May 06, 2013

Gozlemeh - Fried Eggs with Garlic Yogurt Sauce - Iranian Style


گزلمه (gozlemeh/gozleme) is a regional dish of استان آذربایجان غربی (West Azerbaijan province) served throughout the capital city of ارومیه (Orumieyeh/Urmia). Gozlemeh is just a perfect recipe for a spring brunch or a light summer lunch. I came across this simple and healthy recipe long ago while going through an old Iranian cooking manual. However, I was a bit hesitant about making a dish I had never had before and had never even heard of. In Iran, each region has its own unique food that the people from other provinces may not be familiar with. Finally, a few days ago I decided to give this recipe a try for the first time. I ended up making it again the next day and it tasted even better. As I prepared this warm and creamy yogurt dish topped with exquisite fried eggs and a touch of turmeric (my fave spice) and served it over toasted flatbread, it made me feel as though I had traveled to Western Azerbaijan and was eating a delicious gozlemeh in someone's home in Orumieyeh!

When making a new recipe I am most comfortable if I at least had a chance to taste it once before to know exactly what the meal should taste like and what flavors to expect. However, that doesn't stop me from trying out new recipes. Occasionally, my daughters bring different recipes home that they would like to try and we make it together. Now that they know how to cook for themselves, I get to be the taste tester and I watch them hone their cooking skills. That's how I learned to cook at a young age by watching my mother cook and also by helping out in the kitchen too. One time, when I was eleven years old my mother told me to take the raw chicken out of the fridge and cook it for lunch as she was heading out the door in a hurry and did not leave any instructions. It is challenging moments such as this that propels one to figure things out on one's own and learn things faster. Cooking, like most things in life, takes practice before you feel confident that you can create a delicious healthy meal with whatever you have in your pantry/refrigerator with or without a recipe.

My advice to novice cooks is to familiarize yourselves with the ingredients that you are going to use, learn about different methods of cooking, always go for fresh and good quality ingredients if available, read the recipe a few times before starting to cook and have all the necessary kitchen tools and gadgets ready to go. And if you are like me, cleaning and washing as you cook, place a mat between the sink and the counter or wear a pair of non-skid shoes! Put your apron on, take charge and make the recipe your own by substituting what you don't have and adjusting the amount of sugar, fat and the level of spiciness to your liking and your dietary restrictions while staying true to the recipe.

I have made some changes to the original recipe. I also added a pinch of turmeric to the oil in the skillet before frying two of the eggs (a personal preference). This recipe doesn't take long to make. You may want to set the table and have the drinks, bread, and condiments ready before you start cooking.


Serves 2

4 large eggs (preferably organic)
1 1/2 cups strained yogurt
1 large garlic clove
Pepper, freshly ground
A pinch of turmeric *optional
Butter or vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
2 lavash bread, lightly toasted


  1. Place the garlic clove with a pinch of salt in the mortar and pestle and finely crush.
  2. Add a tablespoon of water to the strained yogurt, stir well to loosen it up a little.
  3. Add the crushed garlic to the yogurt. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Heat a tablespoon of butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic yogurt mixture, heat thoroughly for a few minutes, remove from heat before it starts to boil.  
  5. Spread the yogurt mixture generously on each of the toasted flatbread separately.
  6. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil or butter in a frying pan, add a pinch of turmeric, swirl around the pan a couple of times. Add the eggs to the hot frying pan, cook until the white is set, season with salt and pepper to taste. Use a spatula to remove the eggs from the pan. 
  7. Place them on the bread with the yogurt mixture and serve warm.


  1. This looks fantastic. And I agree with you 100%- It has taken me quite a while to get to a point where I can just toss things together and have it be a satisfying, tasty meal.

  2. Beautiful presentation and I'm sure it tastes delicious too! And I love the final shot of Lilacs and books. Great fan of you blog.

  3. Ahhh, this looks absolutely fantastic. I love eggs, bread, and cheese -- I know I'd love eggs, bread, and yogurt too!

  4. Je suis comme vous passionnée de cuisine .aussi votre blog est pour moi une source d'inspiration ...mille merci pour toutes ces recettes si étrangères à ma culture.J ai un blog et ai réalisé l une de vos recettes kookoo badenjan nous l avons adoré!!!! J ai publié cette recette sur mon blog en citant ma source bien sur 'Mille fois merci
    Cordialement Cita

  5. This is so interesting. I'll have to ask my parents about this. Can't wait to try it.

  6. This looks really healthy and easy to make! I might have to try this one!

  7. Beautifully simple recipe, super culinary guidance, edible photos and fab presentation - a great blogpost.

  8. The recipe in Farsi says to add two eggs to the yogurt mixture, but your recipe did not have this. Was this an oversight or you made it without and it tasted fine?

    I enjoy your recipes. Thank you for posting them. Yassaman

    1. Yassaman, I have made some changes to the original recipe and choosing not to add eggs to the yogurt mixture was one of them. I thought of the overall taste and the balance of flavors when I revised the recipe. This dish would have been too eggy and that would not suit my family’s taste. Thank you!

  9. This really looks amazing and screams comfort food to me. I am going through my family's old recipes and trying to understand what my aunt and grandmother meant by their sketchy directions. I still can't help myself and alter the recipes somehow with my own twist. What a beautiful dish, Azita!

  10. Ive never had gozlameh before azita jan, im gonna try this this weekend! I tried your tah cheen recipe and it was fantastic. Love your blog!

  11. Today my friend brought me barbari bread from Montreal and I looked it up on this site and found this recipe. My husband and I love eggs so I decided to try this dish using barbari bread instead of lavosh. I followed the directions, only I covered the eggs with a glass lid while they cooked and the yolks were not quite firm and were pinkish on top. Such beautiful color after cooking in the turmeric oil! I thought there would be too much yogurt, but it puddled out onto the plate around the toasted bread and eggs and we ate every bit of it. A beautiful and simple meal - delicious! I enjoy your blog and use it with my Iranian friend and ESL student. Thank you!

  12. Hello, My late Mom was from Orumieyeh & used to make this a lot. Her recipe was the same as it is written on your blog in Farsi. You have brought back many sweet & unforgettable memories of my Mom and her fantastic cooking and my visits to beautiful Orumieyeh to visit my my Mom's extended family. Thank you so much.

    1. Ferryal jan, I'm so glad you liked it and thank you for your comment.