As part of the KPC nutrifest event, the Kolkata Food Bloggers team wanted us to pick at least three recipes that were remnants of British era in Bengal’s cuisine. Deemer Devil was among what I had picked, thinking it shouldn’t be difficult; afterall I’ve had it a thousand times since it was mom’s favourite party show off dish and we had so many of those parties as kids. I was bracing myself for deep frying which I am normally so scared of- yes, health reasons. However as luck would have it, I ended up making it on a day I was running short of oil. Luckily for me, the internet is buzzing with oven baked alternatives. So far so good.
Dimer devil is one of the numerous examples of British influences on Bengali cuisine, other such examples including batter fried fish, orly, chops, cutlets, fries , kabiraji cutlet and so on. Interestingly, Kabiraji turns out to be an outcome of Bengalification of the English word ‘Coverage’ since the fish / chicken is deep fried after covering it with whipped egg. ‘Dimer Devil’, on the other hand, is the Bengali version of ‘Devilled Egg.’ But like I said earlier, kind of. It is called ‘Devilled’ coz the original yolk of the egg is replaced by minced meat / potato filling.
Well as usual I decided to make do with what I have at home. Used a filling of soy granules and potatoes instead of mince meat. And indianised the seasonings like my ancestors had. Ok enough banter, lets get down to business.
- Eggs: 2 hard boiled +1 raw lightly beaten
- Soy granules: 1 cup
- Shallots: 2
- Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp
- Tomato puree or ketchup: 2 tbsp
- Red chilly powder: 1/2 tsp
- Potatoes: 3 medium
- Chaat masala: 1 tsp
- Breadcrumbs: 1 cup
- Salt to season
- For the filling, I soaked a cup of soy granules in about 2 cups of salted water for 15 mins.
- Heated a tbsp of oil in a frying pan, added the shallots, ginger garlic paste, ketchup in that order at a minutes interval.
- Drained the soy granules and added it to the frying pan stirring for 2 -3 mins. Add some water and simmer till it all comes together.
- Meanwhile I stabbed the potatoes with a knife and microwaved them for 4 mins, cooled and mashed them with some salt and chaat masala.
- I toasted two stale bread slices in the oven for 7 mins at 200 deg c and blitzed it in the grinder to get fresh breadcrumbs.
- Next job was to create an assembly line: Halved boiled eggs > mince filling > mashed potatoes > raw beaten egg > breadcrumbs.
- Pick a half egg yolk side up, top it with mince filling to create a dome on top of it.
- Next take some mash and flatten it between your palms.
- Cover the egg with the mash. Shape it to form croquettes.
- Dip the croquettes in the raw egg and dredge in breadcrumbs.
- At this point I placed these in the fridge to chill for a while.
- I took them out and baked them for about 20 mins at 200 deg c.
- Rest for 5 mins before serving.
I was worried if they would crisp up like the original. Must say they were very crunchy. Plus I didn’t miss the oil and the guilt. Absolute guilt-free indulgence, I totally vouch for it.
*Information on the origin of devilled eggs collated by the KPC nutrifest team and from internet and various other sources.