Spicy Baked Eggs

Breakfast in a Pakistani Home

Halwa puri, anyone?,” Baba and Kaka (father’s elder brother in Dari) would holler from the bottom of the stairwell in our family home in Lahore. The two brothers had made it a weekend ritual to go together to Ghalib Market to bring their six daughters halwa puri for breakfast after their morning run in Race Course Park.

A year and a half apart in age, here they are, sweet and as thick as thieves and honey.

(Mader really hoped for a girl before my father was born- perhaps the reason why my poor father had to suffer wearing a girl’s “bouffant” of sorts, till he was old enough to say “no more!”).

Groggy and still in our beds, the words ‘halwa puri‘ would lead us down the long vertical staircase. Into the breakfast room we would go in our pjs with plush shawls wrapped around us on that cold Lahore morning. We would excitedly unwrap the newspaper encasing the puris and place one on each plate.

Tearing off a piece of the puffed up golden bread with our fingers, we would scoop up the sweet halwa. Made with semolina, the halwa was all soft and buttery with white flecks of almond, dotted with black cardamom seeds.

The adults would drink a strong milky tea with it and we’d settle for glasses of lukewarm milk, you know, the kind all kids hate.

The conversation would fluctuate between Punjabi, English and Dari and us kids would walk out of the breakfast room with greasy fingers towards the washroom.

Then back to our beds.

Here in Toronto, I wake up some mornings thinking of Baba and Kaka and the little things they did for the six of us. The halwa puri runs, the midnight drives to Barqat, the paan wallah in Main Market for a Pineapple Crush pop on the side; the family walks from our home in Gulberg to Mini Market to buy 20 sweeties for 5 rupees. Mitchell’s raspberry bon bons were my favourite.

To this day I love it when Barqat sees me in Main Market and says, “Where are Sarosh Bibi and Owaise Sahab, why haven’t they come for a paan?”

So very far from home, here is what we have in our home on Saturday mornings:

Chunks of tomato spiced with turmeric, a bit of chili, paprika and some fragrant caramelised onions…

Topped with fresh, cracked eggs…

Baked till soft, with yolks as pudgy as a baby’s belly…

A scattering of fresh coriander leaves, a verdant flavour which always reminds me of Pakistan…

Eaten with roghani naan…

Here are three other lovely versions of baked eggs which I love, by some of my fave bloggers: Glutton for Life, Taste of Beirut and Tamarind and Thyme.

Photos of halwa puri: from Kar_jony, Karachi Metblogs.

Photos of Race Course Park: from www.Pashtohomes.com.

Serves 5

Pre-heat your oven to 350F / 180C

Ingredients:

*2 tbsp corn (or other neutral) oil
*4 medium-sized tomatoes (approximately 600g / 1lb), blanched, skins peeled, and diced
*1/4 of a small onion, finely chopped
*1/4 tsp salt
*1/8 tsp (pinch) turmeric; haldi powder
*1/4 tsp red chili pepper
*1/4 tsp hot paprika
*5 eggs
*Fresh coriander leaves chopped, for garnish
*Salted butter for smearing on baking dish. I use an 11 1/2 inch quiche dish.

Preparation:
*Place 8-inch frying pan on medium heat.
*Add 2 tbsp oil and chopped onions, saute till translucent and slightly golden.
*Add chopped tomatoes.
*Add salt, haldi, red chili pepper and paprika.
*Stir for 7-10 minutes over a medium-high heat. The tomatoes should keep their shape somewhat.
*Smear butter all over the bottom and sides of the quiche dish.
*Transfer the chopped tomato sauce to the dish.
*Gently crack open the eggs one by one on to the tomato base.
*Place in oven for 15-20 minutes for a soft yolk and 20-25 for a more cooked yolk.
*Sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves.

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Comments

  1. Gorgeous breakfast…mmmm… my hub would lurve some! It’s a bright and colourful way to begin the day too. Did u make the roghni roti too? DELISH!!

  2. Loved the way u described the lahori breakfast,brought back so many memories,Barkat,paan wala…..I still have to go and get his paan.
    The recipe seems very interesting,will try it.

  3. Sounds like a great breakfast. Will definitely try it next weekend! Thanks for sharing.

  4. @Deeba Did I make the naan? I almost choked on my tea- no, I can’t bake bread! tee hee Thanks for the compliments, darling girl. x s

    @Ashoo Apa Thanks- it’s a simple and easy dish- a crowd-pleaser. I do miss Barwat ka paan.

    @Maninas Thanks, dear.

  5. Gorgeous — yum! I make a similar Israeli dish called shakshouka. I usually use cumin instead of tumeric, but will definitely try it this way next time. As always, a pleasure to read!

