Turkish cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors, colorful spices, and unique dishes. One such dish is Turkish eggs (Cilbir), a traditional breakfast dish that has been enjoyed in Turkey for centuries. The dish is made with poached eggs, creamy yogurt sauce, and Turkish spices. It is a perfect dish for brunch or a lazy weekend breakfast.
What are Turkish eggs (Cilbir)?
Turkish eggs (Cilbir) is a traditional Turkish breakfast dish that consists of poached eggs served on a bed of creamy yogurt sauce flavored with garlic and Turkish spices. The dish is usually served with a slice of bread on the side.
INGREDIENTS AND VARIATIONS FOR THE BEST CILBIR
|Prep Time: 15 mins||Cook Time: 10 mins||Total Time: 25 mins||Course: Breakfast, Brunch|
|Cuisine: Middle Eastern||Keyword: Cilbir, Turkish Eggs||Calories: 133kcal||Servings: 2 people|
- 1 cup Greek yoghurt
- Few fronds fresh dill
- 8-10 mint leaves
- ½ garlic clove
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 55 g butter
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to Make Turkish Eggs (CILBIR)
- Prepare the yogurt. Turkish eggs or Cilbir are made with Greek yogurt combined with fresh herbs and garlic. We use fresh dill and mint for our yogurt base. Finely chop the dill and mint, add some crushed or grated garlic, and combine the ingredients with the Greek yogurt. Then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Optionally, you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice.
- Poach the eggs. Poaching eggs can sound simple for some and really challenging for others. If you are in the second group or this is your first time making poached eggs, don’t worry, getting a perfect poached egg is easier than you think. Fill a deep pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and create a vortex. Crack the egg and add it to the middle of the boiling water vortex. Cook for 2-3 minutes to get the perfect egg with a runny yolk. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and leave it aside while you cook the second egg.
- Make the chili-butter sauce. Using a small pan or pot, melt the butter at medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble add the spices and stir using a wooden spoon. Traditionally, Aleppo pepper is used when making Turkish eggs but for our recipe, we use chili flakes and smoked paprika. Stir and the sauce will be ready to serve.
Assembling The Turkish Eggs
- Spread one thick layer of the garlicky yogurt with herbs on a serving plate or small bowl. You can use shallow bowls for this recipe as well as plates.
- Add the poached eggs to the yogurt base.
- Drizzle the spiced butter and add some more fresh mint and dill and black pepper before serving.
Tips for making perfect Turkish eggs (Cilbir)
- Use fresh eggs for poaching. Fresh eggs hold their shape better and create a more visually appealing dish.
- Make sure the water is simmering, not boiling, before adding the eggs. A gentle simmer will help the eggs cook evenly without breaking apart.
- Add a splash of vinegar to the water to help the eggs hold their shape.
- Don’t overcook the eggs. Overcooking will result in a hard yolk and a rubbery white.
- Garnish the dish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or dill, to add a pop of color and flavor.
Make Turkish Eggs Or Cilbir For Kids
Turkish eggs are spicy so they are not the best option for kids. You can slightly change the recipe to make it kid and toddler friendly.
Change the chili flakes or Aleppo peppers for sweet paprika. As well, we recommend reducing the amount of garlic used. Garlic is healthy but adding too much can be a bit overpowering for your little one.
Dipping some toasted bread on the runny yolk egg it’s such a fun way to start a brunch! Our toddler Luca loves it when we make Shakshuka or Turkish eggs, he makes sure he’s the first one dipping his bread in the egg. If you want to involve them in the kitchen, they can as well help you prepare the yogurt base.
Turkish eggs can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. Such a versatile dish, you can combine it with some toasted bread, pita bread, and some other side dishes such as this Homemade Loaded Hummus or a yummy Baba Ganoush.
Make sure you add enough chili melted butter on top of the eggs and yogurt, I find this to be the best part of this meal.