Kerala Egg Roast Masala Recipe by Joshua Thomas

Kerala Egg Roast Masala

One New Year’s Eve, Joshua Thomas, a chef at my restaurant Dévi, stayed with us at the estate. Ringing in the New Year with a fellow New Yorker was fantastic, and sitting down to the delicious breakfast he prepared for us on New Year’s Day was even better. Joshua prepared an Kerala Egg Roast Masala , which has been a Christmas Day staple in his family since he was a boy.

Kerala Egg Roast Masala use a lot of onions, thinly sliced and cooked slowly until they melted into one another and were sticky sweet and flavorful. The eggs were hard-boiled before being cooked in the onions with tomato and a variety of spices, resulting in a dish that transported me to Kerala’s coastal canals. Make the effort just before serving to grind the finishing powder with a mortar and pestle – you will be rewarded handsomely.


  • 12 peeled hard-boiled eggs
  • 20 fresh or 30 frozen curry leaves
  • 6 whole garlic cloves
  • 6 big red onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 green cardamom pods, whole
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, halved, cored, and chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • a quarter teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 2 in.
  • 1 peeled and finely minced 2-inch fresh ginger root
  • 1 bunch finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup oil with no flavor

How to make it

  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil with the curry leaves, cloves, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and cumin seeds for 2 to 3 minutes over medium-high heat, until the cinnamon starts to unfurl, stirring frequently to prevent the cumin seeds from burning.
  2. Cook for about 1 minute, or until the ginger becomes sticky and fragrant.
  3. Reduce the heat to minimum, add the onions, salt, and turmeric, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deeply browned and caramelized. If they begin to stick to the bottom of the pot or become too dark, add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and stir up the sticky bits at the bottom.
  4. Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, grind the fennel seeds and peppercorns into a fine powder while the onions caramelize (if using a spice grinder, you may need to double the amount, so that the spices get finely ground).
  5. Toss the hard-boiled eggs into the onion mixture and gently roll them to cover them. Fry the eggs for 2-3 minutes, or until they have developed a light brown skin.
  6. Toss the tomato into the pot and cook, stirring periodically, for 4-6 minutes, or until the tomato juices have evaporated and the onions have a jammy appearance.
  7. Cook for 1 minute after adding the fresh coriander, then add the fennel-peppercorn powder. Salt can be tasted. Serve right away.