30-Minutes or Less!/ Recipes: Non-Vegetarian

Fried Egg Sambal

A few days ago I had a wonderful lunch meeting with an editor of a local magazine. Over a slew of emails deciding on what time and day would best suit both of us, she suggested we meet for Thai food. That’s when I knew I was going to really like her. And the moment she asked for her Tom Yum soup to be extra-spicy, I knew we were going to be best friends! Lunch was delightful, and the conversation we shared over fresh salad rolls, spicy fried egg, Pad Thai and Fried Bananas with ice cream was simply exceptional.

Recipe for Fried Egg Sambal taken from www.hookedonheat.com. Visit site for detailed recipe.

Being the food editor of the magazine, she undoubtedly shared my obsession with all things culinary. We bonded over our favourite childhood snacks (who knew that ketchup on toast with a dash of pepper was not something that only weird ‘ol I enjoyed! I know, I know, it sounds like a hideous combination; but in my defence, I was 14, breaking out in pimples and was going through a phase where anything out of the ordinary was thought to be “in”…), how we usually plan our vacations based on places that are mostly known for their food more than anything else, and our dislike for broccoli! It was going great until she asked me the dreaded question – when and how did I learn to cook?


I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve been faced with that very question. If only I had a penny for each time I was asked, well, I guess I’d have a lot of pennies by now! As far as I can remember, I actually started cooking when I moved out of home for college; the food there sucked, and since I had an inbuilt kitchen in my room, I figured I could at least try and salvage my hunger and save some money in the process. But I wouldn’t be lying if I said that wasn’t really when I learned to cook.

My mom didn’t think much of having me and my sister learn to cook the real way. Sure, she’d often have us help her at dinner time by setting the table, making the salad, frying puris while she rolled them out splendidly, and of course, doing the dreaded dishes once everyone was fed. There were days during holidays and weekends when I would spend time talking to her in the kitchen while she prepped meals. In the process, I often took note of how she added one ingredient after the other, roasted spices in dry heat to bring out their aroma, and took special care to avoid any extra gravy while layering Biryani. Little did I know that these special sessions we shared would one day be the basis of my career.

Truth be told, I can’t really point an exact time frame in my life when I actually learned to cook. It kind of just happened, maybe it was always there somewhere. In fact, I’m on a constant learning curve. Each day I educate myself with something new – be it how to make the perfect hard-boiled egg without having the shells stick to it, or that soft, delicious naans could actually be made at home in a flash. Without a tandoor. Who knew! What I can tell you honestly though is that the one thing I actually learned to cook was a fried egg. My mom decided to teach me how to make fried eggs so that I could make my own breakfast without her having to leave the laundry halfway to feed me. It wasn’t a fun experience at all. I must’ve had thrown away a couple of dozen before I could manage to crack them just right without thrusting my thumb in and breaking the yolk. But it was all for a good cause. How else could I have made myself this delicious Fried Egg Sambal had it not been for that fateful day.

So, now I ask you – when did you learn to cook?

Fried Egg Sambal

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Meena, www.hookedonheat.com

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp light cooking oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste

Instructions

  • Heat a few drops of oil in a non-stick pan, and fry the eggs one after the other seasoned lightly with salt and pepper, till crisp along the edges. Set aside.
  • Add in the remaining oil in the pan and saute garlic and onions till soft and lightly browned. Add in the spices and fry for a few seconds.
  • Throw in chopped tomatoes, season with salt and fry for a few minutes. Add in tomato paste and tamarind paste, and continue to fry, breaking up tomatoes till it starts to dry out and give out oil from the sides.
  • Slowly slide in the fried eggs, and carefully mix them with the tomato mixture to coat, without breaking the egg. Allow to heat through for a few minutes and serve warm.

Notes

Use a pan large enough to cook the entire dish, since it makes it much easier to clean up. Personally I prefer using a wok to get perfectly round fried eggs.

I also have a Boiled Egg and a Shrimp version of this recipe, that I’m sure you’ll enjoy as well!

