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The next recipe for our Tagine Masterclass series is Moroccan Khlea and Egg Tagine; probably the quickest and easiest tagine you’ll ever make! Provided you have Khlea sitting in your fridge from our last post.
What is Khlea?
Khlea, as you remember, is a type of preserved meat popular in Morocco and certain parts of North Africa. In our last post, I gave you a quick version of it, so, don’t fret if you haven’t made it, it’s super easy and just needs 24 hours of marinating in the fridge before you cook it. Click on the above links to get to it. To see the other recipes in the Tagine Masterclass, click here.
This Khlea and Egg Tagine is a favourite of mine, I make it fairly often in a tagine or even quicker still, in a frying pan. Amazing combination of creamy, soft eggs and salty, marinated meat. So easy, but so effective!It’s also a recipe that I seek out when I’m in North Africa, it’s not difficult to find, mind you. It’s certainly a popular breakfast dish in Morocco, served with freshly made bread.
Khlea and Egg Tagine Recipe
The cooking time I give you here is for the recipe made in a tagine. Depending on your heat level (one cook’s medium is another cook’s high!), it might take up to 10 minutes for the fat from the khlea to melt, and another 7 – 10 minutes for the eggs to cook.
If truth be told, unless you are using an unglazed tagine or any unglazed clay vessel, there isn’t going to be any difference in cooking it in your usual frying pan. And in a frying pan, it’ll take you 5 – 7 minutes, altogether!
Variations to the Moroccan Khlea and Egg Tagine:
In Casablanca, I’ve had Khlea and Egg Tagine with cheese. Many types of cheese will work: parmesan, cheddar, gruyere, brie, camembert, just to name a few favourites. Mozzarella will give you that characteristic stretchy texture. Grate/chop the cheese and either mix it with the beaten egg, or sprinkle all over about a minute before taking it off the heat.
In Fes, I had one with merguez (spicy North African sausages) chopped up and cooked alongside the Khlea. If going down the sausage route, you’ll have to cook the sausages to the almost done stage before adding the eggs. You’ll find my homemade merguez recipe here, without the use of a sausage machine.
In Tunisia, I’ve had it with tabil (click for recipe) sprinkled all over, instead of just the cumin. And just for fun, I’ve given you a glimpse of some of the (cheap) delights a souk has to offer!
Besides that, following on from the Tunisian version, you can use any manner of seasoning, as a variation in your Khlea and Egg Tagine.
Other Spice Mixes and Ingredients for Khlea Tagine
Needless to say, chilli is always going to be good in this! And you could also add small amounts of the odd vegetable into the mix. Be careful though, as I always tell my students, a little goes a long way. Make too many changes, and it will no longer be what it was meant to be. N’est-ce pas?
Now let’s get down to business!
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Moroccan Khlea and Egg Tagine
- 4 heaped Tbsp khlea
- 6 eggs
- 1 Tbsp double heavy cream (optional)
- pinch of salt
- pinch of cumin
- freshly ground black pepper
- a very small amount of fresh parsley finely chopped
- Beat the eggs lightly with a fork, with the pinch of salt.
- Heat the tagine on medium high heat over a diffuser.
- Add your cold khlea to the cool tagine and wait for the tagine to heat up and the fat to melt. This might take up to 10 minutes. Give it a stir every now and then.
- When the fat has melted, scoop some out, I usually get rid of about 1 – 2 tablespoons, depending on how much fat was clinging to the meat. Do not add the fat back to your cold khlea in the jar. If you like, you can use it in another dish but in the interest of food safety, do it within the next couple of hours.
- Stir the khlea a little and let it warm up for about 30 seconds.
- Pour the beaten egg into the tagine. Now it's not going to sizzle up like it would if you're using a frying pan.
- Let it settle for about 20 – 30 seconds, then stir it, breaking it up, like you would, when making scrambled eggs. Continue doing this for about 5 minutes, let it set, stir, set and stir. You'll only need to do this about 3 – 4 times.
- When the eggs look like they are losing most of their liquid, drizzle in the cream, if using. Stir once again if the egg isn't too set. If you can't stir, just leave the cream to be absorbed.
- When the egg tagine looks like it’s almost cooked, take it off the heat, sprinkle the cumin, pepper and chopped parsley all over and serve immediately, with any type of bread you fancy.