Use a mortar and pestle to grind the ginger and garlic to a paste with ¼ teaspoon of salt, and leave to one side.
Put the oil into a large saucepan over medium heat and, when hot, add the red onions and bay leaves. Fry for 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and starting to brown, then add the ginger and garlic paste. Stir to mix, fry for a few minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes.
Leave to cook for around 10 minutes, or until the tomato sauce has thickened nicely. Then add the ground red chile, cinnamon, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the sugar, and cook for a further 10 minutes.
In the meantime, boil the eggs. Put them into a deep-sided pan and fill with enough water to submerge them. Bring the water to the boil, then turn it down to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes for a squidgy yolk. Run the eggs under a cold tap for a minute and peel.
Halve the eggs and fold them into the curry, then serve immediately with big, delicious naan or some rice.