  6. Hmm, baked eggs in tomato sauce, sounds yumm! We call that Naan as Afghan roti, a regular at our house too, and ofcourse store bought!

  7. @Rachel Have left you a response below, combined with Jasmine.

    @Mona Thanks, Mona. That is, indeed Afghan bread-we also call it khameeri roti (roti made w yeast). Mine is *obviously store-bought 🙂

  8. Shayma

    God, how I love your posts! I can’t wait now to visit Lahore; your childhood memories are so precious and one day all of this can be compounded into a beautiful cookbook!
    Your recipe here looks almost identical to the one I posted over a year ago about our Lebanese eggs and tomatoes beid bel-banadoora!

  9. Shayma – Thanks for stopping by in my corner and popping in to say hello! Am delighted to find your space here.

    I love the way you seamlessly weave your past and present in the posts. Your andaa recipe here reminds me of akoori which the parsi’s make – super yummy. Lovely pics!

    Incidently my Daadaji was from Baluchistaan and Pa was born there 🙂

    I hope we’ll keep in touch through each others blogs. Never been to Pakistan but went to Uni with a girl from Lahore.

    Halwa puri will get me out of bed, any day at any hour 🙂

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  10. @Joumana Thanks, as always for your lovely words-you want to visit Lahore and I want to visit Beirut- a swap, perhaps? Just had to see your post- we even have the same Emile Henry dish! Kindred spirits? Shall try it with garlic, too. x s

    @Devaki Akoori and bhurji are two wonderful dishes from India. We’re all interconnected on the sub-continent, in one way or another, aren’t we? Thanks for visiting.

  11. Gorgeous photos – nothing quite like a dribbly egg, is there?

  12. Shayms you have such a unique talent that you make all your dishes/assortments look good even with the most diverse blend of ingredients.. i just wish i lived closer to you to enjoy all these!

  13. Delicious yet again. Do you only eat this for breakfast – it looks like such a lovely brunch dish as well – with a very crisp white wine. Yum! xxx

  14. This is really interesting! There’s something we eat in the middle east that’s called shoukshouka and is exactly the same as baked eggs you posted!
    I love it!!!

  15. Yummy this would make a perfect breakfast!!

  16. They look so good. I may have to go for early lunch now after those photos and reading the recipe.

  17. Oh – lovely and such a lovely story! Baked eggs are my brunch staple. I love the idea of spicing them like this, I usually go the Mexican route.

  18. Love the breakfast story! So charming, and the baked eggs with coriander. I really miss all of these multi-cultural flavours that were everywhere in Vancouver.

  19. Beautiful pictures. I love baked eggs, and the caramelized onions seem like a wonderful addition.

  20. Love baked eggs for brunch! I bet this could even be adapted to use up a leftover tomato sauce too.

  21. @Lizzie Thanks, Lizzie. Total comfort food, that egg.

    @Fati Inshallah, darling. x s

    @SoLovely You are so very right- it would be lovely for brunch with a gorgeous white- maybe a nice rucola salad to go with ? x s

    @Rachel and @Jasmine Thanks so much- this dish could be from anywhere in the world, that’s what I love about it-and every country has added their signature ingredient/touch to it.

    @Cherine Thanks for visiting.

    @Joshua Coming from a foodie/ace cook like you, I am most pleased to receive this compliment.

    @Niamh Does the Mexican route have some chili in it, too? Have had them in restaurants with spicy black beans. Thanks for the lovely comment, Niamh.

    @Katharine Thank you. But I am sure you are enjoying all the gastronomic pleasure of Spain- envious I am, I am.

    @Food Jihadist Thanks, as always, for your kind words.

    @Su-Lin You’ve given me a brilliant idea! Thank you. x s

  22. Shayma joon, those baked eggs look so good and delicious! great recipe and what a lovely story about your family. beautiful photos!x

  23. This looks fab – those eggs just pregnant with a yolky promise. I’ve not eaten much in the way of puri, but this would certainly get me out of bed. Now I wish it were the weekend so I could give it a whirl. Although I would be tempted to use a tin of chopped tommies that early in the morning 😉

    On another note, do you have a recipe for Halwa? It’s something I’ve been wanted to make for a while now, but yet to find a recipe. And your photo of it it looks scrumptious.

  24. i would like this very much. also, i must compliment your egg-cracking skills–nicely done. 🙂

  25. @Azita Joon, Thank you, as always. x s

    @TheGrubWorm Thanks for that- I am going to add that to the recipe (the option of using a tin of tommies). I am not averse to using tinned tommies at all, in fact I use them for my curries, but I thought since there are few ingredients involved, let’s go for the fresh ones. You’re right though-blanching tomatoes on a Sunday morning may not be the best thing to do. (I have blanched tommies in my freezer, I know, I know, it’s nuts, you don’t have to think it!).

