Soganli Yumurta – Eggs With Onion


I’ve been the laziest food blogger for the last few weeks. Sorry about making you, my dear readers, stare at a couple of meatballs and gherkins for weeks. I have some good news that, maybe, compensate for my failure to post as often as I should. Ottoman Cuisine has been selected as the ‘featured blog of the day’ on On December the 8th, our blog will be featured on the main page of Foodista.

I chose to celebrate the news with a very Ottoman recipe. This recipe has been revived in the last couple of years from the dusty pages of palace kitchen records. Seems very simple, cook the onions, crack the eggs, sprinkle with spices, you’re good to go? No, not so much. The original recipe calls for 4 to 6 hours of work with a lot of attention to detail. This recipe was a Ramadan specialty in palace kitchen. They say, especially on the 15th day of Ramadan, chefs from Enderun (an educational institution within Ottoman palace) prepared this dish and served it to the Sultan. If the Sultan approved the dish, the head chef of Enderun would be assigned kilercibasi (head butler) to the palace, one of the highest ranking personnel of the palace kitchen.

Here is what I like about this recipe: If you are patient enough and pay attention to each step and choose the finest ingredients, it is hard to go wrong. You do not need to be crafty, so you are not running much risk there.


6 medium size onions (sweet types)

6 heaped tablespoons of butter (clarified butter is better)

8 medium size eggs (organic- free range preferred)

1 tablespoon of vinegar

3-4 tablespoons of beef/lamb broth

1 level teaspoon of sugar

1 level teaspoon of powdered cinnamon (or freshly grated cinnamon sticks)

1/2 teaspoon of powdered all spice (again, freshly ground berries provide better results)

1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Julienne the onions and melt butter in a wide skillet. Add the onions to the skillet, cook on very low heat (the original recipe calls for candle light) for at least 1.5 hours (3 hours in the original recipe) until the onions become transparent, tender and shiny.  Stir frequently, be careful not to burn or caramelize the onions. If there is too much oil left in the skillet at the end of this step, you can drain the excess oil, although I strongly advise against this. Add in the vinegar, broth, spices and sugar, stir and simmer for another 5-8 minutes until the spices release their flavors. Spread the onions  evenly into the skillet, level with a spatula or a spoon and dig in 8 cavities for the eggs. Crack one egg into each crater. (I prefer lightly beaten eggs over intact eggs, those in the picture are beaten.) Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes, still on the lowest heat possible. Occasionally lift up the lid and spoon up some broth from the bottom of the onions and drizzle over the eggs while cooking. Repeat this a few times. When the eggs are cooked, serve with freshly baked bread and tea.

I admit, it requires a lot of patience to simmer the onions for over 2 hours, but trust me, the slower the merrier.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow. Two hours is a long time but, sure, I’ll give it a go. A good project for the next rainy day, me thinks….

    • I know!! But trust me it’s totally worth it. If you chop the onions real fine, you might be able to get away with 1 hour. Still on the lowest heat possible.

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