Keema (also called kheema or qeema) is an Indian dish made from ground meat, often with peas. However, it’s really easy to make vegetarian keema using eggs! Learn how to make healthy egg curry with tomatoes, onions, and a variety of spices. This unusual and flavorful Indian egg kheema is great way to use leftover hard boiled eggs and is inexpensive to make.
Hey, I’ve got a really fun recipe for you to add to your home cooking repertoire. Most of us have made curries with legumes, beef, chicken, and even fish. But have you ever tried making a dish of vegetables and curried eggs?
This vegetarian egg keema recipe was inspired by a beef kheema recipe I came across in Food Network Magazine. I was running low on beef in our spare freezer. But what I did have on hand was lots and lots of hard-boiled eggs leftover from Easter.
I had never considered using hard boiled eggs as the protein source in a curry. However, I looked it up, and folks have been using eggs as a vegetarian protein in keema recipes long before I thought of it.
In fact, there are different types of egg curries out there! Here are a couple:
- Kerala style: This is a subtle egg curry with a light yellow sauce. Often (not always!) this is an egg curry with coconut milk. Many of the kerala egg curry recipes I see use whole or halved hard-boiled eggs (not chopped eggs).
- Dhaba style: Egg curries that are made dhaba-style often have a rich tomato onion sauce. This egg kheema recipe is more similar to dhaba style (though of course I’ve added my own twists to it).
📋 What are the calories, net carbs, and protein?
One generous serving of this egg kheema provides 476 calories, 47 grams net carbs, and 20.1 grams protein. This does include the addition of brown basmati rice on the side. Without the rice, this would be a keto friendly meal with about 300 calories and 13 grams of net carbs.
What are some benefits of this egg kheema recipe? Here's why you might want to include some vegetarian egg curry in your life:
- Immune-Supporting Vitamins: With this egg keema, you are getting an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. These are antioxidant vitamins that help to support a healthy immune system.
- Helps Prevent Food Waste: Did you know that hard boiled eggs spoil more quickly than raw eggs? If you boiled a bunch of eggs and need to use them quickly, use them here! (And don’t miss the section with additional egg recipe ideas at the end of the post!)
- Inexpensive: Eggs tend to be less expensive than beef, chicken, or fish. If you’re looking to decrease your grocery bills, using eggs for protein in meals can help. This egg curry recipe is inexpensive to make, particularly if you already have a well-stocked spice drawer.
- Easy to Customize: This is a forgiving recipe, so feel free to make tweaks to fit your taste buds and dietary needs. Make a gluten free egg curry by skipping the malt vinegar, a low carb egg curry by skipping the rice, etc. You can add in more or less of particular vegetables and spices (e.g., chili powder) that you love. Make this recipe work for you!
- Family-Friendly Recipe: This egg curry is something the whole family may enjoy. It’s spicy but not too spicy and packed with international flavor but full of familiar ingredients.
Here’s what you need to make vegetarian egg kheema:
- Large eggs
- Ghee (also called clarified butter)
- Chopped onion
- Finely chopped garlic
- Fresh ginger (peeled and minced)
- Spices (ground coriander powder, paprika, garam masala, cumin)
- Bird’s eye chili (or a small jalapeno for less heat)
- Chopped fresh tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- Frozen peas
- Malt vinegar (optional)
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Brown basmati rice (for serving)
Garam masala is a spice blend that can vary a bit depending on the brand you use. If you can’t find it, a mix of ground cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom can work as a substitute in a pinch. Cumin and coriander are also often included, but we’re already using those in the recipe.
Bird’s eye chili and malt vinegar are not common additions to egg keema. Malt vinegar was used in the beef kheema recipe from Food Network Magazine that this recipe was inspired from. I love vinegar (from mayo) with eggs in egg salad and deviled eggs, so I thought I’d try the vinegar here.
The malt vinegar definitely adds a fun little flavor twist! However, feel free to skip it if you don’t like malt vinegar or can’t find it in stores. As mentioned above, omitting the malt vinegar will also make this egg curry gluten free.
Fresh bird’s eye chilis can be found in markets that specialize in East Asian foods. If you can’t find them, substitute with a small jalapeno pepper. (Your curry will have less spicy heat if you make this swap.)
You only need a few pieces of common kitchen equipment to make this egg kheema recipe:
- Medium pot (to boil the eggs)
- Small pot (to cook the rice)
- Good knife
- Cast-iron skillet (for cooking vegetarian keema)
That’s it! Most should have these items. If you don’t have these, I recommend adding them to your kitchen.
🔪 How to Make Egg Keema
Alright, we’ve got our ingredients and equipment and we’re ready to make keema! Start by cooking the rice in water according to the package directions. If you are using brown rice, it can take up to 45 minutes.
Next, put the eggs in a medium-sized pot and cover them with water. Put the pot over medium heat. When the pot starts boiling, set the timer for 10 minutes.
After the timer is up, drain the pot and rinse the eggs in cold water to cool them quickly. Peel them and chop them into ¼-½-inch pieces. (FYI- did you know older eggs peel much, much easier?)
By the way, I’ve seen curries with whole hard-boiled eggs. You could try leaving them whole if you don’t feel like chopping them up. Either way, set them aside.
