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Cilbir – Turkish Eggs Recipe

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Take your morning eggs to the next level by making cilbir aka Turkish eggs. No clue what they are? Think soft poached eggs with creamy garlic yoghurt and a good healthy drizzle of chilli butter. Yes, chilli butter. So good that I have it with everything. 

I’m not going to waste any more of your time so let’s get straight to it. 

For the yoghurt, you’ll want to use one that is thick and creamy – I use Fage total 5%. The yoghurt base is vital in catching all the chilli butter and egg yolk in its creases and holds up much better than a runny yoghurt would. Make sure you let it come to room temperature before making this dish.

For the eggs, you don’t have to have it poached as a soft boiled egg works just fine. Even a fried egg could work over here. But if you are looking to poach and don’t have a clue how to, I’ve got a few tips for you.

Of course, I’m no egg poaching queen as I couldn’t hack it until two days ago but here is what I do:

  1. Crack a cold egg in a ramekin or small bowl and add a few drips of lemon juice or vinegar
  2. Heat water up in a pan and let it come to a small boil. 
  3. Start swirling the pan with a wooden spoon and once a mini whirl pool is created, remove your spoon and slowly pour in the egg in the middle. 
  4. Slowly swirl around the egg so that the egg whites gather together
  5. Remove after a few minutes and start the process again for the next egg

There are a few other methods you can also use like the clingfilm way but I found this one worked best for me. 

I made a small amount of parsley oil, which is completely optional, and drizzled that onto the yoghurt base before placing the eggs on top. This imparts a nice herby flavour and just requires a little bit of fresh parsley. If you don’t have fresh parsley, just skip it out. 

This is great served warm and with large thick slabs of buttered sourdough toast. 

CILBIR – TURKISH EGGS RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
300g thick greek yoghurt, room temperature
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper, to season
1tsp dried dill (fresh is of course better but if you don’t have either of them, just skip it!)
4 eggs

Chilli butter:
1.5 tbsp butter, unsalted
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2tsp smoked paprika
1-2tsp pul biber or crushed chilli flakes

Parsley oil:
Small handful fresh parsley
1.5tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Mix yoghurt with garlic, dill, salt, and pepper and leave to the side. 
  2. Soft poach your eggs – using whichever method works for you – or soft boil/fry them. 
  3. Melt butter in a pan and once frothy, add smoked paprika, cumin, and the chilli flakes/pul biber. Mix to infuse and then remove from the heat
  4. Optional: using a mortar and pestle, crush some parsley and mix with olive and salt and paper. 
  5. To assemble, spread the yoghurt on a plate and using the back of your spoon, create a few ridges so that the chilli butter can collect on them. Drizzle the parsley oil, if using, and then place the poached eggs on top. Spoon on the hot chilli butter and serve immediately with crusty bread. 
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