This classic Persian breakfast is a testament to the power of simple ingredients. In every bite, you'll find sweet caramelized dates, creamy egg yolks, and egg whites with a delicious crispy edge. The combination of the sweet and savory flavors and the soft and crispy textures makes fried eggs with dates a great way to start the day.
The memory of that first time my dad made me fried eggs with dates remains vivid, even after nearly four decades have passed. I remember that I had a big math test that morning, and my dad assured me that these eggs would help me concentrate and help me do well on the exam. As a child who stressed over good grades, I promptly gobbled it up.
I always believed that this dish, also called khormeh maloos, was my dad's creation, but it wasn't until years later that he told me this story of his aunt. When my dad was just 11, he lost his mother, and his aunt, who had no children of her own, took him under her care. One of the ways she nurtured him was through food, and this was one of the dishes that she made him in the mornings before he went off to school.
Decades later, my father still maintained a deep connection between making fried eggs with dates and the act of nurturing his loved ones. And now, I continue this tradition by preparing this simple, yet delicious recipe for my own kids.
Ingredients to Make Fried Eggs with Dates
- Oil (avocado oil, olive oil, or vegetable oil, or butter)
- Salt and Black Pepper
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Fried Eggs with Dates
Step 1: Remove the pits from the dates and chop into small pieces. Arrange the chopped dates on a cold, small nonstick pan.
TIP: If your dates are very dry, soak them in hot water for 5 minutes to rehydrate and soften them.
Step 2: Add oil to the cold pan. Then on a gentle heat, fry the dates, being careful not to burn them. The high sugar content in dates makes them susceptible to burning.
Step 3: Separate the egg whites and egg yolks. On medium high heat, slide the egg whites onto the bottom of the pan.
Step 4: Once the egg white is fully cooked, slide the egg yolks right on top. The yolks will just need 2-3 minutes to be cooked with a runny center.
OPTIONAL: If you prefer the egg yolks cooked all the way through, please cook it longer. You can also place the lid on your frying pan.
Step 5: Sprinkle with salt, a little bit of black pepper or chili flakes, and a pinch of cinnamon. That's all there is to this fried eggs with dates recipe! I think that you'll enjoy this unique twist on a sweet omelette.
What type of dates are best for frying?
Any type of date can be used for this fried eggs and dates recipe. The most readily available dates in my area are medjool dates. They are some of the largest dates, with a soft and chewy texture and a caramel like sweetness. However, I always recommend using what is available to you.
Can I make this with egg whites only?
If you are limiting your fat intake, or simply do not like egg yolks, this breakfast recipe can be made with just egg whites. Egg whites are high in protein, low calorie, and a great way to start the day.
Are dates heathy?
Dates are rich in fiber, antioxidants and minerals such as potassium. Their high sugar content provides a quick boost of energy, but moderation is key. Just think of them as nature's candy.
Did You Make the Recipe?
Persian Breakfast Fried Eggs with Dates
- 2 eggs yolks and whites separated
- 2-3 dates pitted and chopped
- 1 tablespoon oil or butter
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
- Arrange the dates in a circular pattern around the center of a cold frying pan.
- Add oil or butter to the pan and turn the heat to low. Sauté the dates gently for a few minutes, ensuring they don't burn.
- Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the egg whites to the center of the pan and allow it to fry until the whites are fully cooked.
- Gently slide the egg yolks on top of the egg whites. Cook for a minute or two until the yolks are cooked to your desired doneness. If you prefer hard yolks, cook them for a longer duration or cover the pan with a lid.
- Generously season the eggs with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Serve with toasted bread and enjoy!