A very long time ago, before prohibition was imposed in India, shops selling toddy (palm wine or kallu as it is called in Tamil), were prevalent in Tamil Nadu. Households bought fresh toddy for the preparation of aappam, and people still recall with nostalgia the aappams made with toddy. These toddy shops were in the habit of serving along with the toddy, spiced fried eggs to entice customers. This preparation came to be called Kallu Kadai Muttai.
In Tamil Nadu, Kallu Kadais are no longer in existence due to prohibition, but the spiced fried eggs have found their way into home cooking. I was not aware of this preparation till I was served these in my husband’s home. My mother-in-law had acquired the recipe from a series of cooks whose husbands were in the habit of frequenting toddy shops. It was my husband who, with great relish, told me the story of the Kallu Kadai Muttai and my mother-in-law’s other culinary adventures.
- 4 Eggs (hen’s)
- 2 medium Onions, sliced
- 1 tsp Chilli powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder
- Salt, to taste
- 3 T vegetable Oil
- Hard-boil the eggs. Cool and remove the shells.
- Cut the eggs into two, lengthwise. Sprinkle a pinch of the chilli powder, turmeric powder, and salt on each half.
- Mix the rest of the powders with the sliced onion. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan. Place the eggs with the yolk sides up. Fry gently, turn them over and fry for 5 seconds.
- Remove and set aside.
- In the remaining oil in the pan, fry the sliced onions till brown.
- Serve the Kallu Kadai Muttai along with the fried onions.
- Despite its fiery appearance, kallu kadai muttai has a mild flavour.
- Kallu kadai muttai can be served with rice and sambar or curd rice.
- The preparation is dry, making it ideal for a packed lunch.