Çılbır (Turkish Eggs)

By Lee Jackson ↣ Published on: April 9, 2021

Last Updated: November 12th, 20230 Comments on Çılbır (Turkish Eggs)

Çılbır is a wonderful way to start any day. Creamy, garlic infused yoghurt is topped with soft poached eggs and drizzled with a vibrant Aleppo pepper butter. It’s up there as one of the prettiest, tastiest breakfasts in the World.

A small bowl of Turkish Cilbir (poached eggs) drizzled in orange Aleppo pepper butter

As breakfasts go, I’m never happier as when there are eggs on offer. I enjoy all manner of egg breakfasts from around the world like the amazingTurkish Menemen and Greek Strapatsada and then intensely tasty Indian Akuri or subtle Japanese Tamago Egg & Rice Bowl.

One breakfast egg preparation stands out amongst all others - the delicious and beautiful Turkish Çılbır.

Soft pillowy poached eggs are gently placed on a rich, garlicky yoghurt sauce and drizzled with vibrant orange butter infused with smoky Aleppo pepper. The dish is a creamy, fragrant and decadent start to the day, and I love everything about it! On paper, this may sound a little weird, but in real life quite the reverse is true.

My Çılbır recipe is an elegant, luxurious combination of flavour and texture. Rich, smooth and decadent. It’s light but filling and the perfect way to satiated until lunchtime.

A small bowl of Turkish Cilbir (poached eggs) drizzled in orange Aleppo pepper butter

What is Çılbır?

Known as simply, Turkish Eggs, Çılbır (pronounced ‘chul-bur’) is a wonderful combination of eggs, yoghurt and a buttery Turkish pepper infusion.

What makes this dish so beautiful is the buttery, vibrant sauce that's drizzled over at the end. A combination of butter (I use ghee) and Turkish pepper flakes (pul biber) or Aleppo Pepper.

Aleppo pepper is a mild pepper flake that infuses with the hot butter and creates a magnificent, golden sauce that not only delivers colour but a wonderful nutty, spiced flavour. Against the monotone eggs and yoghurt, it’s a visual delight.

Why it works?

It's luxurious - the soft, creamy texