Kadir, Zeynep and Menemen


If you're like me, you watch Turkish dizis not only for the very excellent story line and acting, but also with an eye to learning new recipes. In the fourth episode of Carpisma, there was a lovely scene with Kadir and Zeynep in the kitchen. Kadir complained a bit to Zeynep that she didn't sleep, she didn't eat.... what on earth did she do anyway? He told her to get the tomatoes and onions out.. he was making her an Omelette... or Menemen in Turkish..


I asked one of my Turkish friends to send me the recipe for the sumptuous looking dish, which is enjoyed basically any time of day. Here's what she sent me.


Menemen, named after an Aegean town in Turkey, is a tasty breakfast, lunch or supper recipe. It is such a delicious dish that you would want to have it for all three of your meals. It is made in a pan with eggs, tomatoes and Jalapeno peppers. You may add scallions, onions, garlic and garnish it with herbs like parsley and basil right before serving to give it some freshness. What makes this dish so special is its simplicity and amazing flavor.

Although Menemen is a traditional breakfast food, Turkish people make it for a quick lunch or dinner especially in hot summer days when there is plenty of fresh flavorful tomatoes and herbs available in Turkey. In winter spinach may replace tomatoes and jalapeno peppers. You may either break the eggs right into the pan or beat the eggs first and then pour over pureed tomatoes.

The best companion for Menemen is a refreshing bowl of 'Cacik' which is made by mixing yogurt, cucumber and ice cold water together and sprinkling with salt and mint.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

6 eggs (you may replace eggs with pureed garbanzo beans. ¼ cup canned pureed garbanzo beans per one egg)

4 Tablespoons olive oil

5 Scallions finely chopped, 2 for the garnish

(optional: 1 finely chopped onion)

6 jalapeno peppers finely chopped

4 cups chopped tomatoes (canned tomatoes optional)

4 cloves of sliced garlic (optional)

Finely chopped herbs like parsley, basil, mint.

Salt and black pepper to your taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan.

  2. Add pureed tomatoes, garlic, scallions, and Jalapeno peppers

  3. Let it simmer for 10 minutes stirring frequently until it thickens. Sprinkle salt to your taste.

  4. Make hollows for eggs using a spoon. Break eggs into the hollows.

  5. Let it simmer uncovered until the eggs are slightly cooked for about 10 minutes.

  6. Sprinkle ground pepper

  7. Garnish with chopped scallions and herbs.

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