These super easy Turkish eggs take less than 10 minutes and make an impressive brunch or quick lunch. Creamy garlicky yogurt is topped with perfectly poached eggs and then drizzled with my favourite shortcut ingredient – chilli oil!
I know eggs and yogurt together sound a little strange, but I promise this is a truly delicious combination of ingredients. Kiwi chef Peter Gordon made the dish famous on the cafe and restaurant scene in London (and has brought it back to his incredible Homeland restaurant in Auckland), but the original is based on Turkish Çılbır. It’s essentially poached eggs sitting on top of thick, creamy yogurt and drizzled with an Aleppo pepper flake spiced butter.
This version uses one of my favourite shortcut ingredients (chilli oil) to give the dish an Asian-style twist. I’m using my quick and easy homemade chilli oil which I definitely recommend trying, but you can use whatever chilli oil you have to hand.
Using chilli oil also cuts the prep time down. All you have to do is mix Greek yogurt with crushed garlic and a little salt, poach your eggs and drizzle them with the chilli oil. So easy, so quick and a really fun brunch or lunch dish! I love serving the eggs with toast, flatbreads or with a big wedge of my favourite homemade focaccia, and it really is divine.
There are only a few ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious brunch dish, and nothing should be tricky to find.
- Greek yogurt. You’ll want to go for a good, thick Greek yogurt here, and make sure it’s not fridge cold. Fat-free Greek yogurt is totally fine, but try to stay away from a runnier plain yogurt. It’s a bit too soupy for this dish – you want yogurt that the eggs can sit on top of, rather than sink into. This is also WONDERFUL with labneh, a very thick yogurt cheese which is super easy to make. Here’s my guide for making labneh at home.
- Eggs. Always free-range, and they should be at room temperature.
- Chilli oil. I make this with my easy homemade chilli oil – it’s loaded with Korean gochujang paste and fiery gochugaru red pepper flakes and is seriously delicious. I’d definitely urge you to give it a go, otherwise you can just use any other chilli oil you have to hand.
How to make it
Start by mixing your crushed garlic with Greek yogurt and a little salt. Ideally, you want this to be at room temperature (or at least not fridge cold). It will taste better with the eggs this way. Set the garlic yogurt aside and get ready to cook your eggs.
How to poach perfect eggs
I learned the best, foolproof way to poach eggs at Le Cordon Bleu in London. Lots of recipes call for making a whirlpool with the water, but their way really is incredibly easy. The secret? Vinegar. Using a little bit in the poaching water helps to keep the whites together and create a uniform poached egg, without the need for swirling the water or doing any other fancy technique. It’s also important that the water is at a very low simmer – you don’t want it on a high, rolling boil. Here’s how to poach the eggs:
- Get a large pot over medium heat. Pour enough water in to come about two-thirds of the way up the sides. Bring the water to a gentle simmer – you should see little bubbles start to form in the water and a little steam coming off the top.
- Add a little vinegar – 1 tablespoon will do it. You won’t taste it on your eggs if you’re just adding this small amount, so don’t worry.
- Get a timer ready (I use the stopwatch on my phone). Hover the little cups with your eggs in them just above the water, then carefully slide them in. You want to be close to the water to do this to help the eggs stay together in the water. Set a timer for 3 ½ minutes.
- While the eggs are in the water, prepare a plate with a paper towel on it. Once 3 ½ minutes are up, carefully transfer the poached eggs out of the water and onto the lined plate with a slotted spoon, to drain the excess water. And you’ve just poached perfect eggs!
Divide the garlicky yogurt between bowls, then carefully transfer the poached eggs on top. Finish with a good drizzle of chilli oil, a scattering of dukkah and some fresh mint leaves. Eat straight away with fresh bread!
Got a question?
You’ll want to use a thick, Greek yogurt here. A plain, natural yogurt I find too runny for this dish – the eggs kind of disappear into the yogurt and I don’t love the texture. Fat-free Greek yogurt is fine and works well. I also LOVE this with labneh, which is a very thick yogurt cheese that’s really easy to make yourself (give my labneh recipe a go!)
You can simply heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil or butter in a small pan, then add 2 teaspoons of chilli flakes and a little salt. Aleppo chilli is the traditional one to go for – but just use what you have.
This dish is a wonderful brunch and I think it’s perfect with a good chunk of fresh bread or toast. I love using my easy no knead chilli cheese focaccia here, or you could serve it with flatbreads, or even crispy pita chips.
This really is a recipe you want to make, cook and eat all at once BUT, you can make the garlicky yogurt up to 3 days in advance if you like. Just store it in the fridge in an airtight container. Poached eggs really are best straight after cooking so they don’t keep well.
I recommend using it to make the poaching a lot easier, but if you don’t have any, you can also use lemon juice. You really just need an acid!
Like this recipe? Here are some more quick ideas you might enjoy
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. You can leave me a comment below!Print