Eggs in India?

"I was thinking about the role of eggs in the various cultures of the world, and thinking that poultry eggs and bird eggs are eaten 'everywhere,'" says opinionatedchef. "But then I realized that I have never seen a reference or recipe for eggs in any Indian cookbooks I've read. Have I missed something?"

"Eggs are not eaten by certain types of observant Hindus and also by Jains," says luckyfatima. "This is because they are thought of like meat/non-veg, and like meat thought to produce a negative effect on the body, mind, and soul (they are tamasic according to ayurvedic food/health associations). However, many Hindus do eat eggs (as well as meat), and Indians of every other religious background also eat eggs."

So what are the great egg dishes of India? Eggs vindaloo is one, says linguafood. luckyfatima has experienced dozens of uses—"scrambled egg in masala (anday ki bhurji), aloo anda (hard boiled egg and potato in a spicy gravy) is a very ubiquitous home 'curry' fare, hard boiled egg in curry with vegetables, and on and on," she says. "People eat fried egg with toast or with paratha for breakfast." There is also khaghina, "which is Urdu-speaking Muslim style scrambled eggs, and also of that community the Nargisi kofta or meatballs stuffed with a hard boiled egg, eggs can be used as garnish in fancy rice dishes, etc. There is egg pakora, too (so easy, just dip the hard boiled egg in pakora batter). The first time I ever ate a soft boiled egg was in India—just served in a bowl with salt and black pepper, amazing!"

"In the South you can get a Keralite appam (sort of like a dosa)," she continues, "with a fried egg inside, eat dosa with egg, Hyderabad has the famous egg-curry of egg in tomato gravy (anday ka salan), there is the similar Andhra egg curry, egg on uttapam, and on and on."

Discuss: No Eggs in The Great Cuisines of India?