Eggs Scrambled in Tomato Salsa is the way I choose to describe my favourite Turkish dish to the uninitiated. This dish looked, tasted and presented a little differently each time I ate it in Turkey.
Budget Travellers rejoice – at approximately 4 tl each, the two cheapest dishes available on every Menu in Turkey are Lentil Soup and Menemen. Either one combined with the (gratis) basket of bread on every table, provides a delicious and filling meal.
I have been hanging out for Menemen. It has been two whole months since we said Güle Güle to Türkiye.
Inspired by my new (Christmas Pressie) tapas pans – just perfect to cook and serve Menemen in – I spent this morning reading and combining recipes until arriving at my own.
The result was one of the best Menemens I have tasted. Bashful right?
My Menemen Recipe
Serves 2 – halve the ingredients between the two individual pans.
1 medium Red Onion
1/2 medium Green Capsicum
1 smallish clove of Garlic
1/2 large Shallot
1 Red Chilli (not extremely hot)
3 medium Ripe Tomatoes (I used two egg tomatoes and one round tomato)
2 Tomatoes from a tin of Italian Tomatoes
2 teaspoons of Tomato Paste
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 teaspoons of Margarine/Butter
2 pinches of Cumin
Ground Salt and Pepper
4 medium eggs
- Chop the onion, capsicum, garlic, shallot and chilli finely.
- Skin tomatoes, then blend them all together in a blender.*
- Place half the oil and half the margarine/butter in each pan. Continue to cook half and half in each of the pans. Saute the onion without browning for 3 minutes, stir in capsicum with chilli and cook a further 3 minutes, stir in shallot and garlic for 1 minute, stir in blended tomatoes, tomato paste and cumin. Turn the heat down if cooking too fast, we don’t want it to brown at any stage.
- Cook down till the mixture is no longer runny, stirring often. This is a leisurely stage. When you push a wooden spoon through the mixture it stays separate it is time for the next stage.
- Keeping the pan on the heat, crack the eggs into tomato mixture, breaking the yolks with a fork as they enter the pan. Turn the heat up a little to keep the mixture bubbling.
- As the eggs start setting fold them through the tomato mixture with the fork. They should retain their own character and not be consumed by the tomato.
- When the eggs are cooked to your taste – they can be as runny or as firm as you like – add salt and pepper and serve in the pan.
* To skin tomatoes place them in a bowl and pour boiling water over. Leave a few minutes. Spear with a fork at the base and peel skin off with a sharp knife. Tomatoes can be grated or chopped finely if no blender is available.
Serve with crusty bread and individual bowls of dried chilli flakes (optional).
I look forward to many more Sunday Brunch Menemens. My favourite taste of Turkey.
Do you make Menemen at home, or have you eaten it in Turkey?