‘Khagina’: Aromatic Scrambled Eggs

The French have their pillowy, like-a-curdled-creme, soufflé-like version of scrambled eggs. The Latin Americans have their huevos revueltos; the Colombians serve theirs with pillowy arepas. Us Pakistanis & Afghans have our own version of scrambled eggs, called Khagina.

To prepare Khagina one needs just a few simple, fresh ingredients: eggs, tomatoes, onions, green chilies and fresh coriander/cilantro. Add cumin and the dish is lifted with an aromatic spice. It is comfort food, a dish which evokes fragrant memories of childhood in Lahore. The eggs are mopped up with chapati; a Pakistani whole-wheat flat bread or cushioned on crusty bread, sliced thick. Khagina is a much-loved dish which can be eaten for breakfast and just as easily served as an entrée for lunch or dinner. It is the layering of flavours; nutty, chili and herbal, which make this a rather special dish. I’ve always managed to find these ingredients in my fridge; a perfect dish to whip up not only for brekkers, but also on that night when you get in very late from work.

Making Khagina requires an indulgent amount of butter, but if you want to employ healthy cooking techniques, use 2-3 tbsps of olive oil. You will need a 7-8 inch non-stick frying pan.

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Active time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
* 6 eggs, (preferably free-range)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
* 1 small white onion, finely chopped
* 2 teaspoons cumin seed (zeera)
* 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
* 2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro/coriander, (both leaves&stems)
* 2-3 thai bird chillies, sliced straight into the mixture in the pan with kitchen shears.

Preparation:
*Break the eggs into a bowl, add salt and whisk lightly together, just enough so that the yolks combine with the whites;

* Place pan over a fairly medium heat, add the butter (or olive oil) and tilt the pan from side to side so the pan is coated evenly. As soon as the butter stops foaming and begins to turn a nutty brown, add the onions and stir for 5-7 minutes till soft and golden;

*Add the cumin seeds and fry for 2 minutes till aromatic;

*To this, add the tomatoes and stir till warmed over and slightly soft. Turn the heat to low;

*Add cilantro, the egg mixture and chilies;

*Continue to stir the eggs swiftly, for another 5-7 minutes, until they are at the point of setting and resemble a soft custard. Make sure to keep scraping the bottom and sides of the pan. Serve immediately; while warm and creamy.

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Comments

  1. OMG soooooo glad you posted this, ive been looking for the right recipe for khagina.. somehow it never turns out as good as my mom used to make it.

    cant wait to try it cos coming from you i know it’ll be perfect! ;)

  2. Khagina is one of my all-time, anytime faves! thanks for this! its just about the only thing i can cook well enough to have someone else eat!
    Will try it with your directions next time!

  3. Ah! Lovely website and this looks T A S T Y – bravo.

    T x

  4. Thanks, all. Most kind of you to visit.

  5. So yum – and beautifully presented!

  6. What a unique website, this one is definitely one I’ll follow regularly. Recipes are easy to follow and love the Lahore description

  7. ahhh memories!
    early morning eid breakfast with my dadi
    along with a piping hot cup of sheer khurma
    the only difference — she’d make the khagina green for some reason. if you don’t believe me, ask of any of my relatives (wife didn’t believe until she was made to sit down and experience!)
    really nice photo shots of the cooking in action. bravo!

  8. Oh, this sounds SO much more interesting than the dull, unadorned scrambled eggs, bacon and hotcakes that my children demand as their American right (foreigners!) for breakfast. Mind you, I’m such a slapdash cook that it’s probably my fault they only eat boring things. This looks mouthwatering, and so appetisingly shot.
    xo

  9. @Mady @Z Thank you for visiting, most grateful.

    @Sids Please do share that recipe with the rest of the family-sounds intriguing. Nothing like a Dadi’s prepared meal. I do miss mine a lot. Thank you for your lovely comments.

    @mothership As your lovely children grow older, perhaps you can start cooking with them and make it a fun thing for all of you. Not sure what Two will want to cook, though. No ginger, that’s for sure.

