Çilbir (Turkish Poached Eggs in Yoghurt)


Forget homemade eggs benedict and croque monsieur, it so last year and you can easily find them in Jakarta- every restaurant in Jakarta have them on their brunch menu. But poached eggs is still my number one choice for breakfast or brunch. Serving poached eggs is almost like a magic trick, it easy to make once you know the trick and the perfect poached eggs definitely will impress the crowd.

Çilbir, a traditional comfort food of the Ottoman empire is my new hero breakfast . Simple poached eggs put on top or garlicky dense yoghurt and topped with a sizzle Aleppo chili butter. This is a perfect dish for breakfast, the bright yellow color from butter is so bright and really resembles the morning sunrise. Creamy egg yolk from these poached eggs dancing together with yoghurt and spiced butter, and it become such a good harmony. But the best part about this madness is this really easy to make, for me the hardest part is timing the egg so that it becomes the poached texture that you like.


I first came across this dish several years ago trough my Turkish friend in Jakarta, since that I’ve made it several times. I’m not made this as often as I want because the price of Greek yoghurt is pretty expensive here and the local yogurt consistency is very thin. If you can’t find Aleppo pepper feel free to use paprika or cayenne pepper as a substituted. Serve with flat bread or pita bread to mop up the sauce.

Poached eggs

  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cups water
  • 1-2 tablespoon vinegar

Yoghurt Sauce

  • 1 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • aleppo pepper or chili flakes
  • paprika powder
  • black pepper
  • sea salt


  • Mix yoghurt with crushed garlic, stir it until well combine. Let it sit for a couple minutes.
  • Meanwhile make your poached egg. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil, then add vinegar. Once the water boil, turn off the heat and let it simmer.
  • Crack an egg one at a time into a small bowl. Slide them gently in to a simmering water. Cook them gently for about 3-4 minutes for a medium soft yolk. Remove egg with a slotted spoon and drain.
  • Spoon yogurt into warm single serving dishes, place eggs on yoghurt. Melt butter in a small skillet and add the cayenne and the paprika. Pour over the eggs when you see it start bubbling. Garnish with chopped chives, mint or your herb choices.


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