Kitchen by TILAH

Braised Egg in Toor Dal (Telur Masak Lemak Dal) & Stir Fried Chilli Paste with Anchovies (Sambal Tumis Ikan Bilis)

Ok, so today is yet another recipe sharing day.  Actually it should be plural, recipe with an "s" cos I am sharing two recipes in one post.  Both are favourites in my family.  My beloved mother's recipes.  Both recipes she picked up from her very long time ago employer, who also had the same name as her, Khatijah.  However, her employer has passed on quite some time back and my mother still talks about her and tells us stories during her younger days when she was working.  Her ex-employer was indeed a wonderful and kind lady and a very good cook too.  Good at cooking both Indian and Malay food.  It was from her that my mother picked up good cooking skills and recipes. 

Anyway, both dishes are my favourite.  Braised Egg in Toor Dal (or better known as lentils) and Stir Fried Chilli Paste with Anchovies.  Yeah, i know, everything is my favourite!  And I am chubby!  And I am not greedy!  And I am a supermodel!  Haha!  I like to humour myself so excuse me hor!  I will always have stir fried chilli paste or more famously known as "sambal tumis" in Malay, whenever I cook dishes with braised or boiled eggs.  To me they go very well together. 

This toor dal dish is so unique in taste you will love it.  Kids love it!  I loved it when I was a kid and I still love it.  Don't even let me continue with the stir fried chilli paste.  It IS everybody's favourite in Singapore except for those who are too cool just like my husband..hehe...oh but yes, he is getting hot and taking a tiny weenie bit with his food whenever I cook it.  As for me, I can sit infront of the tv with a plate of stir fried chilli paste and nothing else. I will also have a teaspoon in my hand so that I can enjoy it like ice-cream.  So, now you know I'm a hot supermodel!  Hehe... As if!

Honestly, this is a must try recipe.  Stir fried chilli paste may be a common dish amongst the Malays or should I say Singaporeans but not this braised egg in toor dal recipe!  Though it is Indian food, it is not so well known like curry but it is marvelous, excellent, superb! To me at least.  Not sure how you all will grade it. 

This picture shows a close up of toor dal.

Braised Egg in Toor Dal


3 handfuls of toor dal (I used House Brand's readily packed ones)
4-6 potatoes - cut into fours
6-8 eggs
1 large onion - finely sliced
3 garlics - finely sliced
2-3 cm ginger - finely sliced
2 small box of Kara brand coconut milk (or any other brands of your choice but if you don't want to be a supermodel like me hehe ;p you can substitute one box of coconut milk with a teacup of evaporated milk - don't leave out the coconut milk completely because it is the reason why this dish ever existed in the first place)
1 teaspoon tumeric powder
salt to taste
1 teaspoon sugar (or Ajinamoto or seasoning if you prefer)

**If you haven't, do go to the side bar on my blog and view the you tube videos on why saturated fats are good for you. 


8 garlics with skin on - washed and crushed
1 large onion - finely sliced
6 stalks of dried red chillies - washed and cut into threes

1.  Rinse the toor dal and soak them for about 20 minutes to half an hour.

2.  After soaking, rinse and add the toor dal in a pot.

3.  Add in the sliced onions, sliced garlics and sliced ginger.

4.  Half fill the pot with water and bring to boil.

5.  Boil until the toor dal starts to break or split like the picture above. 
Tip from my mother:  When you are boiling toor dal, do not use metal ladle or spoon to stir as this will cause the toor dal to take a longer time to split.

6.  Now you can add in the potatoes.  You can also break your eggs in for braising at this point.  Put fire on medium and bring to a boil and leave the eggs to cook.  Big no-no to stirring until the eggs are cooked. My mother always add the eggs after she adds in the coconut milk but really she is the only one I know who can do it.  I can't.  I have not developed her skills.  Previously, I tried doing that and I failed. Reason being, once you add in coconut cream, you will have to constantly give a stir especially when it is boiling to prevent the coconut cream from curdling and when you do that, you risk causing the yolk to break and run in the gravy and then no more egg!  We don't want that.  So breaking the eggs in at this point in time is safest. 

7. Once the eggs are cooked or the yolks are ehem..stable...add in the tumeric powder and coconut cream (and the evaporated milk if you are substituing half of the coconut cream). My mother adds the tumeric powder when she starts boiling the toor dal but obviously I forgot so I only added them in at this stage of the cooking process but it doesn't make that much of a difference actually.

8.  Add in sugar (or seasoning, if you prefer) and salt to taste.  Stir and bring to a boil again whilst stirring every now and then.  This is to prevent the coconut cream from curdling as the temperature rises.

9.  This is how the braised egg would look like. 

10.  Once boiled. Off fire and keep stirring every now and then for a few minutes.

11. Heat up about two to three tablespoons of oil in skillet or pan and add in the sliced onions, crushed garlics and dried red chillies with a pinch of salt.

12.  Saute until the onions are caramelized.  Inhale all that fragrance! Mmmmm....

13.  Once the onions are caramelized. Off fire.

14.  Pour everything in the pan into the toor dal gravy.

15.  Stir to combine and ready to be served.

Stir Fried Chilli Paste with Anchovies


(* to be blended into a paste in a food processor)
2 handfuls of dried red chillies* - slit in halves with a scissors
4 large onions* - roughly sliced
8 garlics*
2 cm ginger*

2 handfuls of anchovies - rinsed
1 spoonful of tamarind - extracted in a small bowl of water
2 tablespoons sugar
salt to taste
1 teaspoon of Ajinamoto or seasoning (optional)


1.  Slit the dried chillies in half with scissors.  Rinse and place in a pot with enough water to cover.  On fire and bring to a boil and let boil for five to ten minutes.  Off fire and let cool.

2.  Then rinse off and clear as much seeds as you can until cleaned like the picture above.  Blend with onions, garlic and ginger with some water in a food processor until it forms a paste.

3.  Heat up enough oil in pan and add the blended chilli paste.  Saute for a minute then add sugar.  Saute for about another five minutes.

4.  Add in anchovies and stir fry until you see oil collecting on the surface of your frying chilli paste.

5.  Once you see oil collecting on the surface of your chilli paste.  Add in the tamarind extract and salt to taste. 

6.  Saute for about another five minutes or until you see more oil collecting on the surface of your frying chilli paste.  Do a taste check to see if you need more sugar or salt to taste.

7.  Off fire and your stir fried chilli paste or "sambal tumis" is ready to be served.

Serve with white rice and get hot!  Happy Kitchen-ing!!


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