I was supposed to post this about 2 days back, but life got the better of me and I had to run off tending to certain issues, with an impromptu trip this coming weekend topping the charts. I love being spontaneous. I don't care for planning and such, much to Ro's annoyance. Which is why he made a big deal about travelling on a long weekend when every B&B would be packed, prices would be over the roof, infested with tourists and of course the weather (which btw hasn't improved since my last update).
But me... I found that challenging. I said I'd do all the planning and he agreed. But it was only when I started planning that I realised every decent B&B was indeed occupied or they all needed a minimum of 3 days stay on a long weekend (Bank holidays as we call it here). It still didn't stop me, and I spent my entire time researching and sending out emails to such extent that when I received replies, I was thoroughly confused as to which B&B it was and where, which- thanks to my poor organisational skills- I hadn't bothered to document. So it was double the job, going back and figuring out where it was etc etc.
So that's precisely why this post took a while to make it here. I made this a couple of weeks back, when the weather was good and sunny hours filled my days. I haven't touched the camera in a while and its slowly beginning to grow on me. My oven is still not fixed and till I get that done, I guess I shall be very quiet around here. It's also my second time experimenting with quails egss. Initially I was a bit psyched out by them and I cant really explain why. But this time was more peaceful and the teeny tiny birds didn't come to my mind when I was boiling it. This is perfect as a side dish to rotis and parathas and even appams, but a word of warning, its bloody spicy. So go easy on the chillies if you don't want to have a heart burn.
Recipe adapted from Lekshmi Nair's cookery show
Quails eggs- 12
Potatoes- 2 large, peeled and diced into medium size pieces
Shallots- 5 small or 1 large
Dry red chilli- 2
Garlic- 10 cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
Whole peppercorn- 1 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Oil- 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Curry leaves- 2 to 3 sprigs
Water- 1/4 cup
Coconut milk- 1/2 cup (optional)
Salt- to taste
Similarly, cook the potatoes in boiling water till about 3/4th done. Drain and keep aside
Grind to a coarse consistency the shallots, dry red chillies, garlic and peppercorns, either using a pestle and mortar or in a food processor/ grinder. It need not be smooth.
Heat the oil in a kadai and add the mustard seeds.
Once they start to splutter throw in the curry leaves followed by the crushed masala.
Once the raw smell of the masala disappears, add the Kashmiri chilli powder.
Sauté on medium heat till the oil starts separating, could take about 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the pre-cooked potatoes and salt and toss around, making sure they are well coated in the masala.
Add the water and coconut milk, stir and close with a lid. Let it cook for about 5 to 6 minutes on medium-high heat.
Open the lid and stir, scraping the bottom if the masala has stuck to the pan.
Add the sliced eggs and fold them in together with the potatoes and masala. It is ok if some of the yolk gets mixed with the masala, but don't over do the stirring bit.
Check for salt, add if required, give one final stir and take it off the flame.
Serve with roti, parathas or even appam and idiappam.
If you are not using coconut milk, increase the water amount to 1/2 cup.
Original recipe called for about 4 dry red chillies. I only used only 2 and we couldn't handle the heat.
This is a semi dry preparation. If you want a gravy version, add more water or coconut milk.