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menemen – turkish eggs with sumac yoghurt

Last Updated on August 11, 2013 by Leyla Kazim

Whenever I utter the name of this rather wonderful staple of the Turkish breakfast table, I inadvertently but consistently slip into spitting some old school 50 Cent lyrics into my air-microphone:

‘Many men; many, many, many, many men
Wish death upon me
Lord I don’t cry no more
Don’t look to the sky no more’

A blast from the past that were my university days each time. I of course know no further lyrics to this ‘song’. Whatever did happen to Fiddy C anyway? I’m not entirely sure anyone cares.

Questionable London clubs frequented in 2003 aside, menemen is a rather fabulous and different way to eat eggs with the addition of tomatoes and peppers. The traditional recipe sees the eggs scrambled, but I’ve left them unbroken and with dippy yolks for cascading and deep orange bread accompaniment. Mildy spiced and very hearty, this is a great example of the course of the day the Turks do so exceptionally well. Serve with chai and the best quality bread you can find and if it’s topped with sesame seeds, even better.

Menemen with sumac yoghurt

Serves two, or one very hungry person (i.e. me)

For the eggs

1 x green pepper, finely chopped

1 x large green chilli, finely chopped

2 x garlic cloves, grated

1/2tsp cumin seeds

300ml sieved tomatoes

Handful of spinach

2 x eggs

1 x lemon

Olive oil

Small bunch of fresh parsley

For the yoghurt

2 x heaped tbsp strained yoghurt

1/2 x garlic clove, grated

Generous pinch of sumac

Chilli flakes (optional)


Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Pour a glug of olive oil into a saucepan and on a low-medium heat, gently fry the garlic and cumin seeds for a couple of minutes. Add the pepper and chilli and fry for a few more minutes until they are soft.

Add the sieved tomatoes and let bubble for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and a squeeze of lemon juice. Turn off the heat, add your spinach leaves and stir until they’re wilted in the sauce.

Pour this mixture into a shallow but wide oven proof dish. Create a couple of wells in the sauce for the eggs. Crack one egg into a cup then carefully pour it into one of the wells. Repeat with the second egg. Place in the oven until the whites become opaque but the yolk remains runny.

In the meantime create the yoghurt by combining all the ingredients and topping with a pinch of sumac and drizzle of olive oil.

When the eggs are ready, sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt, a few chilli flakes and some chopped parsley. Serve with toasted Turkish bread.

Afiyet olsun.

Leyla Kazim
Leyla Kazim

Spending most of my time either eating or travelling. Constantly in awe of nature and on a mission to seek the joy in every moment. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you all!

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  1. Rose Tracy
    April 8, 2014 / 15:32

    What is Sumac? I have never heard of that!

    • Leyla
      July 17, 2014 / 09:40

      It's a tangy, lemony spice often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. You'll find it in Middle Eastern type shops and well-stocked supermarkets 🙂

  2. Charles MacArthur
    December 26, 2013 / 08:34

    I always probing for another good use of eggs and that i assume you have given me a excellent use of eggs here. Nice post and pics.

    Posted by Charles Arthur | WMF Cutlery

    • Leyla
      December 27, 2013 / 21:14

      Hi Charles, Many thanks for the nice words. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  3. Chris @ Knead for Food
    September 26, 2013 / 18:06

    I always looking for another good use of eggs and I think you've given me a great use of eggs here. Great post and pics. Thank you.

    • Leyla
      September 26, 2013 / 21:18

      Thanks Chris – glad you think so. Hope you enjoy it!

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