Mama’s Punjabi Recipes: Uble Ande Di Turri (Boiled Egg Curry)


Ande (eggs) are very popular all over India, but especially so in the North during the winter months. It is common to find cart vendors selling quick, hot boiled eggs, peeled and sliced if you want, with spices, to warm people up. With a little gas powered stove, they can even cook up a vegetable omelette or eggs any style, with a slice or two of bread, at a cheap price for those who have to eat quickly.

Eggs are also very popular in Indian homes, especially for nashta (breakfast) which usually comes an hour or two after morning chai (tea), and the most popular way is an omelette with onions eaten with a crispy, hot parantha! But eggs aren’t usually kept in home fridges because, for one, they aren’t sold in nice little containers, and also in deference to those in the house who may be vegetarian. If you want to eat some, people usually run to the corner market to get them.

Part of the reason eggs are so popular is that farming techniques have allowed for more and larger eggs to be sold. This has reduced the price of eggs and made them readily available, as they are sold in any corner provisions (grocery) stall.

They are usually stacked several rows high on cardboard egg crate trays though they are not refrigerated so you have to be careful hold old they may be. In the past, the eggs were much smaller and from free-range hens, but still the eggs (as also most vegetables) sold in India just taste better than those found in grocery stores in the US.

Eggs are an easy source of protein and contain an almost equal amount of fat. They are high in the vitamin choline, phosphorous, sodium, potassium and also cholesterol and contain many other nutrients.

This is a quick, easy recipe to make for those unannounced guests or for when you don’t have anything else in the fridge and everyone is inpatient and hungry. When served hot, it offers a nice complement to plain rice. If you already have the masala ready, this dish is even faster to make, but the secret is to make sure the curry is thick.


6 large ande (eggs)
1 large pyaaz (onion)
1 medium tamater (tomato) – soft ones are best
1 medium clump of adrak (ginger root)
1 medium kernel of lasan (garlic)
3 cups of water
2 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil
Tomato paste to taste
Spices (to your taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), haldi (turmeric) and sukha dhania powder (dried coriander seed powder)


1. Drop the eggs in boiling water and let them stay for at least 3 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and let the eggs cool down. When cool, peel them and then cut each lengthwise in half, making sure not to crumple the yolk. Carefully arrange the cut eggs in a wide serving bowl.
3. While the eggs are boiling, chop the ginger, onions and garlic and brown them in the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often.
4. Chop the tomato in chunks and add to the mixture and stir till the masala is soft and thick. Add the spices to your taste – if you have others you wish to use, add them too. Add half a tablespoon of tomato paste, to enhance the taste, texture and color.
5. Now add the water and let the gravy thicken up a bit and bring to a rapid boil, then turn the heat off.
6. Pour the hot gravy over the eggs and cover the serving bowl. Leave covered for 10 minutes so that the flavor seeps into the eggs.
7.For best taste, serve with hot plain rice and a little achaar (pickle) of your choice.



Many people say that the hardest parts of cooking Indian vegetarian dishes is the preparation in cutting the vegetables and making the base for all the curries. This is a complaint of many younger cooks in the US who don’t have the time – or patience – to cook and often just resort to faster dishes – like pastas – to fill their stomachs instead!

One way to cut down the time required for cooking is to have some of the time consuming items ready before hand. You can always get many vegetables cut and cleaned from the frozen foods aisles, but the masala is something you have to make. When doing so, just make a larger amount and freeze it. I would do that for my sons when I would visit them.

When you are ready to cook, just take a tablespoon or two and drop it into the dish with water to create the curry and add the other spices that you want.


mamas recipe inside3
Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes