March 27, 2017

Ask A Chef: Talli Joe’s Messy Thokku

Recipe: Sameer Taneja

Chef Sameer Taneja of Talli Joe in London shares his Messy Thokku recipe.

Chef Sameer Taneja @ Talli Joe, London pic 3_HH_FE17_59Q: Last summer we travelled to London and ate at the hip Indian restaurant Talli Joe. We had a spicy pickled egg dish served with bread that I can’t stop thinking about. I’d love the recipe! — Leah, Etobicoke, Ontario

A: Talli Joe is an Indian small plates restaurant in London’s Covent Garden neighbourhood. Thanks to executive chef Sameer Taneja and his team, it was recently listed as a Michelin selection in the 2017 London guide. Their popular Messy Thokku is a dish of chopped pickled egg that’s tossed with ginger, garlic, chilis and tomatoes, then finished with fresh coriander and garam masala.


Pickled Egg

  • 1 L water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 dried red chilis
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 free-range eggs, hard-boiled, shelled

Thokku Masala

  • 4 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1⁄4 tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp urad lentils, husked, uncooked
  • 1⁄4 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1⁄4 tsp chopped fresh green chili
  • 1⁄2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped plum tomato
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander, for garnish
  • Pinch garam masala, for garnish
  • Puff pastry or bread, to serve


Yield: Serves 4

Make Pickled Eggs

  1. Combine all ingredients except eggs in medium pot. Bring to boil; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool until just warm.
  2. Place eggs in a jar. Add enough pickling liquid to cover eggs. (Reserve remaining pickling liquid for another use.) Close jar and refrigerate eggs 1-2 weeks to pickle.

Make Thokku Masala

  1. Heat oil in frypan over medium heat.
  2. Add mustard seeds, fennel seeds, curry leaves, peppercorns and lentils, and cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Add shallots and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and green chili, and cook 1 minute. Add chili powder, ground coriander and tomato, and cook until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Finish And Serve

  1. Chop 4 pickled eggs. Fold into thokku masala. Finish with chopped coriander and sprinkle of garam masala. Serve with puff pastry roti or wedge of bread.

James Byrne


House & Home February 2017

Tags: Ask A Chef