Turmeric Eggs with Tamarind Dressing

This recipe is from the book OTK (Ottolenghi Test Kitchen) Extra Good Things, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad, published in 2022. The book is all about “secret culinary weapons — condiments, sauces, dressings, and more — that can make a good meal spectacular. The abundant, vegetable-forward recipes in this collection give you a delicious dish plus that special takeaway — a sauce, a sprinkle, a pickle! — that you can repurpose time and time again in other recipes throughout the week, with limitless opportunity.”

From the authors: “These are fried eggs but with a very eccentric wardrobe, thanks to the turmeric and chilli, which make them as good to eat as they are to look at. You can serve this easy, vibrant breakfast as it is, or alongside the potato rösti, as part of a brunch spread.”

I happen to love eggs, and there are many egg dishes on my blog, but this one intrigued me mostly because I have had tamarind paste in my pantry for years, and have never used it, until now! Tamarind is a tropical fruit from which the paste is made, shown below left.

This would be a fabulous summer breakfast or brunch dish – maybe something to serve on a lazy Sunday morning. If you can find fresh chile peppers, this egg dish would be spectacular any time of year, and any time of day.

Seriously, Ottolenghi and Murad are culinary geniuses. This dish of eggs cooked in turmeric oil, topped with a tamarind dressing, sliced serrano chile peppers and pickled shallots is my new favorite recipe. It’s up there with çilbur, and that’s saying a lot.

Turmeric Fried Eggs with Tamarind Dressing

1 shallot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
2 teaspoons lime juice
3 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
8 ounces baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 large eggs
1 green chilli, finely sliced into rounds, seeds and all

Tamarind Dressing:
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp light soft brown sugar
Fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Put the shallot, lime juice and a pinch of salt into a small bowl and use your fingers to gently massage everything together. Set aside to pickle lightly while you continue with the rest.

Make the tamarind dressing by putting all the ingredients into a bowl and whisking to combine and dissolve the sugar. Add between 2–4 teaspoons of water, to loosen the mixture (this will vary according to different makes of tamarind paste).

Put 1 tablespoon of oil into a large frying pan over a medium- high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and cook for 90 seconds, stirring, until fragrant and lightly coloured, then stir in the spinach and 1/8 teaspoon of salt and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and wipe out the pan.

Add the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons of oil plus the turmeric to the same pan, stirring to combine, and return it to a medium-high heat. Once hot but not smoking, crack in the eggs and quickly sprinkle the whites with the chilli slices. Season the eggs all over with a good pinch of salt and use a spatula to separate the whites so that the eggs are not joined together.

Fry for 3–4 minutes, spooning some of the oil over the whites. You want the whites to be crispy around the edges and the yolk to be runny.

When ready, use a spatula to transfer the eggs to the plate of spinach, drizzling with any extra turmeric oil in the pan. Top with the pickled shallots and then drizzle with some of the tamarind dressing, serving any remaining alongside.

As I mentioned, I absolute adore this egg dish and I hope you try it. I served it with some flatbread.



About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Raymund March 7, 2024 at 6:20 PM - Reply

    The combination of flavors and textures in this dish sounds truly exquisite, really loving this

  2. Tandy | Lavender and Lime March 7, 2024 at 9:52 PM - Reply

    Oh yum! I might try this without the chillies on mine and let Dave have the spicy version.

    • Chef Mimi March 8, 2024 at 7:00 AM - Reply

      Great idea!

  3. spicedblog March 8, 2024 at 6:41 AM - Reply

    What a unique combination of flavors! I would never have thought pairing tamarind with eggs…but I’m intrigued!

    • Chef Mimi March 8, 2024 at 7:00 AM - Reply

      It’s so good. It’s the best thing I’ve had in 2024.

  4. Frank | Memorie di Angelina March 8, 2024 at 6:51 AM - Reply

    Looks fantastic, Mimi! So very pretty. I’m very curious to try this since, unlike most dishes you’ve made, I’m having a hard time imagining the taste. Tamarind has always been something of a mystery ingredient to me. But if you liked it, I’m sure I would, too.

    • Chef Mimi March 8, 2024 at 7:01 AM - Reply

      It has been for me as well. I’ve owned it for years – no exaggeration – and finally there was a reason to use it! So good.

  5. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen March 8, 2024 at 8:26 AM - Reply

    I think this dish could be the illustration for ‘vibrant food’ in the dictionary! So beautiful.

