Naz Deravian, the creator of the blog Bottom of the Pot and author of the new cookbook by the same name, turns to a comforting Persian dish when she needs some calm—and a very happy family memory.
Tea is the star ingredient in fall’s most inspired sips
The meal that speaks to me more than any other is the simplest street food from Tabriz, my mother’s hometown in Iran. It’s called yeralma yumurta, which means “potato egg,” and it comes from a tradition of making do with what you have. My grandmother used to make it for me for lunch. She’d boil a potato and egg, smoosh them onto flatbread, and top the mixture with olive oil and salt. She was supposed to be feeding me the stew my mother had defrosted, but my grandmother was a rebel. She’d say, “We’re making our own rules today.” We would eat yeralma
yumurta, play poker, and read Turkish coffee cups. Now it’s my go-to lunch when I’m in a rush and can’t be bothered with dirtying more than one pot, and it’s the dish I crave after a workout. Making it reminds me of my time with my grandmother and our little act of rebellion. That memory still thrills me. This meal is also the one I eat alone for a moment of peace. I turn off all gadgets, sit at the table, and make a cup of black tea, Persian style. I am so much about cooking for big crowds, and I love having people over, but this humble “potato egg” cooked and eaten in a moment of Zen is what truly feeds my soul.