Tunisian chicken and eggs recipe

Tunisian chicken and eggs recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Chicken breast
  • Pan fried chicken breasts

A traditional Tunisian dish made from cooking chicken and eggs. You can add more vegetables if you wish and use any meat of your choice, including chicken, lamb or even liver.

17 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 75ml vegetable oil
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 225g chicken breast meat, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ras el hanout blend
  • 125ml water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons passata
  • 15g butter
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, washed and chopped
  • 8 eggs
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 25g Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:35min ›Ready in:1hr5min

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Grease a 23x33cm or similar sized baking dish.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the potatoes in the hot oil until golden brown and tender, about 7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a kitchen towel-lined plate. Stir the chicken into the remaining oil and cook until white on the outside, but still pink on the inside, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and continue cooking until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the harissa, ras el hanout, water, passata and butter. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the spinach until wilted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the peas, Parmesan cheese and fried potatoes. Stir in the chicken mixture a spoonful at a time, season to taste with salt and pepper, then pour into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until the mixture is firm and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then cut into 12 squares and serve warm.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(8)

Reviews in English (7)

by 96822

I love Tajin! It's basically the same as the Italian frtitta-- chicken/meat, veggies, and cheese all held together by a cheese and eggs= tons of flavor! This recipe looks pretty authentic. You can also take out the chicken/meat and add more vegetables (broccoli, carrots, peas, eggplant etc..) and make it vegetarian. You can sneak in the veggies by pureeing them, picky eaters (for example, some little ones) won't know the difference. After you bake it, cut it into squares. The left-over squares can be reheated or eaten cold right out of the fridge. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!-22 Aug 2009


this was very good. I did add 1/2 tsp. more of the ras el hanout. I didn't taste the spinach, although it did add nice color and is healthy. I think next time I would add parsley instead for more flavor. I cheated and used the pre-packaged hash browns and it worked nicely. You could also substitute lamb for the chicken. Reminds me of my sister-in-law's cooking and my wonderful visits to Tunisia. thanks for the great recipe; hubby loved it. Had bought carrots and peas so used that instead; pretty color.-21 Jan 2012

by Amber Dawn

I live in Tunisia, and my husband is Tunisian. This recipe is spot on and hubby complimented my Tajin skills! I used parsley instead of spinach and omitted the peas. What else.. oh yeah, I'm making it again tonight with dinner!-21 Nov 2014

Tunisian Tajine (Tajine Maadnous)

This recipe for Tunisian Tajine Maadnous is brought to you in collaboration with BC Egg, who have financially compensated me to develop it.
All opinions are my own.

Tunisian tajines are egg-based omelette-like dishes, filled with a variety of meats, vegetables, and spices. Tajine maadnous features chicken, flat-leaf parsley, potatoes, cheese, and a homemade spice blend to deliver a delicious and easy dish that makes a perfect appetizer or light meal.

For a biologist-and-teacher-turned-food-writer, I sure do talk a lot about language.

I didn't actually intend to talk much about linguistics when I set out to make this recipe, but the word 'tajine' made it somewhat inevitable. After all, this Tunisian tajine is rather different from what most English speakers think of when they hear the word 'tajine' (or tagine, which is a somewhat more common spelling in English). In fact, everyone I've told about this recipe to date has immediately been curious about (or confused by) the connection to the popular and flavourful tagine dishes of Morocco.

Tunisian tajines are egg-based dishes, rather similar to Spanish tortilla, Italian frittata, or Egyptian eggah. The more well-known Moroccan tagines are stew-like recipes, named after the special ceramic pots in which they are cooked. The two appear to have very little in common at first glance, but in reality, it only takes a fairly short and simple linguistic jump to sort out the confusion.

Both dishes come from variations in the use of the original Arabic word ṭājin ( طَاجِن), which comes from the Ancient Greek word tágēnon (τάγηνον). 1 The original Greek word means a frying pan or saucepan, while the Arabic derivation can mean this or a clay cooking dish. Basically, the word has always been used to refer to a cooking dish/pan first and foremost, rather than the meals cooked within it. However, we humans like to name our foods after our dishes (casserole, pot-pie, paella, and nabe are other examples), and the word tagine/tajine came to be used in this fashion in the North African Maghreb region - albeit in slightly different ways.

