Taken from Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka by Bree Hutchins (Murdoch Books; £20).
Photography: Bree Hutchins
- 6 free-range organic eggs
- 185 ml (6 fl oz/ ¾ cup) coconut oil, plus 1 tablespoon extra
- ½ red onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, ground into a paste
- 1–2 thin green chillies, cut into thirds
- 16 cm (6¼inch) piece rampe (pandanus) leaf, cut into 2 cm (¾inch) pieces
- 2 small to medium vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into quarters, then small wedges
- 1 teaspoon roasted curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon unroasted chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, dissolved in a little warm water
- ¾ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- ¾ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) coconut cream
- salt, to taste
Boil the eggs for 10–12 minutes, or until hard-boiled, then drain and refresh in cold water. Carefully peel the eggs and then prick each egg two or three times with a fork (this allows the flavours of the curry to be absorbed)
Heat the coconut oil in a small wok over medium–high heat and shallow-fry the eggs, spooning them with the oil and turning them over, so both sides are just starting to turn dark golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Drain off the oil left in the wok, then return the wok to the stove
Heat the extra coconut oil in the wok over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic paste, chillies, rampe and tomatoes. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions have softened. Add the thuna paha, turmeric, chilli powder, salty water, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes. Add the coconut cream and stir to combine, then add the eggs. Bring almost to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve with a main curry and with rice.
Rampe leaf is also known as screwpine leaf and is sold in bunches from Asian grocers.