Almost Turkish Recipes

Turkish Poached Eggs with Yogurt (Çılbır)

(pronounced "chilber") is one of my all time favorite comfort dishes. The perfect harmony of eggs, yogurt, and paprika is simply delicious. It offers everything you'd expect from a comfort dish; it's easy to make, very light, and yummy. For those reasons I wasn't surprised when I came across it in Marianna Yerasimos’ 500 Hundred Years of Ottoman Cuisine; if çılbır made it to the palace kitchen, then there's no need for discussion over how great it is. Peotry, military, architecture put aside, Ottomans were infamous for creating comfort for themselves in every possible environment and delicious food, which brings us back to my favorite comfort food: çılbır.

The recipe below is for 1, but you can easily make it for more people by adding more eggs, yogurt, and butter.

2 eggs
2 tbsp vinegar
5 cups of water (or more)
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tbsp butter
mint flakes
1 clove of garlic, minced (optional)

-Bring to boil water, vinegar, and salt in a medium size pot. When it starts boiling, turn it down to medium heat.
-Break eggs one at a time in a small bowl, and glide them, one by one, in to the very hot but not boiling water. (If the water is boiling vigorously when you pour the eggs, you cannot have a homogeneous cooking or keep the egg together) Do not cook more than 2 eggs at a time. If an egg starts going messy in water, try to pull it together with a spoon.
-Cook them for 3-4 minutes for medium soft yolk. For a hard yolk, you need to cook them at least for 5 minutes .
-Take them with slotted spoon on a plate.
-Pour yogurt on them. (If you want to have your çılbır "a la turque", mix yogurt with 1 clove of minced garlic; you won't beleive how poachhed eggs go well with garlicy yogurt)
-On a skillet heat butter. When it sizzles add paprika. Stir for half a minute or less (just don't let it burn) and pour it on top of eggs and yogurt.
-Sprinkle mint flakes on top.

As I said before it is extremely easy to make çılbır; there are only a couple of points to be careful about: don't put the eggs in boiling water; bring it to a boil and then let it calm down and do not break the eggs directly into the pot; instead break them in little bowl and let them glide.


  1. This looks wonderful, I love anything in that garlicky yogurt sauce!

  2. 500 years? Wow! And it seems so novel to me! It looks fantastic; I can't wait to try it.

  3. A perfect egg - just love it!

  4. That looks like a perfect egg dish. And the photo is great!

  5. Easy, elegant, and excellent. I was lucky enough to have all the ingredients on hand. Yesterday's lunch was lovely. Thanks.

  6. Hi Susan,
    I'm glad you liked poached eggs!

  7. Anonymous5:25 AM

    I tried this yesterday for breakfast. Our internet connection was down so I had to try remembering your directions, luckily they were very clear and I think it went well. Will definitely make it again.

  8. Thank you for this recipe. I've been wanting to add eggs to my breakfast, but have always disliked them. I do like them with chorizo and now I can add this recipe. Very delicious with lots of garlic. The egg flavor is part of a nice complex of flavors, so now I can actually enjoy it.

  9. Anonymous3:55 AM

    I am always trolling the internet and blogs for recipe ideas, but I can never be bothered to comment... but I'll make an exception here!! :) I had this is a brunch restaurant in NYC several years back and I have craved it ever since!

    Two questions though: Do you ever heat the yogurt through? I'm pretty sure the yogurt in the dish I had was at least cooked a little because it had a different texture than fresh, cold yogurt. Also, do you use greek-style strained yogurt or the natural set stuff?

    Time to clean the drool off the keyboard!

  10. anonymous-you don't cook the yogurt, but you beat it with a fork to mix it well with the crushed garlic. even when they dont use garlic, they still beat the yogurt to make it smooth. And you can use regular yogurt, you dont need to use strained yogurt.

  11. Anonymous5:23 AM

    thanks, burcu! i made it this morning and it was exactly what I'd had previously, and exactly what I wanted! I didn't cook the yogurt as per your instructions, but it was warm like I'd remembered it... probably because of the addition of the hot egg and hot paprika-butter. I used strained yogurt because that's what I had in the fridge. anyway, many thanks!!!

  12. This blog its wonderful thaks for admin. biber salçası

  13. Maria E.11:14 PM

    Loved loved loved this recipe this morning! I completely forgot that I had çılbır two months ago at a breakfast in Istanbul and I had no clue the magic ingredients were garlic, yogurt and paprika. Çok mersi! Devam ettiniz.

  14. I love cilbir and each time I made it, the eggs were all around and I was furious. This time, I tried your recipe following the tips "crack eggs to a bowl first" and "not into boiling water". The result this time was perfect!

    Thanks a lot for the recipe and the tips!


  15. I am so excited I found your blog! I grew up in Istanbul, so I am always looking for great recipes to remind me of my childhood! Just made the cilbir for breakfast this morning and both me and my 15 month old daughter thoroughly enjoyed it! I am so glad there is actually an online site to order yufka! I can finally satisfy my craving for cigara borek! Thanks again for your recipes and tips!

  16. Hi, I tried this today and it was yummy. Thanks for posting.

  17. I am Turkish. I have had it many times because my father loves this stuff.

    I think it is gross myself though, sorry to say. I really don't think eggs go with yoghurt myself. I guess you either love cilbir or hate it.

    I am surprised this recipe is on the almost Turkish website. I can attest to its authenticity though, this is completely Turkish. :)

  18. hmm... looks and sounds real yummy. Actually surprised with the egg and yoghurt combination never heard of one before.

  19. Merhaba! I'm currently preparing a blog series about Ramadan and I'd like to feature Turkish yogurt recipes one day. I spotted that you have many wonderful recipes here. Would it be alright if I link my post to your recipes and perhaps include one or two of your deliscious photos and give all due acknowledgements to you? Sarita

  20. recently had turkish eggs in singapore of all places and wanted to make them at home. will try your recipe. beautiful website!

  21. I like it, will try it next weekend , Thanks

  22. I lived in Turkiye for 2 years and used to eat this. now I have a recipe. there are several variations, all good.

  23. Anonymous12:12 PM


  24. I just tried this recipe , it turned out really well . I am referring your site on my blog . Good job .