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Çilbir –Turkish Eggs in Spiced Yoghurt

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5 from 9 reviews


Eat like royalty with this Turkish breakfast recipe for çilbir – poached eggs and spiced yoghurt, topped with melted butter infused with a touch of Aleppo pepper.


Units Scale
  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt, (plain)
  • 1 tbsp dill, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper (can be subbed with 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil


Preparing the yoghurt

Fill a saucepan up to 1½ inches deep with water and bring to the boil. Place the yoghurt into a heatproof bowl that’s large enough to sit over the pan and stir in the garlic and salt. Place the bowl over the pan, making sure the base doesn’t touch the water. Continue stirring until it reaches body temperature. It should have the consistency of lightly whipped cream. Turn off the heat, leaving the bowl over the pan.

Preparing the butter

Melt the butter gently in a separate small saucepan until it begins to turn brown. Turn off the heat, stir in the olive oil, followed by the Aleppo pepper, and set aside.

Poaching the eggs

Boil a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water. Reduce heat to medium and add vinegar; swirl the water to create a miniature whirlpool. Crack 1 egg at a time into a bowl and gently slide the egg into water – you want to poach so that the white is firm, but yolk is still runny, about 3 minutes per egg. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to paper towels to drain.


Divide the prepared yoghurt between two shallow bowls, top each with a poached egg (or two, depending on how you roll), drizzle with the butter, garnish with a few torn sprigs of dill, and enjoy alongside some warm pita bread.


  • If you have your own way of poaching eggs that you’re happy with, do that instead. The recipe just uses the method I’m most comfortable with. Bear in mind though, fresh eggs are best for poaching as the longer the egg sits, the waterier its whites become.
  • Aleppo pepper has a mild, slightly sweet somewhat lemony taste to it. If it’s not available to you, mixing ½ teaspoon paprika with ½ teaspoon of red pepper will work as a decent albeit not perfect substitute.)
  • Your choice of Greek yoghurt matters here, in terms of personal preference. If there is a brand that you find too sour or tasteless, this will likely not change that. Make sure to opt for a nice full-fat plain Greek yoghurt that you enjoy having!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Poaching
  • Cuisine: Turkish
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