***French Month at Ottimo***

Turkish-Style Eggs with Aleppo Pepper

Aleppo pepper is one of those ingredients that you don’t know you’re missing in your life until you try it. The deep purple spice has a smoky, fruity, raisin-like quality that you might recognize from Turkish lamb and eggplant dishes. Its mild flavour is reminiscent of the Mexican ancho chile but earthier, with some hints of chocolate and coffee.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 4 poached eggs
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp Aleppo pepper

Herb Sauce

  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 green or spring onions
  • 2 small chili jalapenos (the green ones), seeded and minced
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup basil
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • squeeze of lemon 


1. Place yogurt in a bowl. Mix in the garlic and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

2. Divide the yogurt between two plates. Top the yogurt with two poached eggs per plate.

3. Place the Aleppo pepper in a small heat-proof bowl. Heat the butter in a small skillet. When the butter is melted and nutty brown, pour over the chili flakes. Stir to combine. Drizzle the hot oil over the poached eggs. Serve with herb sauce and crusty bread or pita.

For the herb sauce

1. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Shake the pan to prevent the seeds from burning. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until the seeds darken in colour and give off a nutty aroma (watch carefully to ensure they don’t burn, otherwise they’ll be bitter). Grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

2. Toss the spring onions with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a cast-iron skillet. When hot, add the spring onions and cook until charred in spots, turning from time to time. Chop them.

3. Add the ground cumin and coriander to a food processor (or mortar and pestle) along with the spring onions and herbs. Slowly add the olive oil and pulse until smooth, but still a little chunky. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon to taste.

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