Brisbane Local Food

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In my past existence as I worked my way through the cuisine of the Middle East the standard egg dish is called an 'eggah'.

Simple fare -- if you have the eggs.

An eggah is an egg pancake made from eggs and additions.

The classic is  zucchini eggah with sliced onions -- but really you can make the dish from any number of options. Indeed a Spanish omelette - eggs and spuds --is a Latinized eggah.

Although we have only a couple of chooks, we often find we have too many eggs so I usually go the eggah route which takes the form of six eggs plus...

Here is a useful recipe for Zucchini eggah: LINK.

Some use pasta and chicken, other meats -- but always with herbs, maybe spices.

More often than  not eggahs are eaten cold.

The North African eggah is not at all like a dainty French omelette in which the egg is hardly more than shown to the pan - the egg is cooked for at least 20 minutes and the result is more like a cake. The egg is just a support for the vegetables, or meat, or chicken and noodles, or whatever you have used for the filling. It is usually cooked on the hob in a covered frying pan but may also be baked in the oven. It can be served hot cut into wedges as a light supper dish, or the more substantial ones as a full main course, or cold (ideal picnic food), or cubed on cocktail sticks as a starter....The simplest eggah consists of a lightly cooked fresh vegetable (broad beans, spinach, courgette, aubergine, leek, broccoli) - about 12 ounces / 350 grammes to 6 eggs, seasoning and butter, with perhaps a sprinkling of chopped fresh herbs as a garnish. Depending on the capacity of your pan and of your diners, you can up the veg and the eggs - it will just take a little longer to cook. LINK

I tend to look upon eggahs as protein pizzas and are known to dress the eggah with many ingredients (like olives) I'd use on a pizza. Of course the veg sit 'in' the pizza of eggs and not on top. I think sweet peppers go great inside eggahs.

I'm also an oven eggah maker, rather than a stove top person.

Just a wee fry up first before combining the veg with the eggs.

My favorite eggah is one made with broad beans. Just steam up the legumes a bit first then combo with fried onions and fresh herbs.

i guess the closest option to an eggah is the Italian frittata -- recipe sample: LINK-- just so long as you make a thick egg pancake not so much an omelette.

The best collection of eggah recipes are in Claudia Roden's classic work on ME foods (LINK)...but so few of those have migrated online.

“Egg dishes are very popular throughout the Middle East. Beid, as they are called, received the full Oriental treatment. Hard-boiled and coloured yellow or brown, flavoured with cumin, coriander or cinnamon, they are sold in the streets with little cornets of rolled-up newspaper filled with seasoning to dip them in. Fried or scrambled, they are enhanced with flavourings of garlic, onions and tomatoes, lemon, vinegar or yogurt. The Arab omelette, eggah, is more like a cake. Thick and rich, it is not unlike the Spanish tortilla to which it is undoubtedly related through the Moorish conquerors of Spain. Did the Moriscos introduce the omelette to Spain, or did they bring it back to North Africa after the Reconquista? It does not appear in early Arab culinary literature, so its origin is still a matter for speculation.”

Obviously an eggah is what you make it but I do recommend the green herb eggah as a great beginners option.

Eggah bi Bassal

Onion and Herb Omelet
Serves 2
 • A simple and delicious
snack, it can also be served as an
elegant appetizer (see variation).
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable or extra-
virgin olive oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2  tablespoons  chopped  flat-leaf
parsley  2  tablespoons  chopped
cilantro
1  tablespoon  chopped  mint 

Salt and pepper


Fry the onion in 2 tablespoons of
the  oil  until  soft  and  golden.  Mix
with  the  eggs  and  the  other
ingredients.
Heat  the  remaining  oil  in  a
preferably  nonstick  frying  pan.
Pour in the egg mixture and cook
over medium heat. As soon as the
bottom sets, put under the broiler
and  cook  the  other  side  until  the
top is firm and lightly browned.
Serve hot or cold.

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I'm a big fan as well.  

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