This supremely satisfying breakfast dish of poached eggs with a yoghurt sauce really is fit for a king – there are records of it being cooked in the palace kitchens of Ottoman sultans dating back to the 15th century. The addition of the herb butter and Turkish chilli flakes is a more recent inclusion, but it adds just the right amount of kick to put a pep in your step in the morning.
- 840 g (3 cups) Greek-style yoghurt
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) white vinegar
- 8 eggs, at room temperature
- 100 g butter, chopped
- 2 tsp dried mint
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- isot biber (see Note) (Turkish chilli flakes) and crusty bread, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Combine yoghurt and garlic in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then add vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring water to a gentle simmer. Using a slotted spoon, stir simmering water to form a whirlpool. Working one at a time, break eggs into a small saucer or bowl and add to pan, taking care to keep them separate from each other. Cook for 3 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are cooked but still runny. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Repeat with remaining eggs.
Melt butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add mint and paprika, stir to combine and remove from heat. Divide garlic yoghurt among warmed bowls then top with eggs. Drizzle over herb butter and sprinkle with chilli. Serve immediately with crusty bread.
• Isot (or Urfa) biber chilli flakes are mild, slightly smoky and purplish-black, and available from Turkish food shops. Substitute with ground chilli or regular dried chilli flakes.
Photography Brett Stevens. Food preparation Leanne Kitchen. Styling Vivien Walsh.
As seen in Feast magazine, November 2014, Issue 37.