Turkish Cilbir...Poached Eggs on Yoghurt It was late Saturday morning and I was in the mood for poached eggs. I simply LOVE eggs. Have I said that before? Well, I do. I just love eggs. It doesn't really matter to me how the eggs are prepared. I am not very picky when it comes to eggs. I will have them any which way.... At home, I'll prepare eggs en cocotte, shakshuka style, or stuffed in a baked potato. Sometimes, I'll stick to something simple and just scramble the eggs or poach them for Eggs Benedict. For afternoon tea, I really prefer the egg salad tea sandwich over any other sandwich. If I am at a gathering, and there are deviled eggs, I'll make sure to put some on my plate. Lately though, I've been loving poached eggs...Have you ever had olive oil and garlic tossed linguine with a poached egg on top? Now, that is really good. The soft yolk coats the pasta beautifully. You really don't need any cream sauce. Anyway , on to the recipe...
Some time ago, I stumbled upon a Turkish breakfast called Cilbir. It not only sounded simple, tasty, and nutritious, but I'd never had it before. I really wanted to make that for us, as I loved the idea of poached eggs on yoghurt. The combination of yoghurt and poached eggs was new to me... a different sort of dish with simple and basic ingredients. That morning, while watering my garden, I noticed some of my garlic and decided to pull out a bulb. It would be perfect to use it in the dish. Maybe I pulled it out too early, as the garlic was on the small side:)... nevertheless, it was fresh(and maybe more potent). I also had some fresh eggs...
Now, I usually have plain yoghurt in my fridge just because I like to use it in baked goods or cook with it. Sometimes I like to eat it plain as well... with some homemade crackers or naan bread. I was glad when I spotted a container of yoghurt in the fridge.... I had all the ingredients I needed to make the dish. Why, there was even some homemade naan/pita bread in the freezer:)... I quickly warmed that up. And since I had just made some large crispy crackers, I included the crackers for dipping as well. You definitely need some kind of bread to soak up the soft egg and yoghurt....so use your favorite bread. I felt the Cilbir went better with the bread rather than the crackers. I should have known, as crackers, in general, don't soak things up very well:).
The meal was light and delicious, without being too heavy. It was simple to prepare and made for a satisfying meal. I loved it. I loved it so much that I made it again the next day:).
The recipe does include fresh garlic, which can be a bit overpowering. You really don't need too much garlic. So adjust to your preference....add more or add less. It's up to you. Now, I have also made the Cilbir without the garlic...it is still quite delicious(of course, you don't get the flavor of the garlic nor the health benefits). I love to sprinkle smoked paprika and cayenne pepper over the top. For a richer Cilbir, you may want to melt some butter and add some paprika/cayenne pepper to it. When thoroughly combined, you can then drizzle it over the top of the eggs and yoghurt. Personally, I will skip the butter. This has quickly become one of my favorite, quick go-to meals. I'll prepare it for lunch or dinner when I am pressed for time. I think it is rather important to have the yoghurt a tad bit warm before assembling the dish. In any case, I thought you might like to try it out. Hope you enjoy....
You will need:
2 cups( or so) plain yoghurt
1 small garlic clove, grated
salt to taste
smoked paprika and/or cayenne pepper, to taste
melted butter, optional
1. Grate garlic and mix with yoghurt. Season with a tiny bit of salt. Set aside...as it needs to come to room temp. To speed things up, I like to place the yoghurt in a warm oven for a few minutes. I'll even place the yoghurt in a serving dish, which I then place over a pot of simmering water....sort of like a bain marie. You basically want to get the chill out of the yoghurt. Personally, I like the yoghurt to be a tad bit warmer than room temp.
2. Poach eggs by placing some water in a pot . Add a bit of vinegar 1-2 tsps. Bring to boil and lower heat to a simmer. Crack the egg in a small container/ramekin. With the back of a wooden spoon swirl the water to make a "whirlpool" effect. Lower the egg in the "whirlpool". Cook until egg is just set. This method is for one poached egg at a time. If doing 2 or more, you will just need to lower the egg in the simmering water without the "whirlpool" effect. The egg will spread out a bit more.
Remove with a slotted spatula/spoon. Place on top of yoghurt. Sprinkle with smoked paprika/cayenne pepper. Also, sprinkle with a bit of fresh dill. If you want a richer tasting Cilbir, melt some butter in skillet until hot and then add some paprika/cayenne. Mix thoroughly and then drizzle the paprika butter over the eggs and yoghurt.