recipes

Date Omelette

This semester I’m in a class called Food and the Sacred. In it, we discuss food and it’s significance in different religions and cultures. Recently we learned about Ramadan, which is a Muslim holiday that is observed by fasting for a month. We read an excerpt by Omid Safi called “Ramadan, Date Omelets, and Global Compassion” in our book”Bread, Body, Spirit: Finding the Sacred in Food” by Alice Peck. In the excerpt, Safi accounts for how Ramadan was celebrated at his home when he was a child. His mother would wake up at 4:30 a.m. to make date omelets because they contain fat, protein, and sugar to keep them full until they eat again after      the sun goes down. Safi said his mother would only make the omelette during Ramadan, so it was a special tradition for his family.

My professor said that we would get extra credit if we make the date omelette ourselves, took pictures of it, and wrote a one page paper on it. I decided to do this not only for the extra credit but to get to try something new. She gave us a link to the recipe on a food blog called Turmeric and Saffron and it was easy enough to make. The recipe serves two and the ingredients are:

  • 3 large eggs
  • A handful of seedless dates, each cut into halves or quarters
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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I didn’t start liking eggs until recently, so I am new to making eggs. This was actually the first omelette I have ever made so I was excited yet nervous, but it looked simple enough.

I started by cutting the dates in half, removing the seed, and then cutting them again so they were in quarters. After that was done, I put some butter on a pan and added the dates once the butter was melted. While I let those cook for a few minutes until they were softened, I broke three eggs and whisked them with some water, salt, and pepper. I then poured the eggs into the pan and distributed the dates evenly throughout the eggs. The only tricky part was rolling and flipping the omelette once it was almost done cooking. I successfully flipped it without breaking it, and I was pretty proud of myself I must say.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from the flavor of the omelette. I know dates are sweet but I wasn’t sure if it would be enough to give the eggs flavor (normally when I make eggs I do scrambled egg whites and add a bunch of vegetables along with a touch of cheese and red pepper flakes). The omelette didn’t need any more flavors though; it was perfect just the way it was. It was very sweet but not overpoweringly. In a way it was almost like eating dessert. My housemates and I devoured it, so I definitely plan on making it again one day for brunch.

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