Persian tomato omelette
Usually eaten at breakfast or as a brunch option, this dish is less omelette and more scrambled eggs despite its name. It is incredibly simple to cook and can be eaten as a lunch or dinner option. It is probably the most well-known of all the breakfast-style egg dishes with many cafes and restaurants serving it in Iran. I guess you can call it the Iranian version of shahshuka.
I love tomatoes, from slicing them up and putting them in a sandwich to slow roasting them for hours. They are quite perfect and reveal layer upon layer of flavour the more you cook them. This dish satisfies my fondness for the perfect red berry as it uses a lot of fresh tomatoes and a healthy dollop or two of tomato purée cooked down to a sweet base for the omelette. The tomato to egg ratio is quite high so the resulting texture is creamy and, like so many recipes from this part of the world, comforting.
Serve this dish with some kind of flatbread, a sprinkle of fresh herbs (coriander, basil or parsley or all of them – whatever takes your fancy) and Persian pickled cucumbers for an authentic experience. When we have ours as a dinner option we serve it with side of fries or chunky chips which is equally satisfying.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion (finely diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (crushed / minced)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 10 g fresh coriander (leaves and stalks chopped finely)
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 500 g cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 125 ml water
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 8 free range eggs
- Chopped fresh coriander leaves to sprinkle as a garnish
- Take a large frying pan, add the olive oil and place it on a medium / high heat.
- Add the onions and cook until they turn golden.
- Add the garlic, all the spices and herbs and stir until their aromas are released.
- Then add the tomato purée and stir into the mixture and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add the halved cherry tomatoes and 125 ml of water and stir. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low / medium to allow the mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally. Once the cherry tomatoes have broken down and the mixture is looking like a sauce, add the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Take 4 of the eggs and crack them into a bowl and beat them. Then pour into the tomato mixture in the pan and stir in gently to distribute evenly. You want the beaten eggs to be mixed into the tomatoes but not completely scrambled or cooked through.
- Make 4 holes evenly distributed in the tomato mixture. Crack the remaining eggs into the holes.
- Cover the pan and cook on a medium / low heat for about 5 to 7 minutes depending on how runny or cooked you prefer the eggs. Once the eggs are cooked to your liking, turn the heat off.
- Season the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper and sprinkle some chopped fresh coriander leaves on the dish prior to serving with flatbreads, Persian pickled cucumbers and / or fresh herbs.