Turkish eggs are simple, savoury and a perfect vegetarian brunch option. Poached eggs served over garlic yoghurt with perfectly balanced spice!
If you are looking for more great brunch ideas try our Vegetarian Bagel Breakfast Sandwich!
I firmly believe that it is important for everyone to have a few spectacular brunch recipes under their sleeves. After all, a tasty, satisfying brunch is one of the best ways to get a weekend started!
At the same time, no one wants to spend all weekend in the kitchen with a finicky recipe. That’s when dishes like Turkish eggs are just so perfect!
This recipe is quick, easy and surprisingly light while still packed full of savoury and spiced goodness. Poaching eggs may take some practice, but once you have that mastered this recipe will be a breeze!
Turkish eggs are poached and nestled on a bed of garlic yoghurt with butter and a dusting of spices. Add a slice of Turkish flatbread, or naan if it is easier to find, and you have everything you need to start your weekend off right!
Turkish eggs, or Çılbır, have been around for a very long time, apparently eaten by sultans for at least 500 years. All historic recipes change over time as our preferences and ingredients evolve, but I can imagine Turkish royalty enjoying something very similar to this recipe.
The foundation of this dish is yoghurt infused with garlic. A small amount of garlic goes a long way, and provides a light but flavourful base for the eggs and spices.
A piece of bread to go with the eggs is so important! Any Turkish flatbread is ideal but, if you can’t get your hands on any, other versions of flatbread such as naan will do great. This quick and easy flatbread recipe might be worth a try!
How to make Turkish eggs
Start by combining room temperature yoghurt with grated or pressed garlic and a pinch of salt. Leave it aside so the flavours can infuse, adding more salt if you feel it is needed.
Now melt the butter over low heat, simmering for 2-3 minutes until a slight nutty taste starts to come off it. Add in the chilli flakes and paprika and simmer for 30 seconds longer. Take it off the heat and set it aside.
Get the eggs ready for poaching by cracking them in a strainer. Lift the strainer and swirl the egg gently to allow the egg white to run through.
Place each egg gently into a small bowl or a ramekin and top the egg white with a half teaspoon of lemon juice. Straining the eggs isn’t absolutely essential, but allows for tidier poached eggs by getting rid of the scraggly bits.
Bring water in a medium saucepan to a simmer and lower the heat. It is really important that the water is not simmering too rapidly as this will disturb the eggs.
Lower the eggs into the water as gently as you can. Leave the eggs to simmer for 3 minutes until the egg whites are set and the egg white is still runny.
The yoghurt should be infused with the garlic flavour and can be divided between two plates or bowls. Add the poached eggs on top with a drizzle of the chilli oil and sprinklings of dill and sumac.
- Use full fat yoghurt for the best results. I use Greek yoghurt and love the results.
- Allow the yoghurt to come to room temperature before mixing in the garlic. Don’t refrigerate it when poaching the eggs.
- Keep a close eye on the butter when melting and mixing in the spices. Burnt butter is unpleasant so only use low heat and don’t leave it on longer than needed.
- Turkish eggs are most enjoyable when they are served warm.
More brunch recipes
- 250g/1 cup plain Greek yogurt full fat or low fat
- 1 small clove garlic, pressed
- salt to taste
- 4 tbsp butter
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 4 eggs
- ½ lemon, juice only
- ½ tsp sumac
- 1 sprig dill
- 1 naan bread
- Combine the yogurt with grated or pressed garlic and salt to taste. Set aside to infuse till needed.
- Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes till it starts to smell slightly nutty, add the chilli flakes and paprika and keep it over low heat for 30 seconds longer, make sure not to burn it! Take it off the heat.
- Prepare the eggs by straining them in a strainer. Crack each egg into a strainer, then lift it and swirl the egg gently allowing extra egg white to run through it. This steps helps if you want poached eggs with less scraggly bits. Then tip each egg into a ramekin or a small bowl and add ½ tsp lemon juice over the egg white.
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a simmer, then lower the heat, tip each egg into simmering water closer the edge of the saucepan. The water shouldn’t be simmering too rapidly, so the eggs aren’t disturbed. Repeat the process with the remaining eggs, simmer for 3 minutes until the egg whites are set and the yolks are still runny.
- Divide the garlic infused yogurt among 2 bowls or plates, top with two poached eggs each, then drizzle with the chilli oil, dill and sumac. Serve with warmed naan bread or toast.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 550Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 439mgSodium: 888mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 29g