Cilbir is a delicious Turkish breakfast made with poached eggs and a flavorful yogurt sauce. These Turkish poached eggs are a great option for brunch option.
I love having eggs for breakfast and it’s amazing how versatile they are especially in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. From Italian baked eggs to yeralma yumurta and Persian spinach and eggs, we love having flavorful egg dishes for breakfast and brunch!
What is Cilbir?
Cilbir (pronounced Chilbir) is a traditional Turkish breakfast that’s made with poached eggs and a delicious yogurt sauce. This tasty egg dish is topped with a spicy butter concoction and is perfect with a slice of crusty bread. Cilbir is a common Turkish recipe that is made in almost every region of Turkey.
Why is this poached eggs recipe special?
There are a few reasons why this poached eggs and yogurt recipe is special:
- It’s beyond what you know as poached eggs for breakfast. There are so many flavors in each bite and it’s so refreshing.
- It’s served with a spicy yogurt sauce that’s flavored with dill and garlic.
- This easy Mediterranean breakfast was an award winner at the American Dairy Association tour in October 2018.
I went on a very fun and educational tour with the American Dairy Association in October which I documented on my IG stories. We visited several dairy farms and learned a lot about dairy and its products. So much work goes into each bottle of milk or container of yogurt we use on a daily basis and it was great to see all of it.
We talked to several dairy farmers and they explained how different cows have different diets. We even got to make fresh mozzarella which was so exciting. I think I’m going to make my own mozzarella when I have the chance.
Cilbir is a dish that shows how yogurt can shine in a savory dish. Yogurt is usually used in sweet recipes in North America however in the Mediterranean and Middle East region, yogurt is considered a savory ingredient that can be used in different recipes.
What are Turkish eggs ingredients?
This simple Turkish eggs recipe calls for just a few ingredients:
- Plain yogurt
- Fresh or dried dill
- Salt and pepper
- Aleppo Pepper
How to make poached eggs
Making poached eggs is considered quite an art in the culinary world. It’s probably one of the first things to learn when you start cooking. Poaching eggs is a basic skill that might look intimidating but, honestly, it’s pretty simple and easy if you follow a few steps:
- Bring water to a simmer in a large pot or a deep pan with wide mouth.
- Break the eggs in separated small bowls.
- Put the eggs into the simmering water and with a spoon, help the whites to come together with the eggs. It’s okay if some parts of the whites separate.
- Cook for three minutes and take the eggs out using a slotted spoon and place them on a kitchen paper towel to dry.
There are other methods for making poached eggs like stirring the water to make a whirl before adding the eggs. I simply cook the eggs in the simmering water and use a spoon to bring the whites together. It’s important not to over crowd the pot or the pan, so poach one or two eggs at a time.
How to make Cilbir
Once the eggs are poached and are cooling, make the yogurt sauce by mixing the yogurt with chopped fresh or dried dill and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper and spread it in a shallow bowl or a plate.
Melt butter in a small sauce pan and add Aleppo pepper to it. Lower the heat and stir slowly until the butter has become dark orange. Place the poached eggs on the yogurt sauce and top with the sauce.
What to serve cilbir with
Cilbir is a complete dish on it’s own. However, I always enjoy a slice of toasted bread like sourdough with it. Turkish eggs can also be served with warm lavash or pita bread. If you love Mediterranean food and Turkish food, you’re going to love these Turkish eggs.
Can I make cilbir ahead of time?
You can definitely make the garlic yogurt sauce ahead of time and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. It’s best to poach the eggs right before serving and make the spicy butter fresh as well.
Cilbir (Turkish Eggs)
- 4 eggs cold
- 1 cup Plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp Fresh dill chopped (See Notes)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Lower the heat and let the water simmer.
- Break the eggs in separate bowls and place two of them in simmering water.
- Using a spoon, bring the whites onto the eggs and let them cook for about three minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, take out the eggs and place them on paper towels on a plate and let them dry.
- Discard the water and fill the pot again. Repeat the steps and poach the other two eggs.
- In a bowl, mix yogurt, dill, garlic, black pepper, salt and paprika.
- Divide the yogurt between two shallow bowls.
- Top the yogurt sauce with two poached eggs.
- Melt the butter in a pan and add Aleppo pepper to the butter.
- Lower the heat and stir slowly so the butter turns deep orange.
- Pour the butter over eggs and serve with toasted crusty bread.
- You can use two teaspoons dried dill if fresh dill isn't available.