Spanish tortillas are a lunchtime staple around our house. We love the classic combo of olive oil, gently baked eggs, creamy potatoes, and tender onion strips. We eat it right out of the oven, slathered in aioli or cold stuffed in between toasted bread. Imagine my surprise when we set up for our tortilla standard, and Ham casually asked if I would be into an eggah instead. We have been married for almost 12 years. I have never heard him utter the word. And he said it so casually as if it was something that we have been making for years. I needed an explanation. Eggah is the Egyptian version of a baked egg omelet. Archeologists have found that ancient Egyptians have been eating variations of eggah since the Egyptian bronze age in 3150 BCE. They would get eggs from wild fowl that lived along the Nile.
Similar to a frittata, eggah is made by whipping eggs and folding in fillings before baking until set. Like many traditional foods, making eggah varies from household to household. Some use flour as a binder, some have tomatoes, some use nuts, and some even have ground meat or diced liver. There is no limitation to what you can do. Just go in any direction your imagination (or fridge) dictates.
Eggah is all about versatility. With the onions and the spice mix in place, feel free to change up all the other mixins to include whatever you have. Just make sure that whatever you are adding to the egg and onion base is already cooked or in a state that is ready to eat. The final bake is just to cook and set the eggs.
1 medium cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 teaspoon coriander, ground
½ teaspoon chili powder or flakes
⅓ packed cup parsley, roughly chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Turn the broiler on high, and set the rack in the middle of the oven.
In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Toss to coat.
Place the cauliflower on a sheet tray and broil until golden brown and charred in spots, about 15 to 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. When the cauliflower is done, turn the oven to 325F.
In a large bowl, whip the eggs with a large pinch of salt until homogenous and frothy, set aside.
In a 10-inch nonstick skillet or well seasoned cast iron pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and wilted, about 10 minutes. Add the almonds and cook until the almonds and parts of the onions are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, chili powder, and a large pinch of salt and cook until the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Scrape the onion mixture and charred cauliflower into the bowl with the eggs. Mix well with a rubber spatula to combine. Add the parsley and lemon zest and stir to combine.
Heat the same 10-inch skillet over low heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter is fully melted and frothy, add the egg mixture and spread out evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake in the oven until eggs are fully set, 20 to 25 minutes.
Flip out onto a plate, cut into wedges, and serve hot, room temperature, or cold.
Similar to Spanish tortillas, I like eating eggah in two stages: immediately out of the oven in some warm pita swiped with a garlicky tahini sauce and some cucumber, tomato, and parsley, and later on when it has fully cooled with a big dollop of labneh dusted with za’atar. It's the perfect versatile protein boost to have sitting in the fridge.