I love the aromatic, delicious taste of Pastirma, dried cured beef with a coating of spices called cemen, consisting of cumin, fenugreek, garlic and hot chili flakes. This thinly sliced delicacy is very much enjoyed in Turkey as part of a mezze spread, as well as in casseroles with dried beans, Pastirmali Kuru Fasulye and in boreks, pastries. We Turks also very much enjoy pastirma with eggs, as part of a leisurely weekend breakfast, Turkish style.
This wind-dried beef, pastirma has been made in Anatolia for centuries. It’s also been enjoyed throughout Middle Eastern as well as Eastern European countries and has a special part in Lebanese and Armenian cuisine. Some of the finest pastirma is being produced in Kayseri region, in Middle Anatolia, Turkey; it almost has a silky texture and just melts in the mouth, very aromatic with the spicy cemen coating; I hope you can have a chance to enjoy pastirma in Kayseri. Making pastirma is a bit of a labor of love though and requires a lot of patience, as fellow blogger Peter Minaki of Kalofagas explains. Pastirma is prepared by salting the meat, then washing it with water and letting it dry for 15 days. The blood and salt is then squeezed out of the meat and the meat, this time is covered with a special cumin paste called cemen, consisting of crushed cumin, fenugreek, garlic and chili flakes. Afterwards, the meat is air dried up to a month. You can get pastirma in Turkish and Middle Eastern markets, as well as from Turkish online stores such as Marketurk in the UK and Best Turkish Food in the US.
Here is our delicious and easy egg dish with bell peppers and pastirma. I love how the sweetness of peppers complements the aromatic pastirma and their marriage with eggs is divine. This dish is wonderful for a brunch or a light lunch / supper with crusty bread aside. Cacik dip of yoghurt with cucumbers and dried mint goes very well with this delicious egg this too.
- 2 free range eggs
- ½ red bell pepper, deseeded, quartered and cut in thin stripes
- ½ green bell pepper, deseeded, quartered and cut in thin stripes
- 2 free range eggs
- 4 -6 stripes of thinly cut pastirma, roughly cut
- 30 ml/2 tbsp. olive oil
- 5 ml / 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 5 ml / 1 tsp. Turkish red pepper flakes / chili flakes
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy pan and stir in the red and green bell peppers.
- Sauté for 4 - 5 minutes, until the peppers start to soften.
- Create two holes amongst the bell pepper mixture and crack the eggs.
- Place the pieces of pastirma around the eggs and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, depending on your taste.
- Sprinkle ground cumin and the red pepper flakes over the egg, serve hot with crusty bread aside.
Ozlem, we have indeed been channeling our cravings for pastourma and now with this, I’m hungry all over again! I love this cured delicacy and it pairs so well with eggs. Thank you for the kind mention as well!
You are very welcome Peter, greatly admired you tackling pastirma making! Indeed it pairs so well with eggs, love it too!
Özlem, Thanks for demystifying pastırma. I’ve tried it from time to time and haven’t cared for the taste of the cemen. But I didn’t know there was fenugreek in it and since I love this spice, I’ll give it another try – this time, of Kayseri pastırma.
Merhaba, pastirma from Kayseri is really special, and yes, love fenugreek in the cemen coating; perhaps you may enjoy it with some other things like here in peppers, if it feels too strong? Glad you enjoyed the post, cok selamlar, Ozlem
Özlem, thank you for this tantalising recipe with its enticing photos – I love pastirma, if I had a choice between a box of chocolates or a box of pastırma, pastırma would win hands down every time. Now that I have read this and seen the photos, I am going to have to go out in the pouring rain and buy some, the cravings are too strong! Thank you too for the link to Peter’s blog, it was very interesting seeing how it is made.
Merhaba Vicky, many thanks for your kind note – I am with you, pastirma wins over many foods for me too – hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂
If I had only known abot this when I was in Kayseri some years ago! I will look out for Pastirma when in Istanbul next time.
Thanks Barbara, pastirma is a very special delicacy, hope you enjoy it next time you’re back to Turkey; pastirma in Kayseri is top notch, definetely worth the trip!
Ozlem, I wish I liked Pastirma but it’s a taste I have never taken to. My family on the other hand can’t get enough of it so I’ll pass the recipe on to my daughter
Merhaba, I know what you mean, pastirma has a strong taste that you either love it or don’t care too much. I hope your daughter enjoys the recipe, thank you for sharing : )
Lovely recipe, Ozlem, pastrami is a favorite and you know the Parsi love for eggs on all meat and vegetables:) a must try. XxPeri.
Thank you Peri, glad you enjoyed the recipe – love your Parsi egg recipes!:) Ozlem xx
I’ve never tried pastirma, but I’m clearly missing out. This sounds like a perfect weekend dish.
Indeed Phil, makes the weekends quite a bit special – hope you get to try pastirma sometime, thanks for stopping by.
Love the new look of the blog and how you have the recipes laid out! Great job! 🙂
Mmm…I love the warmed hummus with pastirma! In 10 days I’ll be back in Istanbul and I cannot wait!
Merhaba Joy, thanks so much! Have fun in Istanbul 🙂 Ozlem x
What a delicious looking recipe, I had eggs at a Turkish café Güllüoglu in NYC they were cooked in a yogurt/garlick sauce and served with sausage. It was delicious and very rich. I love the dried, cured meats and sausages that I find at Turkish butchers but am never quite sure how to use or incorporate into meals as we don’t have these types of meats in my country. Thank you for sharing!
Merhaba and thank you very much for stopping by; I love cilbir; the eggs with garlicy yoghurt you had at Gulluoglu NYC, and I am glad you enjoyed this post. Pastirma is a real delicacy, quite rich but just delicious, glad if it inspired 🙂
Happy Easter! I am loving all of the delicious recipes! Is pastirma and sujuk the same thing?
Merhaba Cali, no, they are different. Sucuk is more spicy and of a sausage shape & consistency, with garlic, spices in it. Pastirma is dried cured beef with a coating of spice called cemen. The fried eggs are delicious with either of them, hope you enjoy it!
When you do the pastirmali yumurta, do you use, stainless steel pan or non-stick (teflon-coated) pans? I tried this morning with stainless still and the egg stuck too much.
Merhaba Mehmet, the non-stick pan would work better, I sometimes use stainless steel too with a little more olive oil, which helps, hope you enjoyed it, Selamlar, Ozlem