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Cilbir (Poached eggs with garlic yogurt)

15 min

4 servings


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In Turkey, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And is there a better way to start the day with a poached egg? We think not. Do you like it too? Then try these poached eggs with garlic yogurt, also called 'Çılbır'. We got this recipe from Hale Amus, the author of the Dutch cookbook The Bible of Turkish Cuisine. She told us that this dish was eaten in the fifteenth century long before poached eggs became fashionable. Namely by Ottoman sultans who preferred to eat their eggs poached and served on yogurt. This Çılbır is not only delicious for breakfast, but is also very good for lunch or as a mezze.


Preparation method

Step 1: Prepare the yogurt

  • Mix the yogurt with pressed garlic and salt in a large bowl. We added lemon grater to the mixture ourselves, but this is not necessary.

  • Divide the yogurt over 4 plates and smooth it with the convex side of a spoon. Set aside.

Step 2: Poach the eggs

  • See this video for tips for a perfect poached egg.

  • Break the eggs into individual bowls. Set aside. For a perfectly poached egg, use a small sieve (see video).

  • Bring a pan with plenty of water and vinegar to the boil. Stir vigorously to create a vortex in the center. Slide the eggs into the center of the pan one at a time; do not poach more than 2 at a time.

  • Poach the eggs for 3 minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks are still soft.

  • Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let it drain on kitchen paper.

Step 4: Make the spicy chili butter

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the pul biber and bake for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Step 5: Serve the Cilbir

  • Divide the poached eggs over the yogurt, drizzle with the butter and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with Turkish bread.

Afiyet olsun! ('Enjoy your meal')
Try this recipe and let us know what you think!Try this recipe and let us know what you think!
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Curious about Hale's story about Turkish food culture? She will tell you more about it!


  • 350 g Turkish yogurt (10% fat)

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp natural vinegar

  • 4 eggs

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 2 tsp pul biber (for sale at AH or a toko)

  • 5 g flat leaf parsley

  • Turkish bread

  • Optional: 1 tbsp lemon zest

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