Tried this recipe? Leave a Comment and let me know, also Rate it by clicking the number of stars on the recipe card. Want to share your version with me? Tag me on Instagram @hookedonheat

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64 Comments

  • Reply
    Mark
    April 16, 2013

    5 stars
    I learned to cook from a young age as my parents are both culinary lovers as well. When I was in Indonesia I went to a restaurant specializing in various sambal chili sauces to be eaten with eggs. The garlic chili sauce I orders was spectacular eaten with the egg and looked similar to this recipe. Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Sonia
    March 23, 2013

    5 stars
    Meena, amazing pic of the egg sambal and the other recipes. Real delightful reading. I am so glad I found you.
    As far as cooking is concerned, I learnt in a situation similar to yours. I lived with two other girls during my under-grad, one who almost burned the apt once and the other who didn’t know how to hold a knife straight. I had to take control and dominate the kitchen to salvage my clothes and books.
    Later I moved in with my boyfriend, now husband, who’s a hardcore foodie. I love cooking and it helps me destress.

  • Reply
    Latha
    March 9, 2013

    5 stars
    I learnt it after marriage. Was never a kitchen gal, before. Always been book worm and a picky eater.
    After I started experimenting and learnt cooking, I am now a foodie. My daughter was a picky eater too, when she was very young. Then doc suggested I show her and talk to her while cooking and (pretend)take her help. I did that and we also loved to watch food TV together. Our favourite time together is watching food tv together. She is now 6 yrs old, but has improved a lot in trying new foods and in enjoying food.

  • Reply
    Shreya
    February 11, 2013

    5 stars
    Hi, Really lovely colour.. I have to try this.. such a simple and nice recipe too.. I learnt to cook quite early, during school days when I was 13 or something.. nothing great..first dish was cabbage fry. Turned out well.. after that small things, but my mother is an excellent cook and I was inspired…:-) I thank her for that! Like this post..

  • Reply
    Amit
    January 29, 2013

    The recipe doesn’t say where the eggs need to be boiled before starting or not. If not, are you saying that we make sunny side up first and then mix it later with onions and tomato?

    • Reply
      Meena
      January 30, 2013

      Hi Amit, the recipe does say to fry the eggs one at a time and set them aside before starting with the sauce. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Mallika
    January 7, 2013

    When I moved in with my boyfriend, now husband, during my masters. It was a nightmare with both of being rubbish in the kitchen and I missed ghar ka khana sooooo much. Similar to yours I guess, but my mother then wasn’t a big fan of the kitchen. She seems to have taken an interest only in the last few years!!

  • Reply
    Helen
    November 2, 2012

    5 stars
    Your sambal looks fabulous, great colour too. I love spice too – extra hot for me too, please! I first started to cook at university but back then I really wasn’t up to much. my speciality was a risotto and anything else that basically involved one pot. I also had a bad case of adding a bit of this and that which often led to terrible results – at least I learnt what didn’t work! I think I really started cooking about 8 years ago now while living in Oxford, it just snowballed from there and there was no stopping me!

  • Reply
    Meena
    October 16, 2012

    5 stars
    Hey Meena.loved the pic, will try the recipe soon. I remember learning basic recipes such as tea, omelette and plain toor dal from my mom before marriage but a propah (lol) cook, only after marriage. Btw, I am Meena as well.

  • Reply
    Mukul
    September 1, 2012

    5 stars
    I learnt cooking only after my marriage. I was never really interested in kitchen/cooking or even purchasing vegetables. But now I am improving.

    The picture of the dish itself is very very mouth watering. Nice pick of words to describe recipes as well as very cooked dishes captured in a beautiful manner.

  • Reply
    Hanna Ek
    August 22, 2012

    5 stars
    Yum!

  • Reply
    Amruta
    July 31, 2012

    5 stars
    wow!amazing recipe and nice twist on egg! I am definitely going to try this one..This is my first comment on your blog and I love it..I am going to dig the archives now 🙂

  • Reply
    Anitha
    June 21, 2012

    5 stars
    Hi Meena, Awesome dish! Very tempting. I love to browse through food blogs every day for different recipes and I cannot thank bloggers enough for helping me every day to come up with fabulous food, every time I try something new from a blog. I have a small problem though. I had kidney stones and so advised of avoiding tomatoes altogether. It is really really hard to find recipes which are equally delicious without tomatoes. I wonder when this vegetable got into serious cooking and when did people start incorporating tomatoes in their everyday cooking.. pls, point out some recipes which would be helpful for people like me? thanks much.

    • Reply
      Meena
      June 22, 2012

      Hi Anitha, you can find many recipes on my list that do not use tomatoes – most of them being vegetarian. Have a look at the recipe list for some new ideas. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Spontaneous Mini
    June 10, 2012

    5 stars
    Wow, this looks awesome. will try. and your food pix are beautiful How do you do them?