In Moroccan Arabic, ṭājin became ṭažin (طاجين), and came to be used to refer to the wonderful, often beautifully decorated ceramic cooking pans used in the region. These tagines and their distinctive conical lids help condense steam and return it to the dish, keeping slow-cooked dishes moist. In Tunisia, however, the word retained standard Arabic spelling, and evolved over time to mean a specific egg dish (such as this one), cooked into a sort of hearty meat-and-vegetable omelette. While the final dishes are undeniably different, they're united by the fact that they were both cooked in simple earthenware pans. As for the two spellings, this seems to be the result of little more than differences in transliteration to English (or French) from Arabic. In fact, spellings have been even more variable over the last 100 or so years, with variants like 'tajjine' and 'tajin' showing up in some older sources. Tagine has become the most commonly used English spelling when referring to the Moroccan dish, but tajine is still widely used and accepted. For Tunisian egg tajines like this one, the spelling with the letter j seems to be widely preferred - possibly because it helps to differentiate it from the now-common Moroccan variant.

  1. The Lisân al-'arab dictionary (لسان العرب) traces the origin of the word to Persian, rather than Ancient Greek. Given the long-standing connections between the Persian and Greek languages, it may be difficult to say with certainty which language it truly originated in. The word tagine may also have found its way into Arabic via the Amazigh (Berber) languages, though even in this case, most etymologists believe that the word originated in Ancient Greek.

Now that we're all on the same page with the language, let's talk about the food itself. Tunisian tajines look, as I've mentioned, quite a lot like other Mediterranean egg dishes, but they come with a spice-forward, distinctively Maghrebi twist. Like so many North African dishes, spices play a bold and important role. The eggs are still stars of course, but the final texture of the dish is also influenced quite a bit by the added starch. In this case that starch comes in the form potato, but some tajines use bread or pulses.

This particular tajine recipe - derives its name from the Maghrebi-Arabic word for parsley معدنوس (mʿdnws - roughly 'maadnous'). The name is well-deserved, as parsley plays a starring role in the flavour of the dish. I'm a big fan of parsley, and I'm always a little annoyed when it's treated as nothing more than a garnish, so I'm quite pleased to get to use so much of it here. That being said, if you're thinking that you might like to tone that flavour down - or tweak any of the flavours for that matter - it's quite easy to adapt and modify the recipe to your tastes.

You may be a little surprised to see that cheese also plays a major part in this tajine recipe. You don't see a whole lot of cheese in the foods of the Maghreb region, but there are some distinctive trans-Mediterranean influences from French, Spanish, and Italian cooking. Tunisian tajine maadnous almost always includes cheese, though there are quite a few different cheeses that you can use. The role it plays in the dish is important but surprisingly subtle, and I wouldn't characterize this as a cheesy omelette by any means. For more on your options with cheese and other ingredients, check out the Recipe Notes section below.

Recipe for Tunisian Brik

Separate and fold the malsouka (or lumpia wrappers) into triangle shapes. Since these are round, the easiest way is to fold in 4 edges to make somewhat of a square, then fold one corner of the square across to the opposite one to create a triangle. Set these aside and keep covered well until ready to use so they don't dry out.

In a bowl mix together all the other ingredients and set aside.

Heat a frying pan with about a half inch of vegetable oil on just over medium heat and make sure its hot enough to fry before you start assembling your brik.

In a plate, place your square wrapper, and line two of the edges with the parsley/tuna mixture making sure they connect. This will serve as a border to keep the egg in place. Sprinkle the center of the wrapper with a little salt and pepper and carefully crack your egg right on top of the salt and pepper. Fold over the top of the wrapper and using the plate, gently slide it into the oil. Use a spoon to gently press the brik closed and to spoon some of the hot oil onto the side not submerged into the oil. While it cooks on one side, you can make a second brik and cook them at the same time.

Let the brik fry for about 2-3 minutes or until a nice golden brown before flipping to the other side and repeat.

