Turkish Eggs (Cilbir) with Chili Butter and Garlic Yogurt

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Exhausted all your breakfast egg ideas? Tired of the same old eggs? There is a world beyond the traditional frying, boiling, and poaching. To step-up your breakfast egg game, we bring you Turkish eggs (Cilbir) with chili butter and garlic yogurt.

The Turkish are known for their lavish breakfast spreads, including every cheese you can imagine, olives, jams, grilled sausage, egg dishes, Turkish bread, fresh vegetables, and to seal the deal a warm cup of tea. Cilbir, is a classic Turkish breakfast dish where eggs are poached and placed on silky garlic yogurt with a drizzle of chili butter! Serve it with your favorite bread, and you have the perfect breakfast, brunch, or dinner.

The dish might look complicated but it couldn’t be easier. 10 minutes and you’ll have a gorgeous plate filled with flavors of tangy yogurt, spicy chili butter, and perfectly poached eggs with a silky liquidy yolk.

The trickiest part here is poaching the egg. We understand some might be intimidated by poaching eggs, but we are here to change that! Today we are going to share a trick we learned from Jamie Oliver. This has become our go-to poaching method. Not only is it easy but it makes poaching multiple eggs for families or guests a breeze.

What You Need For Turkish Eggs (Cilbir) with chili butter and garlic yogurt

Things to Note

  • You can either use regular yogurt or Greek yogurt for this recipe. Either way, we recommend whisking it very well ensuring a silky smooth consistency. (Make sure garlic is minced as small as possible, use a press or a microplane grater)
  • Chili butter is bomb with these eggs! If you are serving this for little ones or want a chili free alternative, feel free to swap the chili powder and flakes with sumac for a tangy substitution.
  • If you have Aleppo pepper on hand please use this in your chili butter. It’s difficult to source so we created our own spice mix.

Prepare Your Yoghurt

Yogurt is the base for this recipe and packs a big punch of flavor, we recommend making it first before getting to poaching the eggs. Once your eggs are ready you are going to want to have everything ready for assembly.

Mince your garlic using a press or even better a microplane grater.

We prefer using Greek yogurt for its thicker creamier consistency. Bring the yogurt to room temperature and whisk with salt and minced garlic until smooth. Set aside.

To Make Chili Garlic

Melt your butter in a small saucepan. Once melted add your chili flakes, chili powder, paprika, and cumin. Toast those in the butter for a minute. Be careful not to burn your aromatics. A light toasting should be more than sufficient. Remove from the saucepan and set aside.

How To Poach Eggs

Our mind was blown when we learned this trick, thank you Jamie Oliver. It has made poaching eggs a no-brainer and works every single time. In addition to this being 100% effective, we also love that you can poach as many eggs as you like in one go, making brunches or large family breakfasts a breeze.

For poaching the eggs you will need:

  • A small ramiken or bowl
  • Food-Safe cling wrap
  • drizzle of vegetable oil
  • boiling water
  • eggs .. dah!

Fill a medium-sized pan with water and bring to a boil, then lower down to a low simmer. You should be able to see very small bubbles. No angry raging bubbles, this will cause the eggs to break up while cooking.

Cut out 2 40cm long square pieces of cling wrap (a piece per egg). Line a small ramekin or bowl with a piece of your cling film. Push it down into the bowl. Brush it with some olive oil and crack in your egg. Lift the edges of the cling film and twist together as close as you can get to the egg ( we want as little air in there as possible). Then tie a knot again as close as you can get to the egg. Repeat for your second egg.

Drop the little egg parcels into the low simmering water. Poach for 3 minutes. You can add as many eggs as you want at the same time, just prepare them all, then gently start dropping them in.

Remove from the water and gently cut right under the knot with a pair of scissors. Remove the egg. One side will have some ridges from the gathering of the cling film but the other side will be perfectly smooth. Place the egg with the ridges down smooth side up. Watch Jamie Oliver show this method in this video, he starts the technique at the 2:50min mark.

Can you poach eggs ahead of time ?

Yes! Just follow the above method, but when you remove the egg from the hot water place your parcel into a bowl of preprepared ice water. When they have chilled remove them from the cling wrap and plop them back into the ice water. Place in your fridge. When your ready to serve, remove the egg and place in a bowl of hot water to warm through, ( 20-30 seconds). Be careful here if you leave them longer the egg yolk will set up. They last for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Bringing It All Together

By now, you have your garlic yogurt at room temperature, you’re butter infused and warm, and your eggs perfectly poached.

In your serving bowl place the garlic yogurt, using the back of the spoon push the yogurt to the sides leaving a thin well in the middle. Place your perfectly poached eggs onto the well we prepared. Drizzle with a little or a lot of the chili butter (serve any extra on the side). Garnish with dill (dill is not really just garnish it adds a lovely taste to the Cilbir), serve with your favorite bread.

If you try these Turkish Eggs (Cilbir) with Chili Butter and Garlic Yogurt, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #thetablediaries on Instagram. We love seeing all the recipes you and your family enjoy.

5 from 1 vote

Turkish Eggs (Cilbir) with Chili Butter and Garlic Yogurt

Servings 1
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Total Time 18 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • olive oil
  • salt

Instructions

For the Yoghurt

  • Finely mince your garlic.
  • Bring the yogurt to room temperature and whisk with salt to taste and minced garlic until smooth. Set aside.

Chili Butter

  • Melt your butter in a small saucepan
  • Once melted add your chili flakes, chili powder, paprika, and cumin.
  • Toast the spices in the butter for a minute until the color is uniform. Be careful not to burn your aromatics. A light toasting should be more than sufficient. Remove from the saucepan and set aside.

Poaching the Eggs

  • Fill a medium-sized pan with water and bring to a boil, then lower down to a low simmer. We should be able to see very small bubbles.
  • Line a small ramekin or bowl with a 40cm square piece of food-safe cling film. Push it down into the bowl. Brush it with some olive oil and crack in your egg. Lift the edges of the cling film and twist together as close as you can get to the egg. Then tie a knot again as close as you can get to the egg. Repeat for your second egg.
  • Drop the little egg parcels into the low simmering water.
  • Poach for 3 minutes. Remove from water. Gently cut right under the knot with a pair of scissors. Remove the egg. One side will have some ridges from the gathering of the cling film but the other side will be perfectly smooth. Place the eggs with the ridges down smooth side up.

For Serving

  • In your serving bowl place the garlic yogurt, using the back of the spoon push the yogurt to the sides leaving a thin well in the middle.
  • Place poached eggs onto the well in the yoghurt.
  • Drizzle with the chili butter to taste. Serve the rest on the side.
  • Garnish with dill and some salt and serve with your favorite bread.

Notes

For Poaching the Eggs Ahead of Time
Follow the above method, but when you remove the egg from the hot water place your parcel into a bowl of preprepared ice water. When they have chilled remove them from the cling wrap and plop them back into the ice water. Place in your fridge. When your ready to serve, remove the egg and place in a bowl of hot water to warm through, ( 20-30 seconds). Be careful here if you leave them longer the egg yolk will set up.
Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: Turkish

Join the Conversation

  1. Rana Abu Hijleh says:

    5 stars
    Who would imagine that eggs and yogurt will be the best combo ever! I used Greek yogurt and I fried some little minced yellow bell pepper in the butter along with the spices, second best eggs ever!! (Shakshoka is my ultimate favorite 😬) thx a million for introducing me to this awesome and easy recipe!

    1. Helloooo Rana, thanks a lot for taking the time to let us know what you thought of the recipe, and so happy you enjoyed this new breakfast idea!

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