Persian Eggs

published Jan 12, 2022
Persian Eggs Recipe

In this satisfying breakfast dish, the popular Persian dip borani esfenaj acts as the base for poached eggs and Aleppo butter.

Serves2

Prep10 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 25 minutes

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Breakfast scene with servings of persian eggs and bread.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

This recipe is part of Kitchn 100 — the hundred recipes you need right now. Check out all of the amazing dishes, from Kitchn and beyond, here.

You may be familiar with çılbır (pronounced “chulburr”), a Turkish breakfast dish that consists of poached eggs bathing in a base of creamy, garlicky yogurt with chili butter poured over top. Well, think of this as the Persian version, which came to me in a lightbulb moment as I was peering into my fridge at leftovers!

Borani esfenaj is a delicious yogurt-based dip well-known amongst us Persians. Often served as an appetizer or side dish at family gatherings, it’s made by mixing yogurt with cooked spinach, garlic, olive oil, and lime juice. One Saturday morning, while looking in my fridge for breakfast inspiration, it occurred to me that my bowl of leftover borani esfenaj would be an amazing alternative base for the çılbır. And that’s how “Persian eggs” became one of our much-loved weekend breakfast or brunch options. 

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

If you’re cooking for loved ones who protest eating their greens, this recipe is an excellent way to work them in. Frankly, the marriage of garlic, yogurt, spinach, and eggs is quite perfect! 

As for serving, you’ll want some bread to dip into the egg and scoop up the borani esfenaj. While I occasionally bake my own version of Persian flatbread for this recipe, I more often go to my favorite bakery and buy fresh sourdough to toast and eat with this dish. Crusty baguettes are also an amazing accompaniment. Use what you’ve got and dip away!

Persian Eggs Recipe

In this satisfying breakfast dish, the popular Persian dip borani esfenaj acts as the base for poached eggs and Aleppo butter.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Serves 2

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the borani esfenaj:

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 6 ounces

    baby spinach (about 6 packed cups)

  • 9 ounces

    full-fat plain Greek yogurt (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons), such as Fage Total 5%

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

For the Aleppo butter:

  • 2 tablespoons

    salted or unsalted butter, preferably European-style

  • 1 teaspoon

    olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    Aleppo pepper flakes

  • Kosher salt

For the poached eggs and serving:

  • 2

    large eggs

  • A few fresh dill fronds

  • Thick sourdough toast or other breakfast bread

Instructions

  1. Crush 2 peeled garlic cloves.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 40 seconds. Add 6 ounces baby spinach a handful at a time and sauté until wilted and evenly coated in olive oil and garlic, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and discard the garlic cloves.

  3. Place 9 ounces Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Add the spinach and stir to combine. Divide the mixture between 2 bowls for serving.

  4. Wipe the pan used for the spinach clean. Add 2 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter and cook over medium heat until just beginning to turn hazelnut-brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes, and stir to combine. If using unsalted butter, taste and season with kosher salt as needed.

  5. Fill a medium saucepan about 2/3 full with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer where the surface of the water is bubbling gently.

  6. Crack 1 large egg into a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Gently swirl the egg so the thin portion of egg white is strained out. Gently slide the egg into the water. Make sure the water is still at a bare simmer. Repeat with the second egg. Poach the eggs for 3 to 4 minutes for a runny yolk.

  7. Remove each egg with a slotted spoon to a plate. Lightly pat the eggs dry with a paper towel. Place an egg into each bowl on top of the spinach. Pour the Aleppo butter over the eggs. Garnish with a few dill fronds and serve with toast.