This super easy breakfast is popular all across Turkey as well as the Balkans and you can easily see why. Turkish eggs, or cilbir, only need a few ingredients and less than 10 minutes start to finish. My easy recipe also includes a delicious Aleppo chili oil which you can store and use on so many other tasty dishes.
A classic Turkish eggs dish has three components: garlicky yogurt, poached eggs, and a flavor forward chili butter. Of course you can add other things like herbs, spices, and even meat, but this recipe is a nice standard one.
Do not get this Turkish eggs recipe confused with menemen, which is another popular Turkish dish. While menemen is delicious it is quite different than cilbir. However both dishes can take advantage of the amazing aleppo chili oil I show down below.
What Is Cilbir?
Cilbir, written as Çılbır in Turksih, actually refers to the yogurt and poached eggs part of this dish. While many recipes include an Aleppo chili butter drizzled on top, this has always been considered a table addition, or ‘to taste’ and is not a necessary part of the dish.
While similarly named, the Balkan dish of čimbur is actually a shakshuka style dish of eggs fried in a meat sauce.
How To Make Aleppo Chili Oil
While you are likely to find Aleppo butter atop your Turkish eggs, I actually prefer the much more shelf stable Aleppo oil. However if you wanted to keep everything the most authentic simply warm up 100 grams of butter with two teaspoons of Aleppo chili flakes in a pan until infused.
If you want to make a sort of West Asian-East Asian fusion you can add some chili crisp. I actually do that often as it is just the most addicting seasoning ever.
Aleppo Chili Oil Ingredients
- 1 heaping tablespoon Aleppo Chili Flakes – This type of chili is a lot less spicy than your standard pepper flakes, and they have amazing fruit forward notes. If you cannot find it in the store you can easily order it online here.
- 250 ml Olive Oil – I would recommend a high quality olive oil, which is contrary to my usual philosophy of saving the good stuff for raw recipes. However since we are just barely warming the oil, you can still taste the actual quality of the oil so it is important to use something delicious (you don’t need to use the most expensive one you can find however).
- 4 cloves Garlic – Smashed
- 1 sprig Rosemary
Add all of the ingredients to a pan on very low heat (lowest setting possible even) and allow the oil to warm up. You can stir everything around to help better disperse the ingredients.
If you see the oil bubble around the outside, your pan is too hot so remove it from the heat. You only want to gently warm the oil to help it ‘pull’ from the rest of the ingredients.
Pour all the contents of the pan into a heat resistant jar or cup and let sit and infuse until it becomes room temperature. Then strain it through a fine sieve or cheesecloth and bottle it. I use a standard oil condiment jar (the kind you see at pizza places in Italy) but make sure to keep it in the fridge so the chili oil lasts longer. And that’s it. A quick and easy Aleppo chili oil perfect for this cilbir recipe, as well as things like spaghetti, savory tarts, and even things like fish tacos!
How To Make This Turkish Eggs Recipe
This popular Turkish recipe only needs a few easy to find ingredients. In fact the most difficult thing to find depending on where you are in the world is likely the Aleppo chili but you can most likely order it online (see link above).
- 250 ml Greek Yogurt (1 cup) – also known as strained yogurt, this is a thicker yogurt with the whey removed
- 1 bulb Garlic – This was about 6-7 cloves, finely minced. You can make it as garlicky as you want.
- 2 Eggs – Poached
- 1 tsp Aleppo Chili Flakes – Or to taste
- Salt – To taste
- Aleppo Chili Oil – Or Aleppo butter (as described above) if you want to keep it even more authentic.
- Cilantro – For garnish.
To make the garlicky base just mix together the yogurt, garlic, and salt.
You can plate the garlic yogurt base even before poaching the egg. Smear down as much yogurt as you want, then quickly poach a couple eggs. Remove them with a strainer or slotted spoon and lay them directly in the center of the yogurt. Finally sprinkle with Aleppo flakes and drizzle with the Aleppo oil. Garnish with some ripped cilantro if you like and enjoy!
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What To Serve With Turkish Eggs With Greek Yogurt
I find the best thing to serve with these Turkish eggs is some warm, soft bread. In Turkey I would usually just get some slices of homemade white bread, but you can get very creative with it. I also usually add a few drops of my own homemade hot sauce since the Aleppo oil is more fruity that spicy and some mornings I just want a kick in the mouth.
Turkish Eggs (Cilbir)
- 250 ml Greek Yogurt 1 cup – also known as strained yogurt, this is a thicker yogurt with the whey removed
- 1 bulb Garlic This was about 6-7 cloves finely minced. You can make it as garlicky as you want.
- 2 Eggs Poached
- 1 tsp Aleppo Chili Flakes Or to taste
- Salt To taste
- 2 tbsp Aleppo butter Or to taste. The instructions for Aleppo butter are posted above, but I actually prefer making an Aleppo oil instead
- Cilantro For garnish.
- In a bowl combine the yogurt, minced garlic, and salt. Spread the mix on your serving plate.
- Break your eggs into small dishes taking care not to break the yolk. Swirl a pot of boiling water a gently drop an egg into the vortex. In about a minute you should have a perfectly poached egg, so remove it with a slotted spoon or strainer and place the egg directly on top of the yogurt. Repeat with your second egg.
- Sprinkle over chili flakes and your Aleppo butter (or oil) and garnish with some ripped cilantro. Serve with some soft bread and black tea.