South Asian-style eggs are referred to as khagina. A moderately spicy tomato-onion base, potatoes, and fresh cilantro make up this easy Punjabi variant. It’s a vibrant, full breakfast that’s become a staple in my weekly breakfast routine.
Several years ago, I experienced khagina for the first time owing to Shayma Saadat’s recipe. While scrambled eggs aren’t my favourite method to eat them, the same cannot be said about khagina. This is owing to the colour and flavour that fresh tomatoes and cilantro provide.
In India, the terms bhurji and akoori are more commonly used, but khagina is still employed in some dishes. In Muslim families in India, the word may be more extensively used. The recipes differ significantly, with the Bengali version featuring smoked, mashed eggplant; or this Hyderabadi interpretation with chef Ranveer’s gorgeous tadka that resembles a shakshouka.
My family’s choice of eggs was either a masala omelette or a fried egg with paratha, therefore I never grew up eating khagina. But it was my mum who did it. Her potato-based recipe can be found here. This meal is often known in Pakistan as aloo anday (potatoes with eggs), yet it is still classified as khagina.
- 1 nonstick skillet
- 4 tablespoon neutral oil canola/sunflower/vegetable
- ¼ onion (roughly 2 ounce or 57 grams) roughly diced
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder preferably Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 small potato (roughly 4 ounce or 113 grams) thinly sliced
- 1 roma tomato (roughly 2 ounce or 57 grams) roughly diced
- ½ bird’s eye chili finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- ½ cup cilantro finely chopped
- In a nonstick skillet, heat oil. Once it begins to shimmer, add chopped onion and fry on medium heat until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add turmeric powder and red chili powder, and fry on medium-low heat until fragrant.
- Raise heat to medium-high. Add chopped potatoes, tomato and green chili, and begin to fry until the mixture is well-coated in the masala, and potatoes are done, roughly 10 minutes.
- Lower heat to medium, and add eggs and cilantro. Moving quickly, break the eggs with your spatula as they are setting to form small, soft curds. Remove from heat if necessary to prevent eggs from overcooking.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately with roti or any bread of your choice.