Also known as Cilbir, Turkish Eggs are a dish that is well-rooted in culture. If you are looking to try something new for breakfast, this Turkish breakfast dish remain one of the best options.
As the name suggests, the dish originates from Turkey and is a very important part of Turkish cuisine.
It is mostly taken as breakfast, and from the list of ingredients that go into it, there is no telling how nutritious it is. We’ll share more information below.
This dish feature poached eggs served over yogurt spiced with garlic and a sauce that contains red pepper flakes, or powder, and warm spicy butter.
The food is a perfect breakfast dish that sits in the same category as other yogurt-inspired dishes like parfait topped with fruits or granola.
Origin of Turkish Eggs
Cilbir (pronouned chil-bir) is a dish native to the Turkish people. The dish was said to have started in the days of the Ottoman sultans.
During this time, the term Cilbir was used to refer to poached eggs alone.
However, as time went on, cooks that worked for the royal households were always seeking new recipes and improving on them.
The recipe for making what is now known as Turkish eggs today was discovered and perfected by the cook Sultan Abdul Hamid II in the early 20th century.
This recipe then became the accepted standard for making cilbir in the empire and that recipe has remained the standard till today.
This is why Cilbir, which is Turkish eggs, refers to poached eggs served on a yogurt.
This recipe is very simple to make and all you need are just a few ingredients, and the hunger to try something exciting and new.
One of the most important ingredients that you will need for this egg breakfast is the poached eggs.
This means that you need to understand how to poach your eggs before you start making the egg breakfast. The poached eggs give you a firm white covering that encases the runny yolk on the inside.
Poaching an egg is quite easy, you simply have to bear some points in mind. They include;
You need boiled water. The poaching process occurs in the hot water. There is an option to add vinegar as it helps to hold the egg white in place.
And you don’t have to worry about the taste of the vinegar getting into your egg, as long as the quantity of vinegar used is small.
You mustn’t crack the egg directly into the boiled water. What you should do is crack the egg into a sieve and give the sieve a small shake.
This allows the liquid part of the egg to separate and at the end, you get a well-looking poached egg.
You can get spherical-looking poached eggs by creating a vortex in the boiling water while it is still boiling.
You can create the vortex by stirring the boiling water in the middle, quickly adding the eggs to the vortex, and letting it boil for about 3 minutes.
That should be enough to provide the spherical-looking poached eggs that work perfectly for the cilbir.
For the Turkish eggs, the perfect yogurt is a plain whole-milk Greek yogurt. However, you need to ensure that the milk comes to room temperature before using it for this dish.
Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
Also known as Aleppo Pepper, these flakes are not that spicy. However, they give a subtle sense of sweetness and add a kick to the dish.
If you have other types of red pepper flakes, you can also use them.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is only an optional ingredient as you don’t have to use it. You can use olive oil instead of using melted butter as a finishing for the dish.
Olive oil adds a natural feel and taste to Cilbir.
Important Tips For Making The Turkish Eggs
The following are some important points that you must follow if you are making these delicious eggs for the first time;
The yogurt must be at room temperature. This is why Greek whole milk yogurt remains the best option for the dish.
You must ensure that the yogurt is at room temperature when you add garlic and other substances into the yogurt. You should not refrigerate the yogurt mixture while the eggs are being cooked.
Avoid overcrowding the pot. This tip is important, especially when you are cooking the eggs.
If you have to prepare this dish for a lot of people and have to use lots of eggs, take the eggs two at a time. Cooking more than two eggs at a time may lead to the whites mixing all together.
You should also avoid overheating the olive oil and red pepper flakes. While you will need to heat them, this should be done quickly and leave them to warm.
This same thing goes if you opted for melted butter instead. You need to exercise patience when melting the butter.
You should serve the dish immediately after the eggs are done cooking.
You can also use fresh herbs such as mint or doll on top of the eggs before serving.
How To Store This Egg Breakfast Dish
First off, you must make the exact amount of poached eggs that you will be able to finish in one serving.
This is because the poached eggs don’t do well with refrigeration. Therefore, you will find that there is no good storage option for the dish.
In cases where you have excess and must preserve some parts of the dish, you can only store the garlicky yogurt by refrigerating it for a week.
There are also reports by some chefs that you can preserve the poached eggs by transferring them into an ice bath immediately after cooking.
But it is important to note that this approach works for eggs that have not been served with garlicky yogurt.
You can reheat the eggs transferred into the ice bath by warming them in the warm water of about 125 degrees Celsius or 257 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will heat and not recook the eggs.
How to Pair the Turkish Poached Eggs (Cilbir)
Cilbir is a whole meal itself. However, you can also enjoy the dish with bread types such as pita, lavash, and any other type of rustic bread. You may also try it with one of these breads listed below.
More Breakfast Recipes To Try
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How To Make Cilbir (Turkish Eggs)
- Sauce Pan
For The Eggs
- 2 Large Eggs
- ½ Tsp. Vinegar
- 4 Cups Water
- 1 Cup Yogurt Plain
- ½ Tsp. Garlic Powder
- ½ Tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1 Tbsp. Parsley
- ½ Stick Unsalted Butter
- 1 Tsp. Paprika
- ½ Tsp. Chili Powder
- 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
- Slice Bell Pepper Optional
- Start to boil the water. Add the vinegar. Then reduce the heat to low. Strain the eggs in a sieve to drain liquid. Create a vortex in the water. Add the egg one at a time in the water and poach it for 2-3 minutes, or until desired doneness. Remove the eggs from the water gently and place the eggs on a plate while you prepare the sauce.
- Whisk the yoghurt with salt and minced garlic. Sit aside. Chop parsley and add it into yoghurt sauce.For the butter, heat the butter on medium low heat in a skillet. Add the sliced bell pepper. Sautee for a couple minutes. Add chili flakes and smoked paprika powder. Mix well then remove from heat. For plating, put the yoghurt sauce on the bottom first, then put poached eggs and serve it with brown butter on top. Add white bread slices if desire.