Shamameet bi Laban (Poached eggs in yogurt)

I knew nothing about this dish till I discovered it on the Food Heritage Foundation site. I had to try it and it was quite a revelation! It is a rural dish from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and other neighbouring countries, and solid fare – I imagine it would have come as a rewarding meal after a long day of physical labour. It’s very simple to make, the only trick being to break the eggs so close to the yogurt that they keep their shape as much as possible.

How can you cook yogurt without it curdling? It’s the cornstarch that does it*. You can mix it into the yogurt beforehand, or when adding the yogurt in the pan: either way, start stirring immediately and don’t stop (or hardly) till it starts boiling. Then turn down the temperature to a low simmer and you don’t have to stir constantly any more – or at all, in this case (but that’s unusual.) There are many dishes in Lebanese home cooking that involve cooked yogurt (laban, as we call it) and it’s such a delicious and filling comfort food.

*I have used, at a pinch, gluten-free flour, which usually contains cornstarch, rice flour and other starches that all do the job.

One Reply

  • this one looks simple enough even for me. I used to poach eggs in peas / tomato with tomato sauce. And I’ve sometimes fried an egg and put it on my oatmeal instead of yogurt, but savory yogurt with fried onion and poached egg. New and interesting and like I wrote, looks simple enough that I can handle it.

Leave a Reply to Wray B Cancel reply