  • Reply
    kosher food florida
    May 17, 2012

    5 stars
    This seems a new dish..I have never seen it before ..but looks yummy..Will try it…But is it spicy or not??

  • Reply
    Rekha
    May 14, 2012

    5 stars
    looks very yummy and delicious.. will try it at home 🙂 keep bloggin:)

  • Reply
    Ollie H.
    May 14, 2012

    5 stars
    I do think this is delicious. I love fried eggs, omelet or sunny-side up is already perfect. But I think I’ve gotta try this recipe here for a whole new fried egg recipe. Hhhmm, I’m also a fan of spicy food and ketchup so, this would really be good for me. Gotta try this recipe.

  • Reply
    Francesca
    May 14, 2012

    5 stars
    Hi Meena,
    I’ve just started cooking and I LOVE the recipes here, used quite a few, Dahiwala Chicken and Paneer Taka Tak were a huge hit. so thanks 🙂 and I cant wait to buy your new book!
    I had a quick question, every time I use a recipe I see “tomato Puree” and “Tomato paste” as ingredients. The last recipe I used required 250 ml of puree for 400 gms of paneer … I used store-bought puree and what was to be spicy paneer was unbearably sweet!! awful, how do I avoid such situations? What’s the difference between the two?

    • Reply
      Meena
      May 14, 2012

      Hi Francesca! Tomato puree is just what it sounds like – a puree of tomatoes. Most store-bought varieties have sugar added as a preservative which makes it quite sweet. Tomato Paste, on the other hand, is a much thicker and concentrated version.

  • Reply
    Pragyan
    May 12, 2012

    Wow – this must be hot, right? That’s a nice combination though! Loved reading this, particularly “ketchup on toast with a dash of pepper ” 🙂

  • Reply
    -h (@Two-Taste-Buds)
    May 1, 2012

    5 stars
    You have no idea how excited I am that I found this blog. I was raised with these flavours, and spice & heat have been an addiction of mine since I’ve grown old enough to cook for myself. You can be sure I’ll be back!

    -h

  • Reply
    Kum
    April 30, 2012

    5 stars
    Egg sambal looks so good!

    I should try this recipe, substituting eggs for tofu…

  • Reply
    Jeri
    April 28, 2012

    5 stars
    I love spicy toppings on fluffy scrambled eggs. My latest was some leftover very spicy, very saucy curried cauliflower and chickpeas with some excellent nan from the Indian market. Spicy pico de gallo over scrambled eggs, all on top of a tostada, avocado on the side, is another favourite.

    When I learned to cook was over a spring break in high school, when instead of a traditional grounding, I was not allowed to make or receive phone calls. A very effective punishment, by the way. By the time school was back in session, I had mastered homemade bread, cake, soups, stews, casseroles and souffle. My at-the-time horrible punishment has turned out over the years to be a priceless gift. Thanks Daddy.

  • Reply
    Omee
    April 26, 2012

    5 stars
    Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Swati Sapna
    April 26, 2012

    5 stars
    Toast with tomato sauce and pepper?!? ewww! hahaha, i could almost judge you for thatbut ok, i wont. considering i used to have Marie biscuits topped with custard, and raw tamarind smeared with salt 😀
    Love the fried egg sambal… it looks filling, spicy and totally yummy.
    Oh, and i learnt to cook only when I was 20! my mom still cant believe I have a food blog considering i didnt know how to make even tea or coffee till i was 25!

  • Reply
    Asiya
    April 25, 2012

    5 stars
    I’ve never seen eggs cooked this way…looks great!

  • Reply
    Pramila
    June 3, 2011

    Could you please tell me what exactly “fried eggs” are?
    Is that like making an omelette of each of the egss? Would love to try this recipe. Thanks

  • Reply
    PK
    March 7, 2011

    5 stars
    hi..

    I am definitely going to try this recipe… looks awesome for an egg lover like me..

