Recipe for Bengali Egg Curry {Dim er Dalna}

The eggs are breakfast food, or not just. You can make so much more with them. They are a favoured ingredient of Bengali mothers when it's the end of the month and the food budget is precariously diminished. Make a curry with eggs, throw in some potatoes and you have an one pot curry to feed the entire family. And the good thing is eggs are mostly everyones' favourite. So no complaints or tantrums while eating the meal. 
The egg curry served by the Indian Railways is also pretty special. I have some cherished memories of eating egg curries served in rectangle steel plates by the railway pantries. Of course it is pretty different from the home cooked curries, being commercially cooked on a large scale, but it has a distinctive taste and a fiery red look which many of us love.
This curry is also pretty popular in small eateries that dot the Indian cities catering to those travelling for work.It is mostly served with rice, but a drier curry is also made which is served with flat breads.
Depending on their food budgets, Bengali mothers make the eggs stretch. If there are sufficient number of eggs, they boil and fry those before dunking them in the gravy. Then everyone is served one or two whole eggs during the meal.  But if there are not sufficient number of eggs, they make a huge omelette and then cleverly slice the omelettes into thin strips before dunking them in the gravy. Clever ways of bypassing a tight budget!

Today I am sharing with you the egg curry that my mother often makes at home. Both my brother and me, we were/ are huge egg fans and when this was in the menu while we were growing up, mealtimes were happy times. My husband  is crazy about eggs and loves this curry. I make this sometimes at home. It is a great recipe when there are no fresh food left in the fridge because a few pantry ingredients are all you need to make this curry.

To make Dim er Dalna for 4 people you need~
1. 8 hardboiled eggs
2. 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 4 cubes each, keep them in cold water to stop them from going brown
3. 2 medium sized onions, thinly sliced
4. 1 heaped tea spoon of ginger & garlic paste each
5. 2/3 green chillies, snapped from the middle
6. 2 medium sized, ripe tomatoes, sliced or 1 tea spoon of tomato puree
7. Two tea spoon of turmeric powder 
8. 1 tea spoon of coriander powder & red chilli powder, each
9. 2 bay leafs
10. Half a tea spoon of sugar
11. Salt to taste
12. A generous pinch of homemade garam masala
13. Two table spoons of vegetable/sunflower oil

Let's make the curry~
1. Hard boil the eggs, takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Once the eggs have boiled and have been peeled, take a knife and gently slit the egg white in at least 4 places, be careful not to break into the yolk. This is done to let the spices seep it, also boiled egg whites have a tendency to burst open while frying if kept whole. 
2. Take one tea spoon of turmeric powder, a pinch of red chilli powder and salt and evenly coat the boiled eggs.
3. In a deep bottomed pan, heat the oil and fry the eggs till they turn golden brown like in the photo above. Remove the eggs from the oil and keep aside.
4. In the same pan, in the remaining oil add the sliced onion and the sugar. Fry till the onion turns light brown. The sugar is added not only to balance the flavours, but also to caramelise the onion.
5. Add the coriander powder, red chilli powder and the turmeric powder and cook till the masalas are cooked. This will take 5/6 minutes.
6. Next add the ginger and garlic paste and the chopped tomatoes or the tomato puree. Fry till everything is cooked together nicely and the oil starts to separate from the masala and bubble on the sides.
7. Now the potato cubes need to be added after draining them. Fry the potatoes for 12/15 minutes till they start browning along the edges and the pieces turn translucent.
8. At this stage add 2 cups of water, cover the pan and let the potatoes cook.
9. Keep checking and stirring in between, this will take about 20 minutes or so to boil.
10. Add salt according to taste, about one tea spoon should suffice and the fried eggs, mix everything well, add a little more water if necessary, and let it cook for a further 10 minutes or so.
11. Taste the gravy, adjust the seasoning if needed. I add the green chillies and the generous pinch of  garam masala at this stage.
12. Mix everything well and let the curry rest for 10/15 minutes before serving with hot, steamed rice or chapatis.

Following this recipe, the egg curry you will get is a regular one served at home. But if you want to take it for your guests or want to make this for a special occassion double the amount of oil used, fry the potato cubes till they are golden brown {roughly takes double the time} or skip the potatoes altogether and reduce the amount of water added to make the gravy. The result would be a rich egg curry which can be served with pulao {Indian fried rice}, or parathas {Indian fried bread}. Will post that recipe which in Bengali called dim er kosha soon.
More on this egg curry in this post of mine.


  1. Yummy!!! My fav dish. Nothing like having this with rice for dinner!


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