Moroccan fried eggs with Khli’ – Lbid bel khlii : A breakfast from Fez
Khlii is to Fassis (peole from Fez/Fes) what water is to anything that lives…on water; It’s something we should have in our cupboard/larder.freezer or fridge at all times whether to use as is or as a condiment in many of our stews, soups and salads.
Mind you, it was not a delicacy before our time as it was rather a way of preserving meat and serving it during bad days (financially and naturally).
- 2 to 4 eggs
- About 1/2 cup of khlii, fat preferably scarped off for most of it (optional) and khlii snipped off to little nuggets
- 2 tbsp of water
- A pinch of cumin
- A pinch of salt to taste (Khlii is already salty)
- A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- On a medium heat, place a non-stick frying pan or a small tagine with water and the nuggets of khlii scattered inside it. Use a heat diffuser if your tagine can’t take direct heat. The traditional way does not call for scrapping off the excess fat/suet surrounding the khlii as the eggs should “fry” in it. However, you can put most of it back into the khlii jar (*)
- Once the fat/suet has melted, delicately crack in the eggs (**).
- Season with cumin and salt. Cover and let the egg whites set and the yolk cooked from the edges. I usually knock off the heat at this stage.
- If you are using a regular frying pan, flip the eggs just a few seconds before flipping back the whole serving in a serving dish.
- If you are using tagine, be aware that the clay holds the heat and you have to let it work for you, you don’t have to flip the eggs, just place the tagine in the middle of the table as it keeps bubbling away and the egg yolks are slowly setting. It only requires a few more minutes.
- The lemon juice could be added before adding the eggs to the warm khlii or just before serving. The first option is the ideal one.
- Enjoy your fried eggs warm with a hot Moroccan mint tea or any hot infusion. Never to be eaten with cold drinks.