Baghdad Eggs

November 27, 2011


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.

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  • Reply Su-Lin November 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Oh, mint! What a great addition.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen November 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm

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

  • Reply Ed November 27, 2011 at 8:52 pm

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

    • Helen
      Reply Helen November 27, 2011 at 8:53 pm

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

  • Reply Elly November 27, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Delicious! And extra points for tres appropriate plate 😉

    • Helen
      Reply Helen November 27, 2011 at 9:02 pm

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

  • Reply Krista November 27, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Seriously wow. I want this!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen November 27, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      Cheers Krista!

  • Reply foodurchin November 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm

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


    • Helen
      Reply Helen November 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

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

  • Reply Jake November 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

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

    • Helen
      Reply Helen November 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm

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

  • Reply Shu Han November 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    oooh love all those onions and spices and mint!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen November 28, 2011 at 7:54 am

      Yeah, sod ketchup!

  • Reply s November 28, 2011 at 12:10 am

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

    • Helen
      Reply Helen November 28, 2011 at 7:54 am

      Cheers S! Glad you like it x

  • Reply Lizzie November 28, 2011 at 11:07 am

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

    (love the plate. Obvs.)

    • Helen
      Reply Helen November 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

      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…

  • Reply Bells Hunt November 28, 2011 at 11:30 am

    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!!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen November 28, 2011 at 11:33 am

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

  • Reply Shu Han November 29, 2011 at 12:13 am

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


  • Reply Sally - My Custard Pie November 29, 2011 at 5:54 am

    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.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen November 29, 2011 at 8:22 am

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

  • Reply Liz Thomas November 29, 2011 at 7:19 am

    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!


    • Helen
      Reply Helen November 29, 2011 at 8:22 am

      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!

  • Reply Liz Thomas November 29, 2011 at 7:31 am

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

  • Reply The Grubworm November 30, 2011 at 8:27 am

    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.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen November 30, 2011 at 8:37 am

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

  • Reply Becs@Lay the table December 12, 2011 at 10:12 pm

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

    • Helen
      Reply Helen December 12, 2011 at 10:32 pm

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

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