- 6 large eggs
- 200 g keema (mutton/lamb/beef)
- 20 g mustard oil
- 4 bay leaves
- 200 g onions
- 12 g ginger
- 6 g garlic
- 3 g green chillies
- 3 g coriander powder
- 3 g cumin powder
- 2 g turmeric powder
- 3 g kashmiri red chilli
- 1 tsp gorom moshla
- 1 tsp bhaja moshla
- 1 tsp amchur powder (dried-mango powder)
- 10 g ketchup
- 8 g salt
- 8 g sugar
- 50 g coarse breadcrumbs (plus extra for breading)
- plain flour for breading
- vegetable oil for deep frying
Dim'er Devil may sound like devilled eggs, but is in reality much closer to scotch eggs or Nargisi kofta. A basic dim'er devil has one or half an egg encased in a spicy wrapping. The outer wrapping is usually potato for egg devil sold in street-side stalls in Calcutta. In cabins or older dine-in cafes/restaurants, the egg is wrapped in minced meat cooked with spices. Finally, the whole thing is coated in breadcrumbs or in a batter, and deep-dried. Dim'er devil is served with kasundi, and a simple salad of onions, cucumber and beetroot.
In this recipe, we have chosen the more festive cabin-style dimer devil that is made with minced mutton. We have borrowed heavily from the Niranjanagar's devil recipe available on YouTube on the Uttar Bangla channel.
- We learnt the trick of creating a keema slurry to prevent it from clumping from Harpal Singh Sokhi.
- To get an extra-crispy exterior, use coarse breadcrumbs. You can buy these readymade (you'll readily find them in New Market, for example), or make them at home by toasting stale bread and grinding it coarsely.
- While breading the devils, keep your 'dry' and 'wet' hands separate, such that you handle the eggs (wet) with your left hand only, and flour and breadcrumbs (dry) with your right hand. (Reverse this if you're left-handed.) This is to avoid the eggs from wetting the dry ingredients and clumping them together. Anyone who has watched Alton Brown brandish his 'club hands' on television knows never to forget this crucial technique.
Boiling the eggs
- Line a saucepan with a cloth napkin. Place the eggs on it. Add boiling water. Lining the pan with a napkin will prevent the eggs from breaking.
- Boil the eggs for 7-9 mins, depending on their size.
- Immediately immerse them in cold water. This shocks the egg and releases it from its shell, so that it comes out clean when peeled. Peel under running water to detach the shell neatly. Also, start peeling from the broader end (base of the egg). The air pocket present there should make the initial peeling easier.
- Use a thread or a very sharp knife to vertically divide the eggs into two halves.
Cooking the keema mixture
- Add 150 g water to the keema. Mash the keema with water until it forms a slurry. This prevents it from clumping when cooked.
- Mix cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, kashmiri red chilli powder, salt and sugar in a bowl, and keep it ready.
- Finely chop onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies.
- Heat mustard oil in a kadai. Temper it with bay leaves until aromatic.
- Then, add the finely chopped onions and sauté on medium heat for 10 minutes until brown.
- Add ginger and fry for 1 minute. Now, add the mix of powdered spices that you prepared earlier.
- Fry until the raw smell of the spices is gone. Add a splash of hot water from time to time to sauté the spices. Make sure to keep adding water when the pan dries out, and continue frying.
- Sauté the mixture on medium heat until oil separates. This should approximately take 6–8 mins.
- Now lower the heat and add the keema slurry. Break any remaining lumps.
- Turn up the heat and dry off the excess water. Add garlic. Adding it towards the end gives the keema a nice garlic-y flavour.
- Add gorom moshla and ketchup, and continue cooking until the mixture is completely dry. Add amchur powder and mix well. Now, discard the bay leaves and turn off the heat. Finally, add bhaja moshla, green chillies, and 50 g breadcrumbs.
- Mash the keema with your hands, so that it can be moulded around the egg. If the mixture is too wet, add more breadcrumbs. If it is too crumbly, add some beaten egg.
Breading the devils
- Divide the mixture into 60 g portions and flatten across your palm. Place half an egg on it, flat side down. Now, mould keema around the egg. Egg devils should ideally be oval, egg-shaped. So try and maintain that shape throughout this stage.
- For breading, in three separate dishes, take breadcrumbs, plain flour (maida), and beaten eggs. Season each of them with some salt.
- We will double-bread the devils to get a substantial, crisp crust. For that, first, lightly dust the devil in flour. This step will prevent the crust from sliding off the filling later.
- Next, dip it in the egg and shake off the excess. Then, roll it in breadcrumbs, pressing them on, so that they stick to the egg.
- Repeat the previous step once again: that is, dip the devil in egg and then breadcrumbs for a second time.
- [Throughout this process keep your 'dry' and 'wet' hands separate, such that you handle the eggs (wet) with your left hand, and flour and breadcrumbs (dry) with your right hand. Reverse this if you're left-handed. This is to avoid the clumping of the dry ingredients.]
- Heat vegetable oil and deep-fry the devils on medium heat (oil temperature: ~170°C), until they are evenly brown on all sides.
- Serve hot with kasundi, and a salad of sliced onions, cucumber and beetroot.
- Mixing bowl
- Khunti (stirring spatula)
- Perforated/slotted spoon
- A piece of thread (to neatly divide the eggs)