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Turkish Poached Eggs with Garlicky Yogurt (Çilbir)

4 Servings

30 minutes

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This classic Turkish dish, called çilbir, nestles runny-yolked poached eggs in a creamy, garlic-spiked yogurt, then finishes the dish with a spice-infused butter. We also add a handful of herbs for fresh flavor and bright color. Aleppo pepper gives the infused butter a vibrant red hue and subtle heat. If you can't find it, use 2 teaspoons sweet paprika plus ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. If you're hesitant to poach eggs, fear not. This method is simple and straightforward. The low sides of a skillet makes adding eggs to the water easier than with a high-sided pot. Some wispy whites may float away from each egg as it is added, but a firm layer of white will set neatly around the yolk, forming picture-perfect poached eggs. Serve warmed bread alongside, either crusty, country-style loaf or soft, tender flatbread.




Don't let the poaching water reach a full boil; aim for a full but gentle simmer with just a few bubbles breaking the surface every few seconds. The churn of boiling water will cause the eggs to break before they have a chance to set.

30 minutes


  • 2

    small garlic cloves, finely grated

  • teaspoons lemon juice


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David C.
January 15, 2023
The yogurt is delicious, poaching the eggs was not as easy as noted, but worked ok. Aleppo pepper good on the eggs/yogurt. The one thing is that it is warm eggs on mildly cool yogurt, which I found not as tasty as I hoped. Completely room temp yogurt would be best.
Elaine J.
May 11, 2024
Cilbir Delight
Nice, easy recipe to follow. Agree with the suggestion to serve yogurt room temperature. Really enjoyed the lemon garlic addition. Aleppo pepper butter sauce great added a nice amount of smokies and heat. I need to work on poaching an egg though. Mine were just hardened and would have preferred runny. Herbs nice high notes. Thanks!
kathleen h.

It is a problem getting the poached eggs off of the paper towel. Great recipe, I decreased the yogurt to 1.5 C

Lynn C.

Hi Kathleen -

Were they stuck to the towel? If yes, I would spray the paper towel with cooking spray to make them easier to remove. Hope that helps for next time!

The Milk Street Team

Jennifer B.

You have to be a turkophile and garlic lover to prefer your eggs this way. I confess, I never saw this dish in Turkey. Glad I tried it once.