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Poached Eggs with Garlic Yoghurt, Turkish Style – Çılbır

We Turks love eggs done many different ways; one of our favorite ways to enjoy egg is as being poached and served over garlic yoghurt,  a special dish called Çılbır in Turkish. Çılbır is generally enjoyed as a hot mezze though I also like serving as part of a leisurely weekend Turkish breakfast, lunch or a light supper, along with a refreshing salad like Coban Salata, Shepherd’s Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, spring onions and some pide bread or crusty bread. Make sure your eggs are fresh and ideally free-range for the best results (fresh eggs have a thicker white near the yolk that hold a round shape as it cooks).

I prepare a simple pul biber infused olive oil sauce and pour this over the poached eggs with garlic yoghurt, just before serving. The delicious heat from pul biber complements the dish beautifully. How about making your own Simit, Sesame crusted Turkish bread rings, to enjoy with Çılbır? They go very well together. Both Çılbır and Simit recipes, along with many other vegetarian Turkish dishes are included at my new cookery book, SEBZE, Vegetarian recipes from my Turkish kitchen, you can get a copy here.

I hope you enjoy this simple yet very satisfying dish, Afiyet Olsun.


5.0 from 4 reviews
Poached Eggs with Garlic Yoghurt, Turkish Style - Cilbir
I hope you enjoy this delicious poached eggs in garlic yoghurt, Turkish Style, called Cilbir. I like to prepare a simple red pepper flakes infused olive oil sauce and pour this over the poached eggs with garlic yoghurt, just before serving. The delicious heat from the red pepper flakes complements the dish beautifully.
Recipe type: Vegetarian, eggs, Turkish Style
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 2
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed and chopped finely
  • 400g/14oz strained yoghurt, brought to room temperature
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. apple cider, grape or white wine vinegar
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp. Turkish pul biber
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pide bread or crusty bread to serve
  • Fresh herbs to decorate
  1. Prepare the garlic yoghurt first – about 30 minutes before poaching the eggs – and bring to the room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the yoghurt with garlic and seasoning. Spoon this into two serving plates, creating a round thick layer to provide a nest for the poached egg. Let the yoghurt mixture reach the room temperature.
  3. Fill a small pan with hot water, add the vinegar (this will help sealing the egg whites) and bring to a boil. Stir the water to create a whirlpool and crack in the first egg.
  4. As the egg spins and the white sets around the yolk, stir the water ready for the next one. Poach each egg for 2-3 minutes so that the yolk remains soft.
  5. While the eggs are poaching, quickly pour in the olive oil in a small pan and stir in the Turkish pul biber,over medium to low heat. Stir and let the pul biber infuse to olive oil for 30 seconds, turn the heat off.
  6. Lift the eggs out of the water with a slotted spoon and place them over a couple of sturdy paper towels, to drain the excess moisture. Then gently place them over to the garlic yoghurt spread.
  7. Drizzle the pul biber infused olive oil over the poached eggs. Serve immediately with pide bread or crusty bread by the side.
  8. Coban Salata, Shepherd’s Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, spring onions would also go well with this delicious poached eggs over garlic yoghurt, Cilbir; Afiyet Olsun.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table on Brooklands Radio

I had the pleasure of having an interview with Jill Bennet on healthy Turkish cuisine at the Brooklands Radio on Sunday, 27th November. It was wonderful to have a chance to talk and spread the word on wholesome, delicious Turkish cuisine – and had a flash back of happy memories of my amateur DJ days at Kent FM in Istanbul! – Here is the podcast link of our interview, if you like to listen to.

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20 Responses to Poached Eggs with Garlic Yoghurt, Turkish Style – Çılbır

  1. Peri's Spice Ladle December 7, 2016 at 11:50 pm #

    Lovely and simple dish…I could have this egg dish for any meal in the day! So excited to hear about the radio show and upcoming mouthwatering classes:) xxPeri.

    • Ozlem Warren December 8, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

      Thank you dear Peri, I feel the same!:) Many thanks for your kind words, with love, Ozlem xx

  2. BacktoBodrum December 8, 2016 at 9:58 am #

    I was just discussing this dish with a group of friends the other day as many of us have trouble poaching eggs.

