Selq bel Bayd an iron and protein rich brunch or side dish for two…
or one really hungry person, who may I add, was out of bread at the time of eating.
I don’t usually care for eggs. I mean they are essential for cake and all matter of sweet treats, but alone? No you can keep them.
This comes from a bad childhood experience of eating, what must have been a rotten, soft-boiled (runny yolk) egg. Before said experience, maybe I would have told you boiled egg and soldiers-strips of toasted white bread, were one of my favourite foods. It is strange trying to recall your seven years old self.
Two of three of my children love eggs and would happily eat them in some shape or form at every meal. However, this healthy spinach version is not one. On the other hand, I love it!
Funny thing is way back when, I remember disliking all vegetables/legumes except potato (chips-fries-crisps) and beans (baked variety – canned). I don’t think my mother or grandmother would have even thought to offer me spinach.
I have a mixed bag of tasters to cater for. One of which won’t even eat potatoes. In any form, other than crisps-chips and that’s not a regular thing since coming to live in Algeria.
Now, for me there is a bit of confusion about what Selq is. Sources on the internet refer to Selq as either being spinach or chard. However, My husband who is no food expert but is Algerian, says spinach. One type grows wild and the other farmed.
Both spinach (not baby) or chard can be used in this recipe. Cooking time may vary slightly depending on which you use. Therefore, I haven’t added a time in my recipe below.
Selq bel Bayd does comes together fairly quickly, providing you use a high heat for wilting the spinach.
Dried red chilli and garlic, the familiar duo from my previous recipe. Get put to good use again here. Adding half-way through cooking the spinach, along with olive oil.
I am tempted to call this a spinach omelette, however no folding or rolling of the beaten eggs occurs. You can quicken the process further, as my sister-in-law does and add whole eggs, stirring until cooked and scrambled.
Don’t have eggs? Selq is a delicious side dish without eggs. In fact, we eat it more often like that.
An Algerian side dish of wilted spinach/chard topped with eggs. Spiced with garlic, red chilli and cumin.
- 200g bunch of spinach or chard
- 1/4tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1 large garlic clove, minced or finely grated
- 1/2 small dry red chilli
- 1-2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large eggs, mixed together
- Pinch of cumin or ras el hanout
- Fresh parsley leaves *optional
- Cut about an inch off the stems of the spinach/chard and discard. Finely chop the rest of spinach, wash thoroughly, drain the water and place in a deep cooking pot with a lid - a large deep sided frying pan is ideal if you have it.
- Add salt, cover, wilt the spinach over medium-medium high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the lid add olive oil, garlic and chilli. Continue to cook uncovered until very little liquid remains i.e. Its dried out. Add beaten eggs and sprinkle with salt and cumin/ras el hanout. Cover and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes until eggs are set. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.
Can be made vegan by simply omitting the eggs.