  • Reply
    Kara
    November 9, 2010

    5 stars
    Delicious again!! thanks Meena

  • Reply
    Migration Mark
    April 22, 2010

    5 stars
    I learned to cook from a young age as my parents are both culinary lovers as well. When I was in Indonesia I went to a restaurant specializing in various sambal chili sauces to be eaten with eggs. The garlic chili sauce I orders was spectacular eaten with the egg and looked similar to this recipe. Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    mukul
    November 5, 2009

    5 stars
    I learnt cooking only after my marriage. I was never really interested in kitchen/cooking or even purchasing vegetables. But now I am improving.

    The picture of the dish itself is very very mouth watering. Nice pick of words to describe recipes as well as very cooked dishes captured in a beautiful manner.

  • Reply
    Divya
    October 13, 2009

    5 stars
    Hi Meena, The pic looks really yummy… Just one question though… You are talking about Frying the eggs individllay… Does that mean making Bull’ eye of each egg???I mean 4 half fried eggs? I would try this recipe…:) Your blog is interesting… Thanks… 🙂

  • Reply
    Sonu
    October 7, 2009

    5 stars
    wow, this looks delicious, spicy and hot, perfect!!!!!

  • Reply
    Sonia
    September 15, 2009

    5 stars
    Meena, I stumbled to your blog through Mallika’s. Amazing pic of the egg sambal and the other recipes. Real delighful reading. I am so glad I found you. 🙂
    As far as cooking is concerned, I learnt in a situation similar to yours. I lived with two other girls during my under-grad, one who almost burned the apt once and the other who didn’t know how to hold a knife straight. I had to take control and dominate the kitchen to salvage my clothes and books.
    Later I moved in with my boyfriend, now husband, who’s a hard core foodie. I love cooking and it helps me destress.

  • Reply
    Andypants
    November 19, 2008

    5 stars
    I first learned to cook in my 20s, although I think I used to be a better cook than I am now. I first became a foodie when I got a book “Great Restaurants of the World” as a child. I don’t know why I never thought to go to culinary school. Oh well, the hours would suck anyway.

  • Reply
    Hazel
    October 30, 2008

    5 stars
    I learned to cook FROZEN food by the age of…10? Actually cooking eggs, I learned when I was 11. And guess what? I’m still 11! xD I’m taking a cooking course right now, and love food, yet am so skinny! I guess food loving came to me in the womb, while my mother watched the food network

    After the story of my life, I want to thank you for all the amazing recipes you’ve posted. Now if I can only get my mom to let me cook them….xDDD

  • Reply
    Hillary
    October 27, 2008

    5 stars
    I have come back again and again to your site because I love the variety of dishes you offer, the simplicity of the directions and the photos. Really a good blog!

  • Reply
    stevie
    September 19, 2008

    5 stars
    hi i just want to say thanks to you.Because with the help of your post now even i can cook.

  • Reply
    Farina
    September 16, 2008

    5 stars
    I love egg sambal. Have you tried the deep-fried-hard-boiled egg with sambal before? They are even better that way! 😉

  • Reply
    Ramya
    August 27, 2008

    5 stars
    I made this last night and it was awesome! I garnished with coriander instead of spring onions. It was very pretty and delicious. Thanks for this and all your other wonderful recipes!

  • Reply
    kabonfootprint
    August 25, 2008

    5 stars
    eggtarian ! lol, now I know how to call my passion for eggs..
    I am learning how to cook (decent meals 🙂 ) thanks!

  • Reply
    Zlamushka
    August 17, 2008

    5 stars
    This I am very eager to try. I only recently started eating a bit of eggs and am now exploring different possibilities. Love the presentation 🙂

    Thanks!

  • Reply
    Sudeshna
    August 12, 2008

    Hi ,
    There is a little surprise for you on my blog, do chek out the new Awards page there. Hope you like it.

  • Reply
    Kate
    August 11, 2008

    5 stars
    Egg Sambal looks really good. Never made it before, but I’m so sure I’ll love it.

  • Reply
    White On Rice Couple
    August 6, 2008

    5 stars
    I just love the colours! This is something I could eat every day…rice, eggs and lot of wonderful spices!

  • Reply
    Homecooked
    August 5, 2008

    5 stars
    Wow…this looks great! I am sure it tastes awesome! I learnt cooking after my 10th board exams. I had about 3 mths holidays,so I learnt everyday dishes during that time. And then after i got married I learnt to cook some others and still learning 🙂

  • Reply
    cj
    July 30, 2008

    5 stars
    Love your blog!

    I searched the site for your naan recipe without luck.
    Would you be so kind as to share it?

    thanks and keep up the great work.

