Vaavishkaa (Spiced Beef with Eggs and Spring Onions) 

This rustic Iranian dish from Gilan Province (Northern Iran) is perfectly served with rice or scooped up with a bit of flatbread for breakfast.

Vaavishkaa means “fried” in Gilaki.

Yasmin Khan, the author of The Saffron Tales and Zaitoun, stopped by the MUNCHIES Test Kitchen to teach us the ultimate Iranian comfort food.

  • Servings: 4
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 30 minutes


  • 1 pound|454 grams ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ¾ cups|414 ml cold water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped, to garnish


  1. Place the meat and onions in a saucepan and pour in the cold water. Add the turmeric and pepper and stir well. Place a lid on the pan and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.
  2. Meanwhile, skin the tomatoes by scoring the skins with a sharp knife a few times and placing them in a bowl of just boiled water for about a minute. Drain well, then rub off the skin. Cut the tomatoes in half, remove and discard the seeds, then cut into small dice.
  3. Add the diced tomato to the pan, along with the tomato puree, cayenne, and salt, followed by the oil. Simmer with the lid on for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then cook for 5 minutes with the lid off until the sauce has the consistency of a thick ragu.
  4. Crack the eggs into the pan and leave to set for a minute. Gently run a wooden spoon through the yolks a few times. Don’t mix too much, as you want to have chunks of egg in the final dish, not scrambled eggs. Place a lid on until the eggs are set and then taste to adjust the seasoning.
  5. Serve with the spring onions sprinkled on top.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This recipe has been reprinted with permission of the author from The Saffron Tales: Recipes from a Persian Kitchen.