*Note: Tunisian brik is traditionally made with a runny egg. To achieve this, you will want to be careful how long you leave the brik in the frying oil, and it will take some trial and error. If you prefer a hard cooked egg, leave it to fry longer.

Remove the brik and place on a paper towel lined plate and continue frying as many briks as you wish to make.

When finished, place on a serving dish and garnish with lemon or lime wedges (to squeeze over) and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Easy Tunisian Shakshuka Recipe (Eggs in Tomato Sauce)


If you like eggs, and tomatoes, then you are in for a treat with Shakshuka, which is in its most basic form eggs poached in a tomato sauce. The beauty of this dish is its simplicity and versatility. Simple enough to be whipped up in no time at all, versatile enough to be eaten, like most egg dishes, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The origins of this dish are definitely Middle Eastern / North African, and like a few things in the Middle East, many in the region claim this dish as one of their own. Some say this dish is Israeli, others say its’ origins are Palestinian, while many purport that Shakshuka is a North African dish, originating in Tunisia and popularised by Tunisian Jews. Indeed, the name Shakshuka is understood to be of Arabic origins meaning mixture.

Whatever the origins, shakshuka is a one-pan recipe of eggs gently poached in a tomato-red pepper sauce spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne. It starts with making the sauce, which comes together fairly quickly, and then you gently crack each of the eggs into the pan, nestling them into the sauce.

Like many great dishes, there are many variants of this dish. Starting with the spices – do you use paprika, cayenne, harissa or a combination of the three? I think taste is such an individual thing that I would advise playing around with the spices until you arrive at the combination that works best for your palate.


Next the tomatoes – Tinned or fresh? I can’t believe I even asked that, but it is a valid question. Some people swear by tinned tomatoes for Shakshuka, but I come from a time and place in Africa that tomatoes when in season, are deep red, luscious, loaded with incredible taste and cheap. Traditionally, you would make this dish with fresh tomatoes, but I find the combination of fresh tomatoes and a tomato sauce from concentrate results in a deeply flavourful and piquant base sauce.

And then there are the herbs? spinach? parsley? cilantro?… Cilantro is basic to my African heart so I am partial to this pungent herb. And of course, there is the also the option of adding no herbs at all. And of course, the option of sprinkling some seasonal herbs on top of the finished meal, as I did (just because I couldn’t help myself and they were lying around)…


Some make shakshuka into a heartier meat meal, including sausages in the recipe. Others vary the vegetables, adding spinach, aubergine and/or courgette. Either way, it’s always delicious. And now, here’s my take on this wonderful North African dish!

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  • 10 eggs
  • 1 small box creme fresh
  • 4 pieces of natural cream cheese (about 4 teaspoons of natural cream cheese)
  • 1 pinch baking powder
  • 1 chicken fillet
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • A handful of grated cheese (here I have used cheddar, but you can use what you have in the fridge)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup. Water
  • 1 potato

I cut the chicken, potato and onion into small pieces.
Then I fry this in a hot pan with a little oil together with the spices until the onion becom soft.

I pour over the water and let it simmer under the lid until the potatoes are tender.
I let this cool down.

Then I whip eggs lightly and mix in cream fresh, cheese, baking powder and cream cheese carefully in a bowl.
I pour over what I have cooked and mix this carefully , i pour everything into a greased baking dish.

Bake at 180 degrees until it is golden. You can check if it has finished stabbing a knife in it and when there is nothing sticking to the knife it is ready.
Let it cool slightly before cutting into it.

Do you have a recipe for Tunisian Tajne you want to share? Have you tried this?
Feel free to leave a comment in the field below.

Fatima’s Fingers (Tunisian Egg Rolls)

Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Rebecca Jurkevich.