  • Reply
    Nate
    July 30, 2008

    5 stars
    That looks awesome. Bet it tasted good, too.
    I guess I really started learning how to cook when I was in college.

  • Reply
    Poonam
    July 30, 2008

    It looks amazing!

  • Reply
    foodwhores
    July 30, 2008

    5 stars
    yes. yes. yes!

  • Reply
    [eatingclub] vancouver || js
    July 30, 2008

    5 stars
    I can have this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Great-looking eggs and I love that they’re HOT!

  • Reply
    Helen
    July 29, 2008

    5 stars
    Your sambal looks fabulous, great colour too. I love spice too – extra hot for me too please! I first started to cook at university but back then I really wasn’t up to much. my speciality was a risotto and anything else that basically involved one pot. I also had a bad case of ‘adding a bit of this and that’ which often led to terrible results – at least I learnt what didn’t work! I think I really started cooking about 8 years ago now, while living in Oxford, it just snowballed from there and there was no stopping me!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    July 28, 2008

    5 stars
    Wow that looks way too tempting…love the fiery colour!

  • Reply
    Meena vathyam
    July 27, 2008

    Hey Meena….loved the pic…will try the recipe soon….I remember learning basic recipes such as tea, omlette and plain toor dal from my mom before marriage…but a propah (lol) cook , only after marriage. Btw, I am Meena as well.

  • Reply
    Mallika
    July 27, 2008

    5 stars
    When I moved in with my boyfriend, now husband, during my masters. It was a nightmare with both of being rubbish in the kitchen and I missed ghar ka khana sooooo much. Similar to yours I guess, but my mother then wasn’t a big fan of the kitchen. She seems to have taken an interest only in the last few years!!

  • Reply
    sra
    July 26, 2008

    5 stars
    Hi Meena! I make a Parsi dish where the veggies are cooked first and the eggs then go in, as individual bulls’ eyes. Where I live, I don’t get tomato paste, and I don’t want to buy an entire pack of tomato puree for 1 tbsp, so what do I do? Just increase the tomato a bit?

  • Reply
    Chakli
    July 25, 2008

    5 stars
    My experience has been similar to yours. I think I imbibed a lot watching my mother cook but I didn’t know it at that time. My mom didn’t want me to be stuck in the kitchen, so she never encouraged me to learn cooking. She would always say “it will come to you later.” Which is exactly what happened. I got married, moved to the U.S. and got really tired of eating the same daal and mixed veg subzi hubby used to make all the time. So, started experimenting and realized that cooking came naturally to me. Without learning ‘officially’, I could remember in detail how my mom made her sambaar or rasam, her specific mannerisms in the kitchen, her way of cutting veggies etc. And wonder of wonders, I realized I actually enjoyed cooking. Having looked back since.

  • Reply
    Rashmi
    July 24, 2008

    5 stars
    That looks awesome!
    Would love to know a good, generic sambal recipe, if you have any.
    Thanks!

  • Reply
    Shreya
    July 24, 2008

    5 stars
    Hi, Really lovely colour.. I have to try this.. such a simple and nice recipe too.. I learnt to cook quite early, during school days when I was 13 or something.. nothing great..first dish was cabbage fry. Turned out well.. after that small things, but my mother is an excellent cook and I was inspired…:-) I thank her for that! Like this post..

  • Reply
    Sudeshna
    July 24, 2008

    5 stars
    This one too is so good man. Its awesome to go through your website and I keep trying out the dishes.

  • Reply
    arundathi
    July 24, 2008

    5 stars
    that looks so good. really. i’ve never heard of this, but i’m such a huge egg-etarian that i simply must try it. thanks.

  • Reply
    nags
    July 23, 2008

    5 stars
    That looks so good!! My husband is an eggetarian so any new egg recipe is bookmarked. Love the way you thought of garnishing with spring onions 🙂

  • Reply
    Latha
    July 23, 2008

    5 stars
    I learnt it after marriage. Was never a kitchen gal, before. Always been book worm and a picky eater.
    After I started experimenting and learnt cooking, I am now a foodie. My daughter was a picky eater too, when she was very young. Then doc suggested I show her and talk to her while cooking and (pretend)take her help. I did that and we also loved to watch food TV together. Our favourite time together is watching food tv together. She is now 6 yrs old, but has improved a lot in trying new foods and in enjoying food.

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