Mothers, expect major displays of appreciation this year.
Americans celebrating the holiday are expected to spend $31.7 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation, an increase of $3.6 billion over 2021 and the highest in the history of the survey. And there’s no shortage of gift options: A chic Japanese cotton robe and a selection of luxury soaps are just a couple of the splendid signs of appreciation we’ve suggested.
But food is always a powerful Mother’s Day gift. Restaurants will be packed—OpenTable Inc. reports a 39% increase for reservations over 2019—so if you haven’t made plans yet, what’s better than a homemade meal?
Andy Baraghani is an expert on the subject of upgrading home cooking in a low-stress way. The former senior editor at is beloved for his “Andy Explores” video series, though he’s also logged time on the line at at a pair of renowned restaurants, Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., and Estela in New York.
Baraghani’s first book, (Penguin Random House; May 24; $35) features around 100 recipes that celebrate his Iranian heritage and the skills he’s honed on his culinary journey. (It comes out later this month, but you can pre-order it as a Mother’s Day gift.) The cookbook’s chapters range from his soup obsession to a section on seafood in which he admits to a fixation with Red Lobster commercials from the ’90s. He pays tribute to his mother in several of the book’s recipes including Mom’s Salmon, a lovely dish flavored with saffron and dill that she made for him every few weeks when he was growing up.
One of the most fun sections is devoted to eggs, and Braghani highlights their adaptability. “I’ve been known to slick on black lipstick and perform Alanis Morissette in grungy drag, but even that act is no match for the way an egg can transform,” he writes in the book. He offers recipes for garlic-fried eggs to go with crispy rice and a jammy egg and scallion sandwich that will, he promises “ruin deli egg salad for you forever.”
His take on skillet-baked eggs in tomato curry is just as compelling. “This pulls from a few different dishes and cultures,” says Baraghani in a phone interview. “Obviously shakshuka and eggs in purgatory—this version feels very much like a weekend egg brunch moment.”
To make his version, Baraghani cooks down cherry tomatoes with warming spices like fresh ginger, chiles, turmeric, and cardamom until they’re jammy. Then he adds a little coconut cream to the skillet. Last, in go the eggs, which steam in the spicy sauce for a few minutes so that the whites are set but the yolks stay gorgeously runny.
It all comes together for an extravagant morning dish. The coconut makes the tomato sauce feel special and luxurious which is, of course, ideal for Mother’s Day—and for anytime you want to impress friends or just treat yourself.
Baraghani, who used to practice egg cooking techniques on his mom as a childhood cook, sees an additional practical benefit to the recipe: “This dish happens in one skillet, with just a few ingredients, and it doesn’t take much time,” he says. “You have everything done and ready to go and then more time with your mom.”
The following recipe is adapted from , by Andy Baraghani.
Eggs in Creamy Tomato Curry
3 tbsp. virgin coconut oil or neutral oil (such as grapeseed)1 or 2 red chiles (such as Fresno or Holland), halved, seeded, and thinly sliced1-inch piece ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced1 tsp. ground coriander½ tsp. ground cardamom½ tsp. ground turmeric2 pints ripe cherry tomatoesKosher salt¼ cup unsweetened coconut cream or heavy cream4 large eggsBasil, or whichever tender herb you like, for scatteringFlatbreads, for serving
In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the coconut oil. Add the chiles, ginger, and garlic and give things a stir until everything in the pan starts to get a little soft but doesn’t color, about 2 minutes. Add the coriander, cardamom, and turmeric and stir so the spices coat everything and become fragrant—this happens in seconds.
Drop the tomatoes into the pan, season with a bit of salt, and let cook, stirring occasionally and squashing the tomatoes, so they burst and release their juices, about 15 minutes. You want the tomatoes to soften so the sauce will thicken. Stir in the coconut cream and give the sauce a taste. It’ll probably need another pinch of salt. (“Don’t we all,” says Baraghani in the book.)
Using the back of a spoon, make four little nests in the mixture. Crack an egg into each nest and season it with salt. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook until the egg whites are set, but the yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat, carefully removing the cover so the steam doesn’t drip on the eggs. Scatter the basil over everything. Serve the eggs and sauce straight from the skillet with the flatbread to scoop.