    As for halwa, I have been pestering my mum for the recipe, she used to make this a lot when we were young, and she has forgotten her recipe, I must pester her more to get it out of her. It’s supereasy, just some butter, cardamoms, semolina and your choice of nuts- she used slivered almonds and raisins in hers. And unlike the photo above, no food colouring or saffron (I am sure the vendor above used food colouring to make it more ‘attractive’). Shall post recipe soon. Thanks for the idea.

    @Grace Thank you, and thanks for the visit.

  26. This is an excellent breakfast idea – something different.

  27. Hi,

    Baked eggs in all their forms around the world are so comforting and homely. A very underrated dish ….

    Great pic’s by the way ……

  28. Had to keep a steady hand to break eggs..but now this beautiful preparation which conceals the novice hand too. I could almost transform from a gourmand to a glutton!! Thanks Spicey for even making breakfast interesting!!!

  29. Dearest Sham, Read your piece on us & saw the memorable pic of the two brothers.You did not mention lassi as a favourite drink.Keep up the effort of invigorating the taste buds of the world. Luv. K

  30. I like the idea of breakfast…then going back to bed again…
    Lovely evocative post

  31. my 1st. visit and already falling in love..lovely website…i love how you describe the food and relate it with your childhood story..

  32. I have made it this morning .. not quite as you would had run out of onions and didnt have fresh coriander … but it was so fabulous .. just wonderful. So I have taken a photo and blogged about it this morning linked you for the recipe thank you so much clever girl xx
    http://rujon.blogspot.com/

  33. Good looking breakfast. I like the combination of tomatoes and soft and gooey eggs.

  34. lovely post… i like reading stories like this… it gives me a window to your culture… thanks for sharing!

  35. Lovely yummy post as usual!!!!!!!!!!

    Love
    Parisa

  36. This looks like a perfect breakfast..I would LOVE to have this now….am saving this.

  37. Looks amazing. Kman is always interested in trying new things for brunch on the weekends. I think we are going to experiment and try and make this – just looks so yummy. The picture of baba and kaka is just too cute. Lovely.

  38. Shayma – I am so happy that you found me through Food52, as I have now come to find your site, and just love it. Recently married into a Lebanese family, I am anxious to learn more about Middle-Eastern cooking, and can’t wait to learn what you have to teach me on The Spice Spoon. Your writing and recipes are wonderful…I think this dish will be my first to try from your great collection. Cheers – S

  39. I want those. very much.

  40. looks tremendous! I make spicy eggs all the time but mine are usually mexican style. this looks delicious, can’t wait to try!

  41. Oh my goodness, I’m dying for a bit of these amazing baked eggs! I can’t wait to try this!

  42. This looks like an amazing meal- perfect for a quick meatless dish!

  43. Twenty minutes seems to over cook the eggs beyond my liking but I must say as an overall recipe this is fantastic. Could have been my oven though. Did anyone else have this issue?

  44. @Charley Thank you; I appreciate your feedback. In my oven, at the 20 minute mark the egg yolks were still soft and runny- I suppose it varies from oven to oven. How long do you think you should have baked them? I have amended the timing specified from 20mins to 15-20mins.

  45. major Pakistani food kick, so I made these spicy baked eggs that I saw on a blog I like, The Spice Spoon which features Pakistani and Afghan recipes. This isn’t make-ahead, but it’s quick

  46. Hello!
    Love to read the interesting old memories related with food. Good work done by Shayma. Congrats! Make me feel proud by your achievements as a Pakistani.
    I also belong from Pakistan, Karachi and run a small group, working for empowerment of women through creativity. About the food, I am keen person to learn and make good food.I had also written an EBook on cooking.

  47. I was born and raised in Peshawar Pakistan. Got married Last year and followed my Husband to USA-Los Angeles. i love to read your blog. Sitting at home sipping my morning tea i was just browsing through your blog when my eye caught the Afghan nan/roti along side the Spicy Baked Eggs. It so reminds me of Peshawar. do you have a recipe for that. i know i would not be able to make the exact nan that we get fro the Afghan Tandoor in Peshawar but i hope to get something close.

Trackbacks

  1. […] magazine and everywhere in the blogosphere (my friend Shayma posted a very similar Pakistani dish here). I googled a few recipes and came up with my own version using a spice mix that’s also had a […]

  2. […] came back from the run, and I made spicy baked eggs for breakfast, one of beautiful Shayma’s wonderful recipes. My husband did the dishes while […]

  3. […] still on a major Pakistani food kick, so I made these spicy baked eggs that I saw on a blog I like, The Spice Spoon which features Pakistani and Afghan recipes. This isn’t make-ahead, but it’s quick […]

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