Sunday, March 2, 2008

Egg Curry

Hostelites, especially males, living in the Deccan area were really lucky to have the Lucky restaurant. Situated in the prime location of Deccan Gymnkhana, between Hong Kong lane and the Champion sports shop, it proudly served most of the Fergusson, B.M.C.C and M.E.S Garware college students. Of course, it was a popular dining spot for families, too. The structure of the restaurant was very similar to CafĂ© Good Luck, the other Irani restaurant on the block. It was divided into two sections. One served tea and snacks. And the other was for dining and families. Dining at Lucky (or Good Luck for that matter) took you back into the sixties. Mostly because it hadn’t been redecorated since the sixties. The design of the Formica on the tables was a mere suggestion of what it may have looked like 3 decades ago. The surface of most tables was so worn out that there were huge black spots caused by wear and tear. There were areas of the walls with extensive water damage and the ones that didn’t were covered in calendars inevitably showing the wrong month, if not the year. Creaking fans that hadn’t been oiled for years would rotate so slowly that you could see the individual blades. The washbasins were a treat. The metal taps were inevitably chipped. (How does a metal tap get chipped?) The soap dish had, I kid you not, dish washing detergent powder and usually a squeezed out slice of lemon. Perhaps it’s because you needed something with real grease-cutting power with all the food they served. The service, however, was always good. Although I wasn’t a hostelite, I would frequent Lucky a lot. Sometimes I would get some tea and bread before college. The elderly gentleman who managed the counter and all the bakery products under it would put an extra dollop of butter on my thick, unevenly cut slices of sourdough bread. Maybe he felt sad for kids who stayed away from home and extra butter was his way of showing love. Lucky restaurant was a family dining room for many a student living away from their families. And for all its shortcomings, the food was really good; it was cheap; and it felt like home. I was really sad when I heard that Lucky was torn down a while back to make room for a shopping mall. The thought of future generations of Puneites going through life without the Lucky Restaurant is really sad. The place where I consumed countless cups of tea and mhaska-pav, biryanis and egg curries is now just a memory. I try to recreate the Lucky taste in my kitchen, but it just isn’t the same.

7 hard-boiled Eggs
2 large Onions shredded
1 cup Tomato Puree
1/2 cup coconut flakes
4 tsp chopped Coriander
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
3/4 Garam Masala
2 bay leaves
1 tsp crushed Garlic
1/2 tsp Ginger paste
4 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt to taste

Roast coconut flakes till slightly brown on the edges and place aside
Peel eggs, halve longitudinally and place aside
In a pot heat oil and add ginger, garlic and bay leaves
As they start to splatter, add onion and heat till it turns brown
Add roasted coconut and stir
Add the tomato paste and mix
Allow it to cook for a couple of minutes
Add coriander, chili, turmeric, salt and garam masala and allow it to cook for a few minutes
Take the yolk from one egg and mix with the sauce
Add one cup of water and allow it to simmer
Carefully fold in the egg halves into the sauce and allow to cook for a minute or two
Serve with bread or rice