These deep-fried pastries, which are known as “doigts de fatima” in French, are named after the prophet Muhammad’s daughter and her delicate fingers. They are commonly eaten to break the fast during Ramadan, but are also enjoyed year round, especially at weddings. While this particular recipe is Tunisian, many North African and Middle Eastern countries have their own versions. They are typically made with thin, delicate malsouka pastry sheets, but spring roll wrappers are used here instead. The fillings are wide-ranging (you may find versions with tuna, shrimp, ground beef or vegetables) and flexible: Feel free to omit the chicken in this recipe for a tasty vegetarian snack. &mdashJamel Charouel

Tastira (Tunisian Fried Peppers and Eggs) Recipe

4 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 pinch salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup mild chile peppers, chopped
1 1/2 cups green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 cups tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 eggs
salt and ground black pepper to taste

1. Mash the garlic, caraway seeds, and pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle or against the side of a mixing bowl.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the chile peppers cook and stir until the peppers have softened, about 5 minutes. Remove them from the skillet and set aside. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and cook the bell peppers and tomatoes until the peppers are soft and the tomatoes have begun to break down, about 5 more minutes. Add the tomato-bell pepper mixture to the hot peppers. Stir in the mashed garlic and caraway seeds. Spoon the vegetables onto plates or a serving platter.

3. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Fry the eggs until the whites are set and the yolks are the desired consistency, about 2 to 3 minutes for runny yolks, 4 to 5 minutes for fully set yolks. Place the fried eggs on the vegetable mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Editor's Note:
Tastira can be hot or mild, depending upon the type of chile peppers used.

More Arabic Food Recipes:

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Shakshuka Eggs Recipe

The Arabic Food Recipes kitchen (The Home of Delicious Arabic Food Recipes) invites you to try Shakshuka Eggs Recipe. Enjoy the good taste of Arabic Food and learn how to make Shakshuka Eggs.

Preparation Time – 15 minutes
Cooking Time – 20 minutes
Serves – 2

4 free range eggs
1 green bullhorn chili, thinly sliced
1 long red chili, thinly sliced (the spicy kind)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 small red tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons mild/medium paprika
1/4 cup water
coarse sea salt
thyme sprigs to garnish

In a shallow non-stick sauté pan, heat oil on medium heat. Add garlic and chili. Sauté for 5 minutes till tender. Add tomatoes and water. Cook for 5 minutes until tomatoes are slightly tender.

Sprinkle paprika and mix well. Reduce heat to low. Crack eggs slowly over the chili tomato mixture. Cover with a plate and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until eggs are done and slightly runny.

Season with salt and garnish with thyme. Serve hot with bread and salad greens.

More Arabic Food Recipes:

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Using a mortar and pestle, mash together your garlic and ras el hanout spice mix.

Note: if you don’t have this spice mixture, you can easily make it yourself. See our Macarona recipe for details.

In a small saucepan, add your oil, chicken, garlic and spice mixture, tomato paste, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, and turmeric. Saute on about medium high for a few minutes.

Add enough water to cover the chicken, reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer until the liquid has reduced by about ½ and the chicken is fully cooked. Set it aside and allow to cool.

Note: By the end of cooking time for the chicken, it is ok and should look like there is more chicken than sauce. The sauce will be quite oily and this is what you want, so do not drain the oil as it is essential to the final outcome of the dish. Also, this is the only point to taste for salt/seasoning since later the mixture will have raw eggs. The sauce should be salty enough but try to avoid adding too much as the parmesan cheese will add a good amount of saltiness as well.

In in small frying pan, fry your potatoes until just very lightly golden brown on the edges, the centers should still be pretty white. Set aside to cool on a paper towel lined plate.

In a large bowl, whisk together 8 whole eggs. Add your parsley, potatoes, peas, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and chicken mixture and gently fold all the ingredients together.

Note: You are looking for a thick but still runny consistency. Similar to other quiches. If you find it’s too thick, feel free to whisk together one or two more eggs and add them to the mixture. If you find it's too runny, feel free to add in more bread crumbs just a spoonful at a time. With ours, we ended up adding two more eggs for a total of 10.

Pour your mixture into a baking dish. Bake for 30-50 minutes or until the center has set and the edges are golden brown.

Note: baking time will vary depending on your oven and the size of baking dish used. A square pan about 10x10 inches and 1-3 inches high is usually used to get the square tagine shape. A round pan, like the one we used is also fine but just keep in mind it will take longer to cook the smaller the dish you use.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut into squares or any desired shape and serve.