A simple savory breakfast, Çılbır or Turkish Eggs with Yogurt for Two is a traditional Turkish egg dish of garlicky yogurt with poached eggs and a drizzle of spicy butter -- rich, yummy and faintly smokey. Typically served among a spread of other dishes, it makes a light lunch or brunch that comes together in under 5 minutes – the time it takes you to poach an egg!
What is Çılbır?
Turkish, pronouned chil-bir, is poached eggs served over a bed of thick, garlicky yogurt and finished with a generous drizzle of warmed spiced butter (or you can substitute olive oil) with a good dash of Aleppo Pepper, smoked paprika or red pepper flakes.
While yogurt for breakfast is usually sweet and paired with fruit and granola, if you are ready for something new and savory give this Turkish Egg Recipe a try.
For your base, opt for Greek yogurt to mimic the thicker yogurt common in Turkey. Next, bloom Aleppo pepper in butter or olive oil. Also known as pul biber, it delivers about as much heat as chipotle, with smoky notes and a fruity flavor. This version of çilbir is adapted from Özlem Warren, a cookbook author and blogger. Though the dish is traditionally served without herbs, she recommends dill or parsley for a modern flourish
How to perfectly poach eggs
Poaching eggs in a shallow skillet rather than a sauce pan makes it easier to spoon them out of the water. My top tip is to drain the loose whites before dropping the eggs into water seasoned with salt and vinegar, helping the whites set up quickly. Finish poaching the eggs off the heat to keep egg whites intact with a soft and runny yolk.
- Season the water. First, fill an 8- inch skillet with water up to the rim. Add vinegar and salt bringing the water to a rolling boil. Adding vinegar will help the egg whites set up with fewer wispy or floating white pieces in the skillet.
2. Drain the eggs. Crack the eggs, one at a time into a colander set over a bowl. Let stand until loose, watery parts drain away from eggs. all spices into a large bowl and mix thoroughly into lean ground beef
3. Gently transfer two eggs to a small bowl or teacup. Remove pot from heat. With the edge of the bowl just above surface of water, gently tip eggs into the water.
4. Cover the skillet, remove it from the heat and let the eggs gently steam until the whites are set but the yolks are still slightly runny.
5. Drain eggs over pot. This is really important to avoid transferring water to the bed of yogurt sauce. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lift and drain 1 egg over pot. Pat bottom of spoon dry with paper towels.
Now your egg is ready to be placed on the garlicky yogurt bed and drizzled with spicy butter and sprinkled with dried mint.
For such a simple dish made of ingredients that are likely to be in your refrigerator or pantry -- eggs, yogurt, garlic, olive oil butter (or olive oil)--this savory diet friendly dish is delicious and satisfying. I love toast with my poached eggs and this egg dish is best served immediately with a slice of rustic bread to mop up every last bit of the rich and luscious sauce.
- Whole-milk strained yogurt. Strained yogurt has had some of the whey remoed making it thicker than regular yogurt. Turkish strained yogurt is ideal, but if you can’t find it, Greek yogurt works well. My favorite strained whole milk yogurt is Siggi’s, an Icelandic cream- skyr. I buy this at my local food Co-op, but I have noticed it in some local grocery stores.
- Large Eggs
- Unsalted butter. If you are trying to avoid butter you can substitute olive oil.
- Ground dried Aleppo pepper. If you cannot find Aleppo pepper use smoked paprika or red pepper flakes.
Note: See recipe card below for quantities.
How to make Turkish eggs for two
For your base, opt for Greek yogurt to mimic the thicker yogurt common in Turkey, it will stand up to a poached egg being placed on top.
To add a garlicky kick to the yogurt we will mince our garlic, mashing it into a paste with a bit of salt. Using a small rubber spatula, spread the yogurt sauce on a serving plate, making a neat little bed for the poached egg to rest on top. Set aside, letting the yogurt sit at room temperature taking the chill off, while we poached the eggs.
Now for perfect poached eggs, drain the loose whites using a colander before dropping the eggs into boiling water seasoned with salt and vinegar, this helps the whites set up quickly. Finish cooking the eggs off heat until the whites are set and the yolks are soft and runny.
Next, bloom Aleppo pepper in butter or olive oil, it delivers about as much heat as chipotle, with smokey notes and fruity flavor, and turns the butter a bright red.
The finishing touch, place the poached egg on the bed of yogurt sauce, drizzle the spiced butter over the top of the egg and sprinkle with a pinch of dried mint to brighten the dish.
The good news is this dish comes together in the amount of time that it takes you to poach an egg, the bad news is there is really no way to store the prepared dish. It is best served immediately. My recommendation is to only pouch as many eggs as you or your guest may want to eat.
Some of you may opt to make a spicy olive oil instead of the spicy butter.
To make a spicy olive oil, bloom Aleppo pepper in olive oil, by heating oil in a skillet until it begins to shimmer. Remove the skillet from heat and add the aleppo pepper , it delivers about as much heat as chipotle, with smokey notes and fruity flavor, and turns the oil a bright red.
To perfectly poach eggs, drain the loose whites using a colander before dropping the eggs into boiling water seasoned with salt and vinegar, this helps the whites set up quickly. Finish cooking the eggs off heat until the whites are set and the yolks are soft and runny.
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Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Serve Turkish eggs with a simple green salad tossed in our favorite shallot vinaigrette and rustic slices of bread. Other dishes, I like to pair up with Turkish Eggs with Yogurt for Two include:
Turkish eggs with yogurt for two
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- ½ cup plain whole-milk strained yogurt ,or Greek yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic ,pressed or minced into paste
- Pinch salt plus salt for cooking eggs
- 2 Large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon dried Aleppo pepper ,smoked paprika or red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried mint (optional)
- Serve with crusty bread ,pita, or flatbread
- Combine yogurt, garlic and salt in a medium bowl, mixing just until combined. Divide yogurt sauce evenly among 2 serving plates or shallow bowls, spreading with a small spatula or back of a spoon to make a flat bed with a small indent large enough to hold 1 poached egg. Set aside, allowing the yogurt to warm up while you poach the eggs.
- Fill an 8- inch skillet with water up to the rim. Add vinegar and salt bringing the water to a rolling broil. This helps the egg whites set up with fewer wispy or floating white pieces in the skillet. Meanwhile, crack the eggs, one at a time into a colander set over a bowl. Let stand until loose, watery parts drain away from eggs, about 30 seconds. Gently transfer eggs to a small teacup or bowl.
- With the edge of the teacup just above surface of water, gently tip eggs into the water. Cover the skillet, remove it from the heat and let the eggs gently steam until the whites are set but the yolks are still slightly runny, about 3 minutes. If the whites closest to the yolk is not set, let stand in water, checking every 30 seconds, until eggs reach desired doneness.
- While the eggs cook, heat butter in a microwave until it begins to sputter, about 30 seconds. Remove from microwave, stir in pepper flakes.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully lift and drain 1 egg over pot. Pat bottom of spoon dry with paper towels. Now your egg is ready to be placed on the garlicky yogurt bed and drizzled with spicy butter and a pinch of dried mint. Serve immediately, passing toasted slices of rustic bread separately.
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