The Washington Post

Curry Onion Tart

Curry Onion Tart 8.000

(Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post; styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Mar 21, 2016

This eggy tart, rich with black mustard seed and curry leaves, has flavors of Southern India. The smoked paprika in the tart crust gives the pastry a lovely reddish hue. You’ll need a 9-inch tart pan (at least 1-inch deep) with a removable bottom. Serve warm or at room temperature, with your favorite chutney.

Active time: 30 mins; Total time: 1 hour 25 mins

Make Ahead: The wrapped dough needs to rest in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. The unbaked tart shell needs to rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Storage Notes: The baked tart can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Where to Buy: The original recipe calls for double cream instead of heavy cream; it is available at British goods stores or online. Curry leaves are available at well-stocked grocery stores, Asian markets and online.

8 - 10

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-10 servings

  • For the crust
  • Generous 2 1/3 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton)
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks/145 grams), cold salted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • For the filling
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seed
  • 10 to 15 curry leaves, to taste
  • 2 to 4 dried red chiles, seeded
  • 1 pound (454 grams) yellow or white onions (about 2 medium), thinly sliced
  • Handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • Scant 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) heavy whipping cream (see headnote)


Make the crust: Lightly flour a work surface.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, smoked paprika and salt. Add the butter and toss to coat it well. Working quickly, use your fingertips to work the butter into the flour mixture until it’s the consistency of coarse bread crumbs.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the water with lemon juice; pour in just enough to bring the flour-butter mixture together into a dough. Transfer the dough to the work surface and knead for a minute or so into a 1-inch thick disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Re-flour the work surface as needed. Unwrap the dough and roll it out to an 11-inch wide round about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to the tart pan and fit it in, letting the overhang drape the rim. Using a fork, prick the dough in several places, then refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Place the tart shell pan on a rimmed baking sheet and line the shell with parchment paper. Add a generous layer of dried beans, raw rice or ceramic pie weights to prevent the dough from puffing up during baking. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and weights and continue to bake for another 20 minutes, or until the pastry darkens slightly and looks crisp. Using a small, sharp knife, trim away any excess crust from the rim. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.

Make the filling: While the crust bakes and cools, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the mustard seed, curry leaves and dried chiles (you can leave them whole or crumble them). As soon as the mustard seed begins to pop, add the onions and cook, stirring often, until the onions are just golden, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat; stir in the cilantro and salt and let cool for a few minutes.

In a large liquid measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk and cream until combined.

Spread the onion mixture evenly in the baked tart shell, then pour the egg-cream mixture over it. Bake for the tart for 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is set. Let cool (in the pan) for 10 minutes before serving.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “The Cardamom Trail: Chetna Bakes With Flavors of the East,” by Chetna Makan (Mitchell Beazley, May 2016).

Tested by Kristen Hartke and Jim Webster.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 10): 260

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 17g 26%

Saturated Fat: 9g 45%

Cholesterol: 90mg 30%

Sodium: 150mg 6%

Total Carbohydrates: 21g 7%

Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 5g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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