    • Ozlem Warren December 8, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

      Thank you Back to Bodrum, poaching the eggs can be tricky; the freshness of the eggs really helps so as the swirling act of the water / winegar mixture, this recipe worked really well. Enjoy Bodrum, Ozlem x

  3. seniordogsabroad December 10, 2016 at 3:55 am #

    Özlem’ciğim, You know, I’ve never seen this dish in Turkey, but I really love having egg dishes for a simple dinner – I’ve made both your spinach with eggs and fresh peas with eggs dishes for dinner. So I’m sure this will join my repertoire. Thanks for the tips about poaching eggs, BTW. Your cooking classes sound wonderful. Lucky students! Kendine çok iyi bak ve ailene selamlar ve sevgilerimle, J

    • Ozlem Warren December 11, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

      Merhaba sevgili Jolee, lovely to get your note as always. We are a huge lover of eggs and I am very happy to hear you have enjoyed the egg recipes here. Hope you enjoy this poached eggs too : ) How I wished to have you at our cookery classes here, insallah in the future or when I am in Turkey. Cok selam ve sevgilerimle, Ozlem xx

  4. Phil in the Kitchen December 13, 2016 at 10:09 pm #

    I love poached eggs but I usually have to wait until my wife’s not around to enjoy them. She dislikes the texture so much that she has to leave the room. I don’t think the yoghurt will help to convert her. Oh well, each to their own. It sounds like a delightful dish to me. I wish you an excellent festive season and good luck with the courses in the new year. I enjoyed hearing the podcast.

    • Ozlem Warren December 15, 2016 at 9:57 am #

      Merhaba dear Phil, many thanks for your kind note; you are right, something for everyone, it really is a delightful, easy dish and I hope you enjoy it. Lovely to hear you enjoyed the podcast; my very best wishes to you too for a wonderful festive season, in good health and happiness, Ozlem

  5. Terra April 14, 2017 at 4:45 am #

    Merhaba 🙂 For the garlic yogurt, you mention adding seasoning, but it’s not on the ingredient list. Is the seasoning salt or something else? Also, is Greek-style yogurt the closest to what is eaten in Turkish cuisine? I’ve recently discovered Turkish dramas and have become interested in learning about the culture and language. I love browsing your website! Teşekkür ederim!

    • Ozlem Warren April 14, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

      Merhaba dear Terra, many thanks for your kind note, so glad you are enjoying leaerning about Turkish cuisine and culture! Re this recipe, yes, the seasoning is salt and freshly ground black pepper and it is listed in the ingredients list. Greek style yoghurt works and close to Turkish yoghurt, I like the brand Fage as it is thick and creamy. Hope this helps, Afiyet Olsun! Ozlem

  6. Mathilde May 26, 2017 at 11:04 pm #

    Hi! I found this recipe while googling cilbir after seeing it mentioned in a newspaper article (I love poached eggs and I love yogurt, so I was very curious !) and after trying it for dinner tonight I must say it is absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    • Ozlem Warren May 29, 2017 at 9:05 am #

      Merhaba Matilde, thank you so much, so glad you enjoyed Cilbir! Afiyet Olsun, Ozlem

  7. Yolanda November 29, 2017 at 5:52 pm #

    Hello! I’ve seen a poached eggs, Turkish style, with a homemade fresh tomato sauce! Could you please advise. Is the sauce just a condiment. Thank you p.s. I love, love your recipes!

    • Ozlem Warren November 29, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

      Merhaba Yolanda, thank you for your note – very glad to hear you enjoy my recipes! I normally do an red pepper flakes infused olive oil sauce for this recipe, Cilbir, some folks may add some tomato and pepper paste and dilute with a bit of water too, a simple tomato based sauce. Hope you enjoy Cilbir! Afiyet Olsun, Ozlem

  8. Yolanda November 30, 2017 at 1:17 am #

    Thank you for responding! I actually liked your red pepper flakes olive oil sauce much better.. ^_^

    • Ozlem Warren November 30, 2017 at 9:21 am #

      You are welcome – I love the red pepper flakes infused olive oil sauce a lot too, it is very versatile and a great match with the garlicky yoghurt, afiyet olsun!:) Ozlem

  9. Carl March 31, 2018 at 2:41 pm #

    Thank you for this superb recipe. Had it with the whole family; a success !

    • Ozlem Warren April 1, 2018 at 3:38 pm #

      Merhaba Carl, delighted to hear you enjoyed Cilbir, Afiyet Olsun!

  10. Sean May 1, 2022 at 6:18 pm #

    Merhaba Özlem Hanım,

    Even the pictures of the foods you post on LinkedIn are enough to make my day.
    You are truly an artist. They look so delicious. Çılbır is of course , one of them.I hope more and more people will hear about your posts , learn about and enjoy the rich Turkish cuisine that includes delicacies from diverse ethnic backgrounds and have been tested/ tasted for hundreds of years.

    I especially like your recipes that marry eggplant and meat.


    • Ozlem Warren May 6, 2022 at 9:59 am #

      Merhabalar, thank you so much for your kind words, really appreciate it – Afiyet Olsun, Selamlar, Ozlem

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