Brunch is – and should be – about celebrating the enjoyment of eating. We like to indulge in a multi-course brunch, especially when everything is spread down the table to share. This usually occurs once a week, at the weekend. Often you want something a little more than your typical eggs – you want something flavoursome and exciting. This is a dish created for just such an occasion, inspired by our love of India.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Photography: Laura Edwards
Season: Late Spring/Summer
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
small bunch of coriander, stalks finely chopped and leaves kept whole
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1⁄2 aubergine, cut into 1cm cubes
handful of okra, sliced lengthways
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
handful of spinach
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
1 lime, quartered
naan bread or flatbreads
For The Spice Mix
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
For The Yoghurt Dressing
4 tablespoons natural yoghurt
1 lime, zest and juice
1⁄2 red onion, finely chopped salt
For The Spicy Oil
1 tablespoon salted butter
pinch of chilli flakes
Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5.
First make the spice mix. Put all the spices into a dry frying pan and roast until fragrant. Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
Next make the tomato sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a pan over a medium heat, then add the shallots, 1 of the cloves of garlic, the ginger and chopped coriander stalks. Add 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture and stir for 5 minutes (store the rest in an airtight container for up to 6 months). Add the chopped tomatoes and maple syrup. Cook for 10–15 minutes, then set aside. This will be the top layer of your dish.
Heat the remaining coconut oil in a separate pan and add the rest of the sliced garlic. When it is lightly golden, add the aubergine, okra and turmeric. Cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5–8 minutes. Once the vegetables have cooked down, add the spinach and immediately take off the heat.
Divide this mixture between two ovenproof ramekins or pour into a large ovenproof dish, and then spoon the tomato sauce on top. Use the back of a spoon to make four little wells and then crack an egg into each one. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until done to your liking.
While the eggs are in the oven, make the dressing by combining the yoghurt with the lime zest and juice, a pinch of the spice mix, the red onion and a pinch of salt.
Now for the spicy oil: we like making it with butter but you can use oil. Simply heat together the butter and chilli flakes in a pan over a medium heat – take it off when it starts to brown a little.
When done, remove the eggs from the oven. To serve, dollop some of the yoghurt dressing on top and pour over the sizzling butter. Garnish with the coriander leaves, chilli and lime quarters and serve with hot naans or fresh flatbreads.
Lucy & Jemima’s cooking is simple, seasonal, honest and delicious — whether you’re eating at their restaurant or cooking from their book. A Love of Eating is about their approach to cooking and eating — creating colourful, fresh and wholesome meals to share and enjoy, always with a little bit of fun. Published by Square Peg with beautiful photography by Laura Edwards.