khahgineh – Sugar Omelet
Remember how in the recent Mother’s Day post I gushed about Khagineh, a favorite childhood food? Well, Maman wants to give its recipe to you in her own words, so here I go passing the baton:
Hi everyone, this is Farideh, “Fari” for short. I usually work behind the scenes but I really wanted to pipe in and say hello and thank you for reading!
This time we are making a simple and delightful dish called Khagineh, which is best translated as “sugar omelet”, although if you ask me, I think it is more similar to a crêpe. Khagineh has a handful of lovely ingredients that you can’t go wrong with: saffron, ground cardamom, sugar, butter, and eggs. It has taste, texture, and aroma; and it’s very easy to make.
It’s interesting that Azita has such fond memories of Khagineh, because this was a favorite treat of my childhood as well.
Many years ago–although it very much feels like yesterday–my mother made khagineh for me and my brother and sister, and every time she did, “ma az khoshi mimordim,” which is Farsi for saying that we practically “died of happiness!” As she went about with the preparations–breaking the egg, heating the aromatic “roganeh kermanshai” (the cooking oil, very similar to butter in many respects, that was used back then), grinding the saffron and cardamom, and all the rest of it–we watched, glued to her every move, and as we say in Farsi: “cheshmahomoon bargh-bargh mizad az khoshhali“, which means that “our eyes sparkled with joy,” the joy of anticipation that is!
Then, when our patience was finally rewarded by the heavenly-smelling plate of khagineh, we savored the light fluffy eggs and every bit of the taste of the cardamom, saffron, and sugar; and we felt so grateful to our mother for this treat that we would hug and kiss her, or as we say in Farsi: “gorbon sadaghash miraftim.”
Speaking of treats, khagineh is traditionally offered as a symbolic (bringing sweetness) and practical (energy-boosting) treat to the bride and groom on the eve or the day after their wedding. I do not recall so, but my husband reminds me that his dear mother and mine, yadeshoon beh kheir and R.I.P., did indeed cook up a batch of khagineh for us the day after our wedding celebration. I wish I could remember this!
When Azita and I were talking about khagineh for this post, I realized it had been years and years since I’d made some. For Mother’s Day weekend I had almost all my brood home which was very nice and I thought why not make some khagineh for us for fun, even though we’d just had a big breakfast. I quickly whipped up a batch. All sorts of good smells filled the kitchen right away and my daughters ooh’d and aah’d over the aroma. I served it right off the skillet onto a plate, poured its syrup over it, and we all stole nibbles. Delicious! The lion’s share, I fed to my grandson. His mom said he was a “lucky ducky” to got this treat. Sure enough, he looked very pleased as he gobbled up the entire thing. Everyone enjoys eating khagineh.
Here’s the recipe, so that you can make a batch for your very own “lucky ducky.” Better yet, you could be your own “lucky ducky.” Why not!
- 2 eggs
- touch of salt
- 1 tablespoon butter (but a little bit more is even better)
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- a pinch of saffron
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/3 cup of water
- Mix water with sugar, ground cardamom and saffron. Boil mixture for 5 minutes. This is the shahd or syrup.
- While the syrup mixture is boiling, break the eggs in a bowl, add salt, and whisk well with a fork till it froths. (Some people like to add a pinch of flour to thicken the batter but my mother didn’t because she liked hers on the airy/fluffy side and I have always followed suit.)
- In a medium skillet heat butter over medium to high flame until it’s melted and is really hot, but watch out so that it doesn’t burn. Pour in the batter, reduce heat, and cook (stirring the skillet to make sure the batter is evenly spread) until the bottom has completely set and the top puffs up a bit. Shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. Gently turn the batter over and using the edge of a spatula, break it into a few (not too small) pieces. Immediately pour the syrup over batter and continue to cook (should take no longer than a minute or two) until the eggs have absorbed most of the syrup. (It’s nice to have some syrup left over to pour over the eggs. Makes it even more delicious.) Serve immediately.
- Optional twist: I’m thinking it would be fun to saute some slivered orange rinds and grated carrots and ginger with some sugar and add it to the syrup. I’m making a mental note to try this next time I make khahgineh. Let us know what you think of it if you give this a try yourself.
Serve with your favorite bread, and maybe with fruit salad or green salad. You can have this for a festive breakfast treat, or even a light lunch or supper.