  10. I love aromatic scrambled eggs! Used to have them in Yemen thank you Shayma for that MERAVIGLIOSO website luv u

  11. @Tiziana Thanks so much. Miss you loads and love you, too.

  12. Looks amazing! Going to make Khurram whip it up for us on the weekend ;).

  13. Great job, had a chance to taste most of them when your dad was in Armenia- delicious- still have taste in my mouth.

    • @Era Thank you so much for visiting my site. I have fond memories of my trips to Armenia, hope you all are well.

  14. This so much reminds me of the way scrambled eggs are made in India too. The Parsis here have a version they call “Akoori” and its served on toast.

  15. @Aparna Thank you for visiting. I have had this dish at a Parsi friend’s house- it’s lovely.

  16. LouRusso2 says:

    I printed this recipe for my Mother. She loves it!! As an added bonus, another home cooked meal when I visit. :-)

  17. ahh yes i think every nation has their scrambled eggs. Ours or maybe mine is scrambled with sliced shallots, and sliced red chillies until it becomes clottish rather than creamy…I have a good mine to blog that soon…its,according to my tastebuds, absolutely delicious.:)

  18. Ooooh this looks ubber yum .. khagina is equally tasty with potatoes in too :)

  19. Many thanks for visiting, everyone.

    @Lou Hope it turned out well for your mum. Thanks for visiting.

    @Zurin I am looking forward to seeing your version of scrambled eggs.

    @Asma You are so right; potatoes are great in a khagina, too. I’ll try that next time.

  20. Hi shayma. salam.

    I am originally from Arabia, Saudi Arabia..and i used to have a childhood friend who happened to be a Pakistani bro..and this is one of the the dishes his sweet mother used to cook for us as a light lunch/ snack around mid day..my friend, his sisters and my self used to set in their yard which had lots of trees and just eat b4 going back to playing. that was a long time ago in Riyadh. Even though we have a similar dish (sometimes we add local cheese made of sheep’s milk to it) but still i always loved this one. take care salam.

  21. Wonderful.
    We might live in Rome but we are both passionate and curious about eastern and indian/ Pakistani flavours (I lived in India for a year, I came from wonderful international London and our porter here in Rome is from pakistan and cooks us delicious gifts from time to time.)
    This looks delicious and I’d go for full butter.
    I am normally afraid of link exchanges, they make me nervous but it feels just right with you.
    salute

  22. @Rachel Thanks so much for visiting my (newish) blog. You are very lucky to live in Rome (and eat Pakistani cuisine as well). And coming from London- you’re used to all the beautiful variety of cuisines. I don’t do link exchanges either, I add to my blogroll, blogs which inspire and are beautiful- such as yours. Lovely to meet a fellow “honourary Romana”- as those of us who made Rome our home like to be referred as. x shayma

  23. Aromatic scrambled eggs sounds very nice at the moment. With the exception of fresh coriander, I think I have everything I need to make this one for my lunch. Thanks!

  24. Dublin Flaneur says:

    Delicious. I’m having that this morning in Ireland!

  25. Dublin Flaneur says:

    I continue to be surprised by Afghan cuisine. Delicious.

  26. thank you for this recipe, i grew up in Lahore and this was one of my favourite childhood dishes, my daado used to whip it up whenever the cook was away or my mom had left us under her care, thank u! i am going to treat my kids tonight with this :)

  27. Khagina is my all time fav, hooked my husband to it as well… My mom used to make it the same way as yours… Where as I put the tomatoes and green chillies in the end right before dishing it out it keeps them crisp. Great presentation :)

  28. This is most wonderful….I just had some today for the first time and something so simple tastes so good. The simple things in life are the best.

  29. As’salam u alaikum, Shayma.
    I tried this today with the slight variation of adding crushed garlic cloves, turmeric and substituting the chilies with capsicum.
    I’ve obviously had this back home, never knew how to make it right by myself.
    Thanks for the directions. Turned out great, Alhamdulillah.

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