Pairing yogurt with steaming poached eggs might not be an idea that appeals immediately. But trust me, it is a bomb combination! Otherwise Turkish Eggs or Cilbir would not have been one of the world’s most favourite breakfasts, right? I will show you how you can make this amazing recipe very easily at home and try your hands at something completely fresh and new. Because these Turkish Eggs are to die for!
Because I am in India, this recipe has been adapted to what is available around me. The traditional recipe, for instance, uses Greek yogurt and fresh dill for garnish. I have replaced the greek yogurt with a thick homemade hung curd, and because dill is hard to find here, I garnished the dish with fresh cilantro. It tasted excellent both ways and you can go ahead with what you have around you.
Key Elements In Turkish Eggs
Turkish Eggs recipe essentially consists of three core elements. The base is a creamy garlicky yogurt, which is then topped off with jiggly poached eggs. The third element is a simple yet stunning chilli butter sauce which is drizzled all over the eggs and the yogurt with a final garnish of fresh herbs. Each bite must take a scoop of all the elements, and the taste is marvellous! To get the Turkish Eggs right, I have broken down the steps to make it simple for you.
Step 1 – Make the garlic yogurt
If you have greek yogurt, nothing like it. If you don’t (we are in lockdown after all), you can make your own hung curd at home. Put a sieve on top of a bowl and layer it with a clean cotton handkerchief or a muslin cloth. Put the curd on top, cover it up and place it in the refrigerator overnight for for at least four hours. The idea is to extract all the water out of the yogurt and give it a thick creamy texture.
Once your hung curd is ready, take it out in a bowl. Add the finely chopped garlic and season it with salt and freshly ground black pepper powder. Whisk it all up really well so that it’s smooth and creamy. Allow it to come to room temperature.
Step 2 – Make the chilli butter sauce
This simple yet stunning sauce gives that gourmet touch to the recipe of Turkish Eggs. It’s fairly simple to make, provided you follow a few techniques. First, add butter into the skillet and let it cook on the lowest temperature possible. If you increase the heat, it butter will burn. Let the butter melt and brown at its own pace in the skillet. Drizzle some good quality extra virgin olive oil onto the skillet to give the butter some company. The butter needs to be cooked till it acquires a beautiful brown and nutty colour, what we call as brown butter. Once the butter is browned, add good quality chilli flakes to it and let it unite in flavour. Once done, set the chilli butter sauce aside to cool down.
Step 3 – Making the poached eggs
The poached eggs are the star of this dish, but can get quite tricky. As much as we all love to order poached eggs in restaurants, we barely make it at home ourselves. I was also like that till I figured out the techniques that MUST be followed when making poached eggs. Follow these rules and you can make amazing poached eggs at home too.
Make sure your eggs are cold
This is a very important step in making poached eggs. Your eggs must be resting in the refrigerator before you make poached eggs. Having the eggs at room temperature will not make it hold its shape properly in the water, and it will disintegrate. So make sure your eggs are cold. And break open your eggs into ramekin bowl or a tea cup before putting it into the water to poach. Putting them straight into the water might break them.
The fresher the eggs, the better the shape
That’s the number one rule for perfect poached eggs. The eggs should be as fresh as possible. If your eggs are as fresh as a day old, you don’t even have the make that swirl in the water. It will hold its shape very easily. But I am being practical here and I know most of us will not hav super fresh eggs at home. Which is why my method is for eggs which have been with you fortwo to three days. But make sure the eggs are not too old also, otherwise even this method won’t bring desired results.
The temperature of the water
Poached eggs should be made in enough water that is hot enough that is starts to form little bubbles. Fill a wide mouthed pot with water and wait for it to start showing soft bubbles. The moment you see that turn the flame to its lowest. Now drop the egg just from the surface of the water while creating a swirl. And leave it undisturbed till it forms a solid shape.
Cooking the perfect poached egg
Once you drop the poached egg into the water, do not disturb it in ay way. While the egg is poaching, set up the bowl for the Turkish Eggs. Apply a generous dollop or two of the garlicky yogurt and be ready to transfer the poached egg to it. The yolk of the egg needs to be runny in this recipe. So the maximum time that you need to cook the egg in the water is two minutes. The moment you see that the yolk is surrounded by a sold layer of egg whites and the egg sits in a sturdy manner, gently take it out while releasing all the water you might be holding. Transfer it to the bowl of garlicky yogurt (see video for a visual tutorial).
Step 4 – Plating it up
On top of the jiggly eggs, drizzle the chilli butter sauce. I like to put three to four tablespoons in two eggs (see measurements below). And finally garnish it with fresh herbs. Eat it while it’s hot!
Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cook time – 20 minutes
Serves – 3
- 6 large eggs
- 600 g normal yogurt (I used Nestle)/1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
- Salt to taste (for the garlicky yogurt)
- 100 g butter
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish (can substitute with dill)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Make a hung curd with the yogurt as shown in the video. Or use greek yogurt.
- Transfer the thick curd to a bowl. Season with salt and black pepper powder. Add the fresh garlic and whisk it all up till smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Heat butter in a skillet at the lowest temperature. Let it melt and brown. Add some olive oil to it. Once it acquires a brown and nutty colour, add the chilli flakes. Give it a light stir and cook for 30 seconds. Set aside and let the chilli butter sauce cool down.
- Heat oil in a wide mouthed pot. Once it starts developing small bubbles, turn the heat to low.
- Break open an egg into a ramekin or a tea cup. Make a swirl in the water with the end of a wooden spoon and gently drop the egg into the whirlpool. Let it sit undisturbed on low flame for two minutes.
- While the egg is poaching, put three tablespoons of garlicky yogurt on a bowl. Gently lift the egg out of the water, draining all the excess water around it and place it on the bed of garlic yogurt. I make two eggs for one serving.
- Drizzle the chilli butter sauce on top.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander or dill.
- Serve immediately with toasted bread.
Every bite into the bowl of Turkish Eggs screams comfort. Make it over the weekend and enjoy something different and wildly popular. This recipe tastes amazing with some toasted bread on the side.
I hope you try out this Turkish Eggs recipe. If you do, let me know how it turned out for you. If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, please leave me a comment here. Or connect with me Instagram, Facebook or YouTube.