Turkish Poached Eggs with Yogurt (Cilbir aka Sultan food)

The first time I heard about Turkish eggs, I was reading a yelp review raving about how delicious it is and although I was intrigued I was definitely quite iffy on the idea. The thought of dipping my toast in a bowl of Greek yoghurt, poached eggs and melted chili butter sounded too strange. But there I was looking at the reviews for great brunch restaurants like Kopapa and Providores and there was rave after rave about Turkish eggs.

I pulled the trigger. Brian and I went to Providores for brunch and I decided to see what all the fuss was about. On their own these ingredients are fine, but together? What could turkish eggs possibly achieve that good old egg n soldiers could not? But oh my god, together! I took one bite of toast dipped in eggy, buttery, yoghurty goodness...

Heaven.

I think it's safe to say that Turkish eggs have forever changed my view on Greek yoghurt. I will never again set eyes on a pot of Greek yoghurt without thinking of whether I have some eggs, butter, spices and toast to accompany it. Since that fateful day sometime in June 2014, I have never bought Greek yoghurt for any other reason.

So here. I ask, no wait, I implore you, to give it a go. Together, let's increase sales of Greek Yoghurt 500%.

Turkish Eggs (2 servings)

  • 300g (1.2 cup approx) of plain Greek Yoghurt
  • 50g (4 tablespoon) unsalted butter 
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • A pinch of salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Half a teaspoon of chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed into a paste (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 5-6 tablespoons of (1/2 cup) vinegar (optional) 
  • 4 slices of toast (to serve)
  1. Mix the yoghurt and garlic together. Make sure the garlic is finely crushed as large chunks can be a little overpowering when eaten! I've also used half a teaspoon of powdered garlic in the past and it just as great. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Split the yoghurt mixture between two bowls and set aside until ready to serve. 
  2. In a small pan, melt the butter, paprika and cayenne pepper. Do not burn/brown the butter but once the mixture has reached a very light sizzle, turn the heat off and add the chilli flakes. Set aside.
  3. To poach the eggs, heat a large pan with a few inches of water. Adding 5-6 tablespoons of vinegar to the water is down to personal preference. Vinegar will help the eggs coagulate (set) but the vinegar can impart a subtle taste on the eggs. I prefer to skip the vinegar for that very reason but if you don't poach eggs very often you may find this is the trick that will give you those perfectly shaped poached eggs. When the water is at a rapid simmer, crack one of your eggs into a cup and gentle slide it into the water. Repeat with the remainder of the eggs. For a soft runny poached egg, 2-3 minutes should be ideal. Using a slotted spoon carefully scoop out the eggs (allow them to drain) and then place 2 eggs in each of the yoghurt filled bowls.
  4. Drizzle the melted chilli butter over the yoghurt and eggs. Serve with a couple of slices of freshly toasted warm country bread on the side. Serve immediately and ENJOY! 

P.S. I hear this is what Ottoman sultans used to eat! :)