Baghdad Eggs

I first came across a recipe for Baghdad eggs in one of my favourite cook books, Jake Tilson’s ‘A Tale of 12 Kitchens’ (from which I also cooked a mummified chicken). Tilson discovered the recipe in the book ‘Medieval Arab Cookery‘, which describes eggs on a bed of spiced celery; my version however is more akin to modern recipes I’ve seen.

An egg is fried gently on a bed of softened onions, sizzled with lemon juice, sprinkled with cumin and paprika then slicked with melted butter. The whole lot is served on top of toasted pitta, which softens in places under the oozy egg. A dollop of yoghurt and a flurry of chopped mint contrast the richness.

This is quite indulgent considering the aforementioned butter, which is why it’s my new favourite Sunday brunch, Middle Eastern style.

Baghdad Eggs (serves 2)

1 medium onion, diced
2 eggs
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 good generous knobs of butter
Hot paprika
Mint, chopped
Squeeze of lemon juice
2 toasted pittas

Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan and cook the onions gently until they start to soften. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, then crack in the eggs.

Dust each egg with a little cumin and paprika (use your fingers to do this and be conservative – you don’t want huge clumps of spice in there), plus some salt and pepper then put a lid on and let cook until the eggs are just set. Toast your pitta breads then split them apart and toast the er, untoasted side under the grill.

In a separate small pan, melt another knob of butter and sprinkle a little extra cumin and paprika into it. Leave this on a low heat to get a little brown and nutty.

When the eggs are cooked, cut up the pitta and arrange on a plate. Put an egg on top, making sure to get plenty of the onions too. Drizzle with some of the extra melted butter and garnish with a dollop of yoghurt and some mint.

Category: Breakfast, Brunch, Eggs, Food From The Rye | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 30 comments »

30 Responses to “Baghdad Eggs”

  1. Su-Lin

    Oh, mint! What a great addition.

  2. Helen

    Yeah, knee jerk would have been coriander but mint is a winner.

  3. Ed

    Lovely stuff. Delighted I’m not working tomorrow; this will be a great Monday breakfast treat

  4. Helen

    ooh you lucky sod! (having a day off that is)

  5. Elly

    Delicious! And extra points for tres appropriate plate ;)

  6. Krista

    Seriously wow. I want this!

  7. Helen

    Ha ha! Thanks, I did make an effort to dig that plate out actually.

  8. Helen

    Cheers Krista!

  9. foodurchin

    This like, just so pisses over the fried egg on toast with a dash of Worcestershire sauce that I often serve up for breakfast.


  10. Jake

    Serving on pitta is great idea, and, like Su-Lin, I love the idea of mint! Yummy.

  11. Helen

    Cheers, although the Worcestershire is lush too, let’s face it

  12. Helen

    Cheers Jake! Lovely to hear from the man who inspired the recipe!

  13. Shu Han

    oooh love all those onions and spices and mint!

  14. s

    eggs. knobs of butter. sold on the idea. x s

  15. Helen

    Yeah, sod ketchup!

  16. Helen

    Cheers S! Glad you like it x

  17. Lizzie

    Mint! With eggs! Sounds odd but looks delicious. Definitely on the ‘to try’ list.

    (love the plate. Obvs.)

  18. Helen

    Yeah it totes works, yah. With the spices and onion it’s flinging off in a different direction so the mint fits in. Very common in Middle Eastern cookery. Knew you would love the plate…

  19. Bells Hunt

    This looks and sounds gorgeous! I bet it work cure even the fiercest of hangovers! I shall put it to the test on Sunday morning!!

  20. Helen

    Excellent! I’d be interested to hear how it fares in The Hangover Test.

  21. Shu Han

    btw i tagged you in a bloggers unplugged tag going around! hope you can do it (:


  22. Sally - My Custard Pie

    Since I tried Turkish poached eggs for breakfast I’ve been totally sold on the combination of butter, yoghurt, eggs and spice. This gets my vote.

  23. Liz Thomas

    I just love these eggy type dishes. I’d do it tonight for supper but i’ve been making tons of chutney lately so cannot face chopping any more onions!

    But I’ve filed and and definitely will be trying it.

    Many thanks from distant Macau!


  24. Liz Thomas

    Thanks alsofor the link to the Medieval Arab Cookery book. Just been having a look at Amazon and it sounds really interesting.

  25. Helen

    Wow, hello Liz all the way from Macau! Good to see you here. Let me know what you think when you can face chopping an onion again!

  26. Helen

    Yeah, Turkish eggs v similar and so delicious. If you like those you will love this.

  27. The Grubworm

    What a gorgeous looking brunch, i love the vibrant colours, they match what I imagine is some lively flavours, what with the mint and spices. But all balanced out with soft creamy egg and onions. This, as they say, is a dish full of win!

    Now I’m starting to winder what it would be like with the addition of a wee bit of sumac to add to the tangy lemony edge… Yum.

  28. Helen

    Ooh , sumac would work brilliantly. I’ll try that next time.

  29. Becs@Lay the table

    I’m drooling on my keyboard….my boyfriend always jokes I love eggs too much but they’re so versatile!

  30. Helen

    Absolutely! The ad was right, they DO make a meal out of anything.

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