It was my birthday the other week and amongst all my wonderful presents not shown in this photo were these THREE new cookbooks (as well as my favourite Jo Malone and some fab seasonings).
Yes, lucky and yes happy!
And in those three new recipe books contain - at a quick scan - over 1,000 recipes! Ha!
But to be honest that's fine by me, more than fine. I never feel overwhelmed by this or like I have to try them all.
I take cook books to bed and READ them, devour them, love them ... feel inspired by a few ideas to just try something similar and then, just every now and then, I find something that ... instantly, ooh, I WANT to cook.
So it was on opening Rick Stein's 'India' and turning the page to find his 'Egg Molee - Whole Eggs in Coconut Masala'. The photo looked amazing and the recipe looked simple - and I've fried whole hard-boiled eggs before for my son-in-law eggs recipe (so I'm prepared for how much they're going to protest and spit at being fried).
I've made it twice now for two (rather than for four as in the original) and in true me-style, I didn't just halve the quantities. My version is very firmly based on the original but it's ... I'd say ... it's a bit greedier and a little bit spicier.
I am in love with the whole book already and when I can tear myself away from this recipe (um, yes, I am making it again tonight) I'll definitely be trying a lot more.
But back to these eggs.
So simple, and perfect for cold nights as slightly spicy but utterly soothing and comforting.
Do cook your rice first and keep warm ready to serve.
For the way I make Rick Stein's recipe for two, you'll need ...
(* = update as of 27.11.16 as I made it with a lot of missing items and it was still amazingly good)
a good slosh of cooking oil (* used my 1-cal spray oil)
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and left whole
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
200ml coconut milk (as tins are 400ml, you can do as I'm doing and put the other half in the fridge and have this deliciousness again the next day!)
1 red onion, very very thinly sliced (* didn't have red onion so used a couple of spring onions)
a piece of ginger, maybe an inch, diced finely (* didn't have fresh ginger but wished I had as it IS better with it)
2 long green chillies, thinly sliced (keep the seeds in)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
a handful of coriander leaves, chopped (use flat leaf parsley if you don't like coriander)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
Heat a wok or heavy-based saucepan and add the oil and then the eggs and fry for a few minutes until they brown and crisp slightly in places. (* I used 20 sprays of my spray oil and made it in a frying pan - they didn't colour so much but SO good).
They will spit a LOT so be careful! I might also try to use a wok or non-stick pan next time I make this as some of the lovely brown egg bits ended up on the pan rather than on the eggs.
But don't worry if they don't colour too much as you then add the turmeric and chilli powder and stir the eggs for a few seconds so the spices are mixed in and the eggs are beautifully coloured with the gorgeous spices.
(* if using the spray oil there isn't really enough oil to cook the spices without burning so I added the coconut milk pretty much immediately after tipping in the spices and stirred it all together).
Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
Tip in the onions, ginger, chillies and salt and simmer for five minutes, stirring now and then. Add a splash of water if you think it's looking a bit thick - remember, it's up to you how thin or thick you prefer the sauce!
When the onions are softened, stir in the sugar, coriander and garam masala and stir to mix.
Remove from heat, halve the eggs and serve with the cooked rice and some more chopped coriander, if liked. I know lots of people don't like coriander so if you don't - leave it out! Or use some chopped flat leaf parsley instead, which I think would work really well.
I am really really interested to hear if you make this!
Some people are put off by the idea of eggs in curry (as some people are by the sound of my delicious fish tacos) but it is so completely lovely a dish that I really hope you make it - do let me know what you think.
And I hope you love it as much as I do ...