    • Chef Mimi March 8, 2024 at 8:31 AM - Reply

      Yes! It’s almost too vibrant! So good.

  6. GINA KWOK March 8, 2024 at 8:32 AM - Reply

    We use tamarind in our cuisine here in Singapore but never this way! Can’t wait to try it!!

    • Chef Mimi March 8, 2024 at 8:39 AM - Reply

      It’s fantastic! I’m so glad I finally tried it!

  7. sallybr March 8, 2024 at 9:20 AM - Reply

    Just bought the book! could not resist……..

    • Chef Mimi March 8, 2024 at 9:27 AM - Reply

      Oh, you’ll love it! Make these eggs!

  8. David Scott Allen March 8, 2024 at 1:03 PM - Reply

    Not only does this sound fantastic, it is beautiful! You know I am an Ottolenghi fan – but I didn’t know about this cookbook. Can’t wait to find a copy and peruse!

    • Chef Mimi March 8, 2024 at 5:17 PM - Reply

      It is almost too pretty! But it was so darn good.

  9. sherry March 8, 2024 at 5:16 PM - Reply

    these look so good Mimi. I love eggs and these sound so flavourful. I usually have a jar of tamarind paste in my fridge which i use when i make curries.

    • Chef Mimi March 8, 2024 at 5:17 PM - Reply

      You will definitely love this, Sherry! It was really amazing.

  10. Charlie DeSando March 9, 2024 at 3:34 PM - Reply

    Mimi, visually pleasing and well presented, nicely done

    • Chef Mimi March 9, 2024 at 4:54 PM - Reply

      Thank you! The eggs were so good!

  11. hena March 9, 2024 at 8:02 PM - Reply

    Oh yum.. this looks delicious. Love the usage of tamarind.

    • Chef Mimi March 10, 2024 at 12:37 PM - Reply

      I was excited to finally use tamarind! It’s good!

  12. Marcelle March 10, 2024 at 3:27 AM - Reply

    This is beautiful dish, Mimi!

    • Chef Mimi March 10, 2024 at 10:29 AM - Reply

      It’s so pretty and it was so uniquely delicious!

  13. StefanGourmet March 10, 2024 at 5:06 AM - Reply

    This looks great, Mimi, will have to try it.

    • Chef Mimi March 10, 2024 at 10:29 AM - Reply

      It was outstanding!

  14. sarchakra March 10, 2024 at 11:56 AM - Reply

    Love this Mimi ❤️ I grew up with eggs fried in rich mustard oil for that beautiful pungent flavor and the eggs were seasoned with chopped green chilies, salt, turmeric and black pepper. It was so simple but packed a punch. This tamarind sauce reminds me of Thai dishes and I love the flavor combo. I have to try it!! xx sarchakra

    • Chef Mimi March 10, 2024 at 12:37 PM - Reply

      You’ll love it, I’m sure of it!

  15. Karen (Back Road Journal) March 10, 2024 at 1:09 PM - Reply

    Mimi, this egg dish is so pretty…perfect to serve as a brunch dish with its special seasonings.

    • Chef Mimi March 10, 2024 at 6:09 PM - Reply

      It really is pretty, and the flavors were outstanding!

  16. myhomefoodthatsamore March 11, 2024 at 4:28 AM - Reply

    They sound very tasty indeed! yum yum !

    • Chef Mimi March 11, 2024 at 8:18 AM - Reply

      The eggs were so so good!

  17. Jeff the Chef March 11, 2024 at 10:13 AM - Reply

    All of this sounds good to me. Like you, I also love eggs. Pair them with garlic and spinach: yes! Tamarind paste … I think I once had a jar, long, long ago that sat in my cupboard for ages. I’ll have to hunt down a new one!

    • Chef Mimi March 11, 2024 at 11:36 AM - Reply

      That’s why I was excited to try this recipe. I’d never opened my tamarind paste! And it’s wonderful!

  18. Chef Mimi March 11, 2024 at 11:35 AM - Reply

    You will love this!!!

  19. Chef Mimi March 13, 2024 at 8:01 AM - Reply

    Hahaha! I will! You should really try this, tho. Amazing.

  20. nancyc March 15, 2024 at 10:19 AM - Reply

    What a delicious-looking breakfast dish! :)

    • Chef Mimi March 15, 2024 at 9:10 PM - Reply

      Thanks, Nancy. It’s outstanding.

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