How to make the perfect cheese and egg pide

Chef Colin Clague at new Anatolian restaurant Ruya in Grosvenor House Dubai talks us through the comfort dish.

January 5, 2017

As comfort foods go, it doesn't get much better than this. Warm bread, butter, melted cheese and an egg sunny side up. That could be breakfast, lunch or dinner in our book.

It's a Turkish dish and Colin Clague, the chef at new Dubai restaurant Ruya in Grosvenor House, is something of an expert at making it. We went to him for advice on how to cook the perfect pide. The first thing to know, is that it's pronounced 'pee-day'. 

“The cheese and egg pide is a very, very old, traditional Turkish dish and it is to die for. I have one every day which is not doing anything for my figure. It’s comfort food, like egg and dippy soldiers. It’s a peasant dish, sort of a Turkish pizza, and it is flying out the door at the restaurant. 

“It’s a basic dough but what you put on top is up to you. We hand roll the dough and add three cheeses, one is kashkaval, but I’m not going to tell you the others! We slow cook the eggs in a water bath at 62 degrees for an hour and 10 minutes. The dough is made into a boat shape, the cheese goes in the centre and it’s baked for two to three minutes. Butter is then rubbed under the edge of the crust, and the egg yolk sits on top.

“We have two other versions, one with kale, fennel and red onion and another with corned beef, horseradish and cheese, which is like a Turkish version of a Reuben sandwich.

“When I opened Zuma in Istanbul in 2007 I encountered many pide and they had gone out of my mind. But on recent trips to Turkey to research Ruya, I was reminded of them and I put them straight on the menu – it was a no brainer.”