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Spices make Egyptian omelet dinner-worthy

Eggah is an Egyptian frittatalike omelet

By CHRISTOPHER KIMBALL, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street
Published: February 28, 2024, 5:59am

Omelets often are served at breakfast or brunch in the U.S., but in plenty of cuisines the dinner table is fair game, too. Which also means you’re not limited to American-style omelets, which can be overly cheesy, greasy and salty.

We keep things lighter and more flavorful with Egypt’s spiced frittatalike eggah, which is substantial but balanced, with layer upon layer of flavor thanks to a trio of spices and fresh herbs and scallions.

It’s a hearty dish, made with shredded potatoes and beef. Turmeric, coriander and allspice infuse the eggah with a warm, inviting fragrance and flavor. In this recipe from our book “Tuesday Nights Mediterranean,” which features weeknight-friendly meals from the region, we whisk those spices directly into the eggs, along with fresh dill and a little baking powder to provide lift. We also shred the potatoes by hand and rinse them under cold water to remove excess starch before wringing them dry.

We then brown the beef and potatoes with scallion whites to develop deep, savory flavor, and vigorously scramble them with the spiced egg mixture before transferring the whole thing to the oven to finish. Sliced scallion greens and more fresh dill offset the richness of the meat and eggs and add pops of vibrant color.

Don’t use ground beef that is fattier than 90% lean, as it will make the omelet greasy. And don’t slice the eggah hot out of the skillet. It’s easier to slice and transfer to a plate once it has cooled a few minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, with a light salad or a grain side to round out the meal.

Spiced Beef and Potato Eggah

Start to finish: 40 minutes. Servings: 4-6

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon baking powder

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

8 large eggs

1 cup lightly packed fresh dill, chopped

12 ounces russet potatoes, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

8 ounces 90 percent lean ground beef

4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts reserved separately

Heat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle position. In a large bowl, whisk together the turmeric, coriander, allspice, baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the eggs and half the dill, then whisk until well combined; set aside.

Place the shredded potatoes in a colander and rinse under cold water to remove excess starch. Wrap in a clean kitchen towel and wring dry.

In an oven-safe 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the potatoes, beef, scallion whites, ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook until evenly browned, 9 to 12 minutes; at first, stir frequently and break the meat into small bits, then stir only occasionally after browning begins.

Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and stir vigorously with a silicone spatula from the edges toward the center until wet, soft curds form but the eggs remain slightly runny and spreadable, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the eggs are just set, 5 to 6 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven (the handle will be hot) and run a silicone spatula around the edge and underneath the omelet to loosen, then slide onto a cutting board. Cool for 5 minutes. Cut the omelet into 6 wedges and transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle with the scallion greens and remaining dill.