When I found this recipe by Princess Hira Devi it was just crying to be made. I saw it all clearly in my minds eye, those perfectly coddled eggs, made for a perfectly coddled person, sitting daintily at breakfast, waiting to be served by a liveried bearer.
First things first...do not attempt this unless you own a funnel small enough to fit a 1/8th " sized opening. You will find yourself shovelling beaten egg into an empty eggshell, with a salt spoon.
Secondly, read till the end to find out how commoners might attempt the same task.
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 tsp curry powder i.e. generic yellow masala sometimes known as Madras curry powder.
- 1/8 tsp ginger powder
- 1/8 sp mustard
- Dash of cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Flour and water paste
- 4 tblsp. butter
- Dry breadcrumbs
Make holes at both ends of the eggs, using a sharp needle. (The way to do this is without force or you may end up with a smashed egg.. One end can have a pin sized hole and the other a larger hole.)
Blow contents into a bowl (as you would when making easter eggs),and beat with seasonings.
Close up small end of egg shell with flour and water paste and stand in egg cartons for 10 minutes to dry. (Sad experience tells me it takes closer to half an hour to dry well.)
Pour egg mixture back into eggs using a small funnel. Fill eggs 3/4 full. Dry the tops of the eggs (Very important!) and seal them with the flour and water paste. Let dry 10 minutes (ha ha), then lower into warm water. Simmer for 20 minutes on very low heat. When done, plunge into cold water and peel off paste
At the table, bring eggs in their shells, peel them. Heat butter in a chafing dish. (love that). Dip peeled eggs in crumbs and brown in butter. The eggs are served with mint tea.
Methinks the princess had forgotten some essential part of the recipe. I'm afraid that she never, actually, ever, cooked them herself .
She would have found, as I did, that the eggs do not remain in the shell. They slowly leak out of the holes at either end when 'gently lowered into warm water'. Not much is left at the end of 20 minutes.
On peeling they were a ghastly grey green and benefited much from a roll in the breadcrumbs and smelled slightly better after being browned in the butter.
BUT they didn't taste bad. So I figure, the way to keep the maharani part but dispense with the slavery, would be to break six eggs into a bowl, mix in the ingredients well, fill them into poaching pans and cook till done .
Serve on a bed of browned breadcrumbs, moistened with melted butter or, better still, hot buttered toast