How to Make Turkish Cilbir (Poached eggs and Spicy yogurt)

I’ve already expressed my love of Turkish breakfast, though now that I’m in Greece I still find myself craving it. Not to say I’m not enjoying Greek food but there’s just something missing and for me it’s a good egg dish. While staying at the Sultan Suites Cave Hotel in Cappadocia, I tasted a game changer in my life…Cilbir. On paper this doesn’t sound quite right. Garlicky Greek yogurt, a poached egg, and a swirl of peppery butter with toast. Amazing.

I was staying at the Chania Hostel and they were kind enough to provide eggs along with toast for breakfast (along with a pretty well equipped kitchen). Sure theres nothing wrong with scrambled eggs for breakfast. But when you have a hankering for something a bit different it’s nice to have the option of making something yourself. So thanks Chania Hostel. I went out to pick up some groceries and thankfully what I had a craving for only requires 5 ingredients. Two of which have already been provided. Whether you’re traveling or at home, Cilbir is easy enough to prepare any day of the week and uses ingredients you probably already have on hand



(serves 1)

1/2 cup greek yogurt (room temperature)

1/2 clove garlic (you can substitute chives if you’re worried about offending someone in the morning)

1 Tablespoon of butter

pinch of red pepper flakes

pinch of smoky or hot paprika

1 egg

pinch of chopped dill or chives

Splash vinegar or lemon juice


  1. Bring small saucepan of water to a boil to poach egg
  2. Bring greek yogurt to room temperature. Grate 1/2 clove garlic into yogurt. (If your yogurt isn’t at room temperature, put it in a bowl that fits over top of your saucepan and warm it up over the water coming to a boil)
  3. Once yogurt is warm or water has come to a rolling boil add vinegar and take it off the heat. This is my trick to poaching the perfect egg. Take a spoon and swirl the water around. Quickly crack an egg and open it close to the swirling water. (you can do this in a separate bowl but thats one extra dish to clean and it’s completely unnecessary). Take your spoon and swirl the water a little bit more to keep the egg from settling at the bottom. Put the saucepan back on the burner over low heat and gently poach for about 4-5 minutes
  4. While your egg is poaching put your bread in a toaster and take a pan and brown your butter over medium high heat. This will also take about 4-5 minutes. You want a nutty brown colour, not burnt. You’ll know it’s ready when you can smell toasting nuts. Add the red pepper flakes and paprika and take off the heat.
  5. Right now all your components should be ready. Take the yogurt and put in a bowl.
  6. Carefully remove egg from saucepan with a strainer, drain well and add to to yogurt
  7. Spoon the spicy butter mixture over the egg and yogurt
  8. Sprinkle with dill or chives, or any herb of your liking


If you’ve made this on the road or at home share your photo with me wherever you are I’d love to see it.

cilbir pin

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