The fry-up 2.0
Fried boiled eggs in chilli sauce
Prep 20 min Cook 35 min Serves 4-8
8 large eggs, at room temperature 100ml vegetable oil 1½ tbsp cornflour Salt 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced 1 tsp caraway seeds, toasted and lightly crushed ¾ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed 1 tbsp tomato paste 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 1 ancho chilli, torn into 5-6 pieces, stalks discarded, deseeded and soaked in 250ml boiling water for 20 minutes 1½ tsp pul biber (Turkish chilli flakes); or half that amount of regular chilli flakes 1 spring onion, finely sliced on an angle 5g coriander leaves, roughly chopped 4 pickled green chillies, to serve
This was a bit of an experiment, but I’m rather pleased with the result; it looks glorious, too. Serve on fresh or grilled bread for a rich, spicy breakfast, or as part of a meze spread, in which case it will feed about eight alongside all the other dishes.
Bring a large saucepan half-filled with water to a boil, turn down the heat to medium-high, so the water is boiling gently, then lower in the eggs and cook for six minutes. Drain, leave the eggs under cold running water for a few minutes to stop them cooking any more, then peel.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan on a medium-high flame. Mix the cornflour in a small bowl with an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, then toss the peeled eggs in the mix. Once the oil is very hot, carefully lay the eggs in the pan and fry for three minutes, turning them a few times, until light golden brown all over (there’s a chance the eggs may break and spit a bit, so keep a safe distance from the pan and don’t worry if they look a bit misshapen). Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen towel.
Fry the sliced onions in the same pan for seven minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown, then add the caraway, cumin, tomato paste, garlic and a third of a teaspoon of salt, and cook for two minutes, stirring from time to time, until aromatic.
Stir in the ancho chilli and its soaking liquid and the pul biber, cook for about 90 seconds until the sauce thickens and turns a rich, deep red, then return the eggs to the pan to warm through for 30 seconds. Sprinkle over the spring onion and coriander, and serve hot with the pickled chillies.