Turkish Poached Eggs: Heard The Story Of This Breakfast Dish?
Image Credit: Turkish Poached Eggs

The idea of having eggs for breakfast is not uncommon. From European to American and several Asian cultures, eggs are an intrinsic part of the first meal of the day. Why, you ask? Well, they are loaded with proteins and provide that extra bout of energy that you need throughout the day. For the Turks, it is the poached eggs that satiate the appetite.

World over, eggs are prepared in different ways. Pick any cuisine and you’d find a host of egg-based breakfast options on the platter. Be it the eggs benedict from the US or the English-style scrambled eggs, there is no dearth of options. One such egg dish originating from Turkey is ‘cilbir’. Also known as poached eggs, this shouldn’t be mistaken for a regular poached egg dish. It is all things soft and creamy and the reason is the secret ingredient.

A simple and easy dish, the Turkish poached eggs combine oil, butter, and some creamy yoghurt. These ingredients are put together to give the eggs a soft and mushy texture that completely melts in the mouth. The runny yolk is perfectly complemented by the garlic-flavoured yoghurt. This dish is usually eaten along with toast for breakfast. But how did the idea of such eggs come up?

It is believed that the concept of such poached eggs first came up in the 15th Century. The Ottoman Empire during that time was ruled by sultans. The name cilbir was given to poached eggs back then. However, during the 20th Century, under the rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the cooks were in a constant tussle to devise new dishes to impress their sultan. That’s when they came up with the idea of sprucing up the regular poached eggs with some yoghurt and giving it a creamy touch.

Interestingly, the name cilbir gradually shifted to this special poached eggs dish rather than being any ordinary egg recipe. Of late, Turkish poached eggs have started gaining prominence on social media, thanks to chefs like Sanjeev Kapoor who are trying out the recipe and sharing it with their followers on Instagram. The best part about these eggs is that they are made with simple ingredients that are readily available in most kitchen pantries.

While making the perfect poached eggs is an art, it is usually done in small steps. You begin by breaking an egg in a bowl. Let the liquid separate and then transfer it to hot water so as to hold the egg white and yolk in place. Once you’ve attained that, you can move on to the Greek-style yoghurt. For this, you’ll need full-fat milk, olive oil or butter. Add to this, some red pepper flakes for flavour and churn it together. Place the eggs on the yoghurt base and pour a red pepper sauce over it. Your Turkish poached eggs are ready to be devoured. Pair them with lavash or pita and enjoy.