Are you looking for a tasty recipe for poached eggs? There are lots of wonderfully creative ways in which Turkish cuisine uses eggs. Obviously, if you’re having a full Turkish breakfast, they make an appearance on the table in some form or other.
Turkish Poached Eggs – Çılbır
In menemen, the eggs are scrambled. When they’re with sucuk, they’re fried. So now, it’s time to do a Turkish poached eggs recipe. This is çılbır…
How To Pronounce Çılbır
Before we continue, if you’ve never heard the word before, you might be wondering how to pronounce çılbır. It does help to know the name of the dish you are making, doesn’t it? It’s very easy.
It is pronounced, chil-bir. All you need to know is that the Turkish ‘ı’ is roughly the same sound as the ‘i’ in the English word, ‘bird’ – rather than the ‘i’ in ‘bin’ for example.
What Is Çılbır?
Now we know how to pronounce it, we need to know what is it we are making. The çılbır recipe is a delicious mix of Turkish poached eggs where the eggs are served on a bed of thick, creamy garlic yoghurt. And there’s a few little tasty additions, too.
And if that is seeming like a strange mix of ingredients at the moment, trust us when we tell you that we and millions of Turkish people around the world, love a serving of this famous dish.
It’s not a dish that tops the list of Turkish food favourites for many visitors to Turkey – but that’s not because çılbır is unloved.
In fact, these Turkish poached eggs have been enjoyed since as far back as the 15th Century when the Ottoman Sultans were delighting in the textures and flavours. It just that the dish doesn’t feature on many restaurant menus so people don’t get the opportunity to try it.
Çılbır Recipe – Turkish Poached Eggs With Garlic Yoghurt
Çılbır is as much a yoghurt recipe as it is a poached eggs recipe – both feature equally.
We’re going to be making enough for two people with two poached eggs per person. We’ll be doing our poached eggs in a pan. And if you’re unsure about how to poach an egg, or even four eggs at the same time, don’t worry, we have some tips for you.
Prepare Your Yoghurt
But first, you need to prepare your yoghurt. We use Turkish süzme yoghurt but if you can’t get that, Greek yoghurt is fine.
Peel a clove or garlic and grate that into 400-500 grams of yoghurt. Then you can add a pinch of salt and some fresh herbs to taste. As with the Turkish garlic yoghurt with carrots meze, fresh dill is a common herb used in çılbır.
For us, on this occasion, we went with a pinch of salt, a couple of teaspoons of dried mint and a teaspoon of paprika.
Divide your yoghurt mixture between two plates and swirl a spoon it to spread it out and make a well in the centre. Then leave the yoghurt to sit at room temperature. Çılbır is not a dish to be served ice cold.
How To Poach An Egg
Because we’re doing poached eggs in a pan, poaching four at the same time – whilst also prepping your other ingredients – can seem tricky.
However, this is where time has been well spent lounging on the sofa every Saturday morning watching chef James Martin share his culinary knowledge with us. He gets full credit for this tip for easy poached eggs.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes.
- Crack each of your eggs onto a small plate (if you have a Turkish çay set, the saucers from this are perfect, but any small plate will suffice).
- Bring a saucepan of water and vinegar to the boil and then swirl the solution with a whisk. Add just one egg to the centre of the swirl and leave it to poach for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on how soft you want your yolk to be.
- Then you’re going to remove that egg with a slotted spoon and place it carefully into your iced water to prevent further cooking.
- Swirl your boiling water again and add your next egg. Repeat the process until all four poached eggs are sitting in your iced water.
Prepare The Rest Of Your Çılbır Recipe Ingredients
Whilst your poached eggs are sitting in the iced water, leave the pan of water on a rolling simmer and start to toast some wedges of crusty bread.
We’re also going to prepare our sauce to drizzle over the top of our poached eggs and yoghurt. Gently mix a knob of butter with chilli flakes in a small, shallow pan over a low heat. Once the butter is bubbling and the the chilli has infused, remove from the heat.
Place your eggs back into the simmering water for 30 seconds – they can all go into the pan together – and now it’s time to serve.
Çılbır Recipe – Ingredients & Method
Çılbır Recipe (Turkish Poached Eggs With Yoghurt)
- 400 g natural yoghurt
- 4 large free range eggs
- 1 clove garlic peeled & grated
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2-3 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tsp dried mint or fresh chopped dill
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 splash vinegar for poaching pan
- 1 inch salt to season
- Bring a saucepan of water with a splash of vinegar to the boil.
- Meanwhile, mix your yoghurt with the garlic, mint, paprika and salt and divide between two plates.
- Swirl a spoon in the centre of the yoghurt to spread it out and leave a well in the centre.
- Crack your eggs one at a time onto a small plate, taking care not to break the yolk.
- Stir your boiling water with a whisk so that it starts to swirl.
- Whilst the water is swirling, carefully pour one egg into the centre of the swirl and poach for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and place into the iced water. repeat the process for the remaining three eggs.
- Leave the boiling water on the heat.
- If you are having your çılbır with toasted bread, start to toast it now.
- Meanwhile, gently heat your butter and chilli flakes over a low heat and stir until the chilli has infused and the butter is starting to bubble. Remove from the heat.
- Now place all four poached eggs back into the simmering water for 30 seconds to reheat. The eggs can all go into the water together.
- Remove each one carefully with a slotted spoon and drain before placing two eggs into the centre of each yoghurt well on your plates.
- Drizzle the melted chill butter over the poached eggs and yoghurt and serve immediately with your hot, toasted bread.
- As with other recipes, the calories for our çılbır recipe are meant as a rough guide. We have not taken bread into consideration.
- Although it is traditional to use butter in this recipe, some people opt to use olive oil, instead.
- Poach your eggs for 2-3 minutes, depending on how soft you would like the yolk to be.
- We used large eggs for our çılbır and poached them for just over 2 minutes before adding them to the iced water.
Remove your eggs from the simmering water with a slotted spoon. Drain and place two into the centre of each yoghurt well. Now drizzle your hot chilli butter all over the top of your çılbır.
Serve immediately and enjoy with hot toasted bread.
And that’s our çılbır recipe. Turkish poached eggs with garlic and herb yoghurt, drizzled in hot chilli butter. If you’re looking for breakfast with poached eggs that has a bit of a twist, give çılbır a go. It’s delicious.
We have put our çılbır recipe in the breakfast section of our Turkish recipes collection but, of course, Turkish poached eggs can be enjoyed at any time of day!