Articles / Food with Mark Bittman: Nasim Alikhani

Food with Mark Bittman: Nasim Alikhani

Published June 28, 2023

Plus: Date Scrambled Eggs, from Alikhani’s new cookbook, Sofreh

This recipe, from Nasim Alikhani’s Sofreh: A Contemporary Approach to Classic Persian Cuisine, was shared during Nasim’s interview on Food with Mark Bittman.

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Date Scrambled Eggs

Makes: 2 or more servings

Iranians love dates for their sweetness, nutrients, and because they are rich in fiber, making them a perfect, wholesome snack. Pairing excellent-quality dates with soft and silky scrambled eggs enriched with a bit of cream and seasoned with the warmth of black pepper has been one of my favorite breakfasts since my mom’s Shirazi cousin made this for me on a visit south when I was a teenager. — Sofreh


  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • Light olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick/28 grams) salted butter

  • 8 large Medjool dates, pitted and thinly sliced

  • 4 to 6 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted, for garnish (optional)


1. Add the onions and 4 tablespoons olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid and sauté over medium heat, adding more oil if needed, so that the onions turn golden, their edges darken, and they soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the turmeric, a bit more oil, and stir, allowing the turmeric to bloom and release its fragrance, about 1 minute more. Remove some of the onions to reserve for garnish, leaving the rest in the pot.

2. Add the butter, dates, and 2 tablespoons water (to help soften the dates) to the pot, and sauté over medium heat for 1 minute.

3. Whisk the eggs with the cream in a mixing bowl and add them to the pot, along with the salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and cook for a few minutes, taking care not to overcook the eggs.

4. Serve the eggs garnished with the reserved onions, and toasted walnuts, if you like.

— Recipe from Sofreh: A Contemporary Approach to Classic Persian Cuisine

Date Scrambled Eggs
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