Let the ghee melt in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they start to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add in the ginger, garlic, and bird’s eye chili and cook for one minute. Next, add in the spices (including salt and pepper) and cook an additional minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add one cup of water to the skillet and the frozen peas. Turn the heat to medium-low and let the contents of the skillet simmer for about 5 minutes. The peas should fully thaw and cook.
Take the skillet off the heat and stir in the chopped and cooked eggs, the vinegar, and the cilantro. Serve your finished egg curry over the cooked rice.
️👪 What to Serve with Egg Keema
What do you eat with egg curry? I chose to serve egg keema with rice (whole grain basmati rice). However, egg keema with bread is a very common choice.
Here are some different names for Indian breads that you could serve with egg kheema:
- Roti (unleavened flatbread)
- Chapati (also written chapathi; this is a type of roti)
- Naan (leavened flatbread)
- Paratha (a type of unleavened flatbread made of many flaky layers and fried)
- Dosa (a thin crepe made of fermented rice and lentil flour)
So many choices! I’ve seen some of these sold in the freezer section of international food stores if you don’t want to make your own.
You could also try serving your egg curry with aloo, or potatoes. Very often, cooked potatoes are used in egg curry recipes. If you don’t want your carbs on the side, you could try adding them into your curry instead.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). With its protein, fiber, high fluid volume, and low calories, this dish is a great choice for weight loss. To bring the calories down further, serve it over cauliflower rice rather than brown rice. This swap will also make this egg curry a low carb meal.
Hard boiled eggs in a curry may sound strange at first (depending on what foods you grew up with). Why not put these foods together though? The tomatoes and spices with eggs makes me think of another dish from abroad, shakshuka.
One of the reasons that people drop their healthy eating habits is that they get bored. Exploring foods and flavors from other parts of the world can help to keep healthy eating exciting. You will have endless ideas for meals when you start exploring international cuisines.
The egg in this dish is chopped very, very small, but it is not mashed. You can easily see the pieces of egg whites in the finished dish. One of my family members asked whether this was a tofu curry the first time I served it.
Using tofu in this dish would actually be another great idea. That’s the wonderful thing about eating adventurously. The more foods you try, the more ideas you’ll have to make your meals delicious and interesting.
Some types of food have become rather notorious for being healthy choices. (Plain chicken breast, kale, and oatmeal, for example.) However, there’s a whole world of health-promoting foods out there for the kale and chicken haters.
Are you ready to take the leap and try something new? If focusing on getting healthy by cutting foods out isn’t working for you, how about making a goal to add some more healthy foods in?
Egg bhurji is a scrambled egg curry, while egg keema is typically made with finely chopped hard boiled eggs. Both options sound amazing, if you ask me! Why not make some curried scrambled eggs for breakfast sometime soon?
I would say this egg curry dish is healthy in the sense that it provides a wide array of nutrients from whole foods. Eggs are rich in protein, choline, lutein, and healthy fats. The vegetables in this dish add fiber, potassium, provitamin A, vitamin C, and a variety of beneficial phytonutrients. (Of course, if you have an egg allergy, this dish is not a good choice for you!)
This simple egg curry provides high-quality protein packaged in a low calorie, high volume dish. With its significant amount of protein, fiber, and fluid volume, I would consider this a good option for weight loss. This egg keema recipe may help you to feel satisfied on fewer calories. This attribute can help you to achieve the calorie deficit needed for weight loss.
If you want to make a keema with no animal products, substitute the ghee for olive oil and the eggs for crumbled firm tofu. Gently crumbled silken tofu might give you a texture more similar to egg whites. However, I tend to prefer non-silken tofu in savory dishes because it has a meatier texture. Tofu is very neutral and should pick up the flavor of the Indian spices in this dish nicely.
👩🏻🍳 Other Hard-Boiled Egg Recipes
Want more recipes using hard boiled eggs? Here are some other egg recipes that you may enjoy:
- Keto Deviled Eggs (3 ingredients!)
- Homemade Egg Salad Meal Prep
- Best Cobb Salad (I ate this all the time while on my 70-lb weight loss journey!)
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All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Egg Kheema (Vegetarian Egg Curry Recipe)
- ¾ cup brown basmati rice, dry
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 small bird's eye chili, finely chopped (can substitute a jalapeno pepper)
- 1½ teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1½ cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
- ¾ cup frozen peas
- ½ tablespoon malt vinegar (optional)
- ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
- Cook the rice in water according to the rice package directions. If you are using brown rice, it can take up to 45 minutes. Work on other parts of the dish while it cooks.
- Next, hard boil the eggs. Put the eggs in a medium-sized pot and cover them with water. Put the pot over medium heat. When the pot starts boiling, set the timer for 10 minutes.
- After the timer is up, drain the pot and rinse the eggs in cold water to make them easier to handle. Peel them and chop them into ¼-½-inch (0.64-1.27 cm) pieces. Be careful not to mash them! Set the chopped eggs aside.
- Melt the ghee in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they start to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the garlic, ginger, and bird’s eye chili and cook for one minute. Next, add in the garam masala, corinader, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper cook an additional minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add one cup of water to the skillet and the frozen peas. Turn the heat to medium-low and let the contents of the skillet simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The peas should fully thaw and cook.
- Take the skillet off the heat and gently stir in the chopped and cooked eggs, the malt vinegar (if using), and the cilantro.
- Serve your finished egg curry over the cooked rice.