'Khagina': Aromatic Scrambled Eggs the Afghani / Pakistani way

September 20, 2009
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

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&Afghanis have our own version of scrambled eggs, called 'Khagina'. This is a dish which is replete with fresh ingredients and lifted with aromatic spices. It is comfort food, a dish which evokes fragrant memories of childhood in Lahore. The eggs are mopped up with chapati roti (a Pakistani flat bread made out of whole wheat flour) 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 & 'herby', which make this a rather special dish.

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. —shayma

What You'll Need
  • 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), finely chopped
  • 2-3 thai bird chillies, sliced straight into the mixture in the pan with kitchen shears.
  1. Break the eggs into a bowl, add salt and whisk lightly together, just enough so that the yolks combine with the whites.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 2 minutes till aromatic.
  4. To this, add the tomatoes and stir till warmed over and slightly soft. Turn the heat to low.
  5. Add cilantro, the egg mixture and chilies.
  6. 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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Shayma Saadat is a cookery teacher, food writer, stylist and photographer who focuses on the food of her heritage - Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, which she refers to as Silk Route cuisine. Shayma lives in Toronto with her husband and son. You can follow her culinary journey on Instagram @SpiceSpoon.

6 Reviews

Franko June 8, 2012
Outstanding!!! Love it!!!
Binte's K. February 7, 2011
Khagina always rekindles fond memories, such as going to the HawkesBay beach in Karachi with family, or going to a farmhouse for the weekend. Infact, i recollect my grandmother packing 'khagina-paratha' wraps for my grandfather and uncles every hunting season when they would head out on their hunting escapades in the wee hours of the morning.

At my house, we serve khagina with square, home-made paratha's. So happy to see the famous khagina got picked up by the editors. Great job :)
magdance February 28, 2010
I make eggs with tomatoes frequently in summer and can't wait to try this spicy Pakistani dish.
shayma February 28, 2010
Thank you. I cant wait for summer so that we can start using fresh, non hothouse tomatoes!
thirschfeld February 22, 2010
I can't wait to try these. I really really like the idea and the chapati is just a bonus. I love chapati flour for making whole wheat buttermilk biscuits. It somehow always seems like a fresher flour than any other.
shayma February 25, 2010
Thank you so much. I had a hand injury a few years ago, so I cannot knead, unfortunately. The chapati you see in this photo is from made by a Pakistani lady who provides a batch every week to a local Pakistani store. I just have to pop it into my toaster oven. I love this idea of making buttermilk biscuits, how fascinating. I never thought of using chapati flour for something like that. Thank you for the idea.