Friday, December 08, 2006

Warm and spicy fried quail eggs, from 780 years ago

You know how you sometimes read a book and see a recipe that captivates you, yet looks only half tempting? That what happened to me when I flipped through the pages of recently acquired book and spotted a recipe for Baid Mutajjan, or fried hard-boiled eggs with cumin. I like eggs, and I do like the listed spices (cinnamon, coriander, cumin), but somehow spice-fried chicken eggs sounded less than perfect. I guess I just cannot imagine biting into a full boiled egg, seasoned or not, fried or not, elsewhere than at a breakfast table. And then I want my boiled egg plain, with just a dot of butter and a sprinkle of sea salt. No cinnamon, cumin nor coriander in sight. But then, I thought, as a little light started flashing in the back of my head, this recipe would work so much better with tiny quail eggs, wouldn't it!?

It did. A perfect little quail egg mouthful doused in warm and subtle spices would make a wonderful addition to a drinks party. I'm sure children would welcome new spices when served like this. And we simply nibbled them while waiting for our main course to be done..

By the way - if this source is to believed, then this is a truly old recipe indeed. A very similar recipe for Baid Mutajjan is to be found in Muhammad bin hasad al-Baghdadi's 1226 cookbook al-Kitab al-Tabīh ('The Book of Dishes') . If my math is correct, then that's 780 years ago!!!

Spicy fried quail eggs
(Vürtsikad vutimunad)
Adapted from Ghillie Basan's The Middle Eastern Kitchen

12 quail eggs*
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
Maldon sea salt

Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add quail eggs, boil for no more than 2 minutes, drain and quickly rinse under cold water. Peel the eggs carefully.
Grind cumin and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar (or use an old electric coffee grinder), mix in cinnamon.
Heat the oil in a small frying pan, add the spices and stir for a few seconds to release the aromas.
Add peeled eggs, stir gently, until the eggs are covered with a spicy oil.
Serve warm, sprinkle with salt flakes.

* Feel free to use only 10 eggs. It's just that quail eggs come in packets of 12 in Estonia :)


Thredahlia said...

Hehee, just paar päeva tagasi sattusin munaretsepte otsides sellisele lingile ja imestasin, et terveid mune üle praetakse. Tundus huvitav fakt, aga mitte kohe järgi proovima kutsuv, ilma retsepti ja pildita veel eriti.
See postitus näitab, kui oluline on retsepti juures eellugu ja pilt :P, kuigi minu puhul erutaks mõni teine maitseainete kombinatsioon meeli vast rohkem. (Ilusate piltidega ja hästi kirjutatud retseptiraamatud on need "kõige hullemad" - kõigepealt tahaks raamatu ära süüa, juhtub vahel.)

Anonymous said...

That's old...

I like quail eggs. I'm imagining the aroma that came from frying the spices. They look tasty covered in spices.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I wish I'd had this recipe when we sailed across the Atlantic. I found quail eggs at the market on Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands. I really like your thinking to make them little bites!

Anonymous said...

tere hommikust!
mul täitsa teemaväline küsimus. mis retsepti järgi sina piparkooke teed. ma mõtlesin, et oleks sel aastal usin ja küpsetaks miaga neid. a retsepte nõnna palju, et ei oska valida.

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow! Never had quail eggs before.


Anonymous said...

Very nice and interesting this recipe.

Pille said...

Thredahlia - usu mind, ma pole ka varem mune üle praadinud. Ja kanamune ei kujuta ikka ette sedasi, aga vutimunad olid mõnusad. Ja kui kaneel-vürtsköömen-kardemon Su meeli väga ei eruta, siis proovi midagi muud!

Mae - old indeed:) Spices were lovely, very warm and inviting!

Tanna - thanks! I'm pleased with the result, and will be making quail eggs this way again soon.

Maarja - mina tegin mullu selle retsepti järgi (seal on link ka eestikeelsele retseptile) ja homme kavatsen taas portsu tainast teha sama retsepti järgi. Head krõbedad olid tõepoolest.

Paz - you should try them! They're very good for you, too!

Orchidea - thanks!