Sometimes I just can not be bothered to cook. Those are times eggs come to the rescue. To me, eggs never have any appeal without flavour. A blank canvas that can take on anything tossed at them, I grew up adding loads of freshness and spice to eggs. My mother always made a Pakistan scrambled egg called khagina every weekend. Cumin browned in ghee, with chopped tomatoes, coriander and green chillis, scrambled up with eggs, was mopped up with paratha flatbreads - Such good memories filled with comfort.

Though snacks such as scotch eggs and egg sandwiches made eggs more a meal than merely a morning offering in the west, eggs sometimes are just what hit the spot in the evening. With Middle Eastern food becoming trendy in the past few years, the shakshuka, the North African/Middle Eastern favourte of eggs cooked in tomatoes, spices and chillis, eggs have become more mainstream for more than just breakfast. In Pakistan, we take eggs to another level and make them a rather regal dish called Nargisi kebab, a celebratory dish, where double minced and spiced meat is wrapped around a hard boiled egg, lightly fried and cooked though and popped into a spicy poppy seed and tomato curry. I love experimenting with loads of different ingredients and as of late I have decided that I want to find more ways to use up halloumi, which has ro be one of the best chesses to cook with. In Pakistan, we have a rather full and veggie friendly breakfast called ‘halva puri’ where we eat spicy potatoes, chickpea curry, sweet semolina halva and eggs with puri fried flatbreads – though amazing ‘hangover’ food it may sound, it is quite a lot to take in. I have created this recipe, which uses the recipe of the spicy potatoes, some leftover halloumi and eggs, called cooked in shakshuka style. Perfect with a slice of sourdough, by the fire on a cold autumnal night.

Aloo bhujia with halloumi and egg

Serves 2-3


• 3 tbsp sunflower oil

• 1 red onion, finely


• 1cm (1/2 inch) piece

ginger, grated

• 2 garlic cloves, crushed

• 1 tsp cumin seeds

• 1 tsp kalonji (nigella


• 2 tbsp dried methi

(fenugreek leaves)

• 3 medium tomatoes,

roughly chopped

• 3/4 tsp sea salt

• 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

• 3/4 tsp red chilli powder

• 250g new potatoes,

peeled and cut into 1cm

(1/2-inch) squares

• 250ml water

• 1/2 tbsp ghee

• 2 eggs

• 1/2 packed halloumi

cheese, chopped into

inch–size pieces,

pan–fried until brown

• 1 tsp chaat masala

To garnish:

• A handful coriander leaves, chopped

• 1 tbsp dill, chopped


First make the aloo bhujia:

1 Heat the oil in a saucepan (with the lid on). When

hot, add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook

over a high heat for 5–7 minutes, or until the onion

is golden brown.

2 Add the cumin, kalonji, dried methi leaves,

tomatoes, salt, turmeric and chilli powder, then

reduce the heat. Mix well and keep stirring as you

cook for about 10 minutes, or until the oil rises to

the surface and the tomatoes are soft.

3 Add the potatoes and water, stir and increase the

heat to medium. Cover the pan with the lid and

cook for 10–12 minutes, or until the potatoes are

tender and the water has evaporated. Turn off

heat and set aside.


1 In a cast iron frying pan (big enough to fi t the

potatoes), place the potatoes together with

the ghee. Heat and let the ghee melt. Mix in the

browned halloumi cheese cubes.

2 Crack eggs on top of the potatoes and halloumi

and place under the hot grill. Let this cook for

about 3-5 minutes on high, until the eggs set.

3 Serve hot with a garnishing of sprinkled chaat

masala and chopped coriander leaves.