That first tear of chapati (flatbread), that first swoop through the curry, that first morsel of glistening fish with a scatter of cilantro as it gets scooped up into your mouth, that is a moment I look forward to every time I make this fish salan. I love the subtle notes of the golden onion, the lone tomato, and the moderate amount of fenugreek. The whole spices are there, but less aggressively so resulting in a curry that seems so perfect for this time of the year.
I didn’t grow up eating a lot of fish, not unless you count fish fingers as fish. It is only in recent years that I have started to cook it for a household that can’t live on chicken breasts alone and discovered how much I truly enjoy it’s delicacy. It is also an added bonus that once you’ve developed the curry part, the actual fish takes only minutes to cook meaning you could make the masala, set it aside and when you’re ready to eat it add the fish and finish the cooking.
My sister in law suggested adding fenugreek earlier in the cooking process and I find it works well, the flavor of the fenugreek seems to permeate the curry and the fish in a way my usual ‘last five minutes’ addition doesn’t. If you really enjoy the flavor of fenugreek you could easily double it here. If you are not a fan then leave it out and this will still be yummy.
Confession: I have been so so homesick for the last few weeks. By homesick I mean homesick for Karachi. I miss my family, I miss the noise, I even miss the smell – and let me tell you Karachi does not smell particularly pretty. I also really miss the food. A lot of how I cook is shaped by how my husband and in laws eat, so there are only a few things that I make with any regularity that bring back memories of lunches and dinners at home. Lunches and dinners that involved extending our table so that we can could seat what was then our family of 7. Lunches and dinners that began with us waiting for my father to come to the table so that we could start eating while we surreptitiously picked at roti or naan. We always ate together; I don’t think I knew there was any other way.
Anday Aalu ka Salan or Egg Curry is one of those dishes that tastes like home. Ironically this recipe is actually not from my mother, but Shanji, my aunt/the big sister I never had. She is the cook behind the biryani recipe here. Shanji has mastered the art of making food from home taste like food from home even when none of the ingredients here taste like they do in Pakistan. I tell you that lady is a genius.
Before we get started, I think it is pretty evident that many of the foods we have made so far are oil heavy. That unfortunately is the nature of the beast. I do recommend, as always, that you drain excess oil off the top when you are done cooking. As your dish cools it will rise to the top and then you can gently tip it out or blot it with paper towels. The frying of the boiled egg – as funny as that sounds – makes this dish a little extra special, but feel free to skip it if you want.
Also I am currently cooking for 5 adults plus my tot so I doubled this recipe which is why it will look like I have a whole lot more masala than you will. However, the amounts of onion, potatoes and tomatoes are representative of this recipe.