Menemen – a taste of Turkey

When we holidayed in Kalkan, Turkey last year, we tried some wonderful food (like this meal) and had plenty of opportunity to get our teeth round some traditional Turkish dishes. And one of those has become a bit of a family favourite.

Menemen is a traditional Turkish dish that’s basically eggs scrambled with onion, tomato, green peppers, and spices. It’s commonly eaten for breakfast, which is how I first tried it but like many foods, you can sort of have it whenever you want it. While at Kalkan’s local market, we made sure we picked up a bag of the spices they use in their Menemen, and since then it’s been a bit of a go-to dish for breakfast, lunch, and last week, even for dinner. Mr M was running late and was hungry, we’d been particularly disorganised so had nothing out for dinner, but happened to have 10 eggs and some onions and pepper, so you can imagine what popped into my mind for a quick, easy, filling and tasty dinner.

I’m not sure whether the way I made this is how it’s supposed to be, so it might be a bit of a variation on a theme, but it definitely tasted good.

So, I started by frying the chopped onion and green peppers, as well as a chopped fresh green chilli for some spice (you know by now how much we like a bit of spice). Into this, add the spice mixture. It tends to include ground black pepper, ground red pepper, salt and oregano, but I’m pretty sure some other spices have gone in our mix. I reckon you can probably chuck in whatever you fancy, from cumin to curry powder.

The first step to making Menemen
Fry your onions and peppers (and a chilli if you’re a Manning)

Now, when Mr M cooks Menemen, at this point he adds chopped tomatoes or tinned tomatoes, cooks them until they’re soft, and then adds the eggs and spice mixture. Then he scrambles it all together. I was dealing with quite a large amount since it was our dinner (all 10 eggs!) so instead, I scrambled the eggs in another pan to make sure they were cooked. We actually didn’t have any tomatoes either, so I then combined everything and added some tomato puree, mixing together and keeping on the heat until everything was thoroughly cooked.

Making Menemen - frying onions and scrambling eggs
Traditionally you scramble the eggs straight into the veg, but i did it separately

Pop in a bowl, and you’re done. I dropped a chunk of lighter soft cheese on top that melted into the eggs and added a little creamy hit.

Eat with Ellen's version of Menemen
There you go – easy, filling and tasty dinner (or breakfast, or lunch!)

So, there you have it. A spicy mix of scrambled egg and veg, filling and tasty to boot. I’m a massive fan of eggs, and they’re a great source of protein, and fill you up, so for me this is spot on.  If you like eggs, you’ll love this. And if I can make it, anyone can. Don’t be afraid to experiment and add your favourite things, or change up the spices. Yeah, so it might not be traditional Menemen, but I’m sure whoever made it up would be glad it was the inspiration.

 

One thought on “Menemen – a taste of Turkey

  1. I’m a huge fan of eggs too, and this Turkish dish looks and sounds amazing. A really nice twist on scrambled eggs with spices. Yum! 🙂

    I’m also really jealous you’ve been to Turkey. 😉 One of our many places to go and just eat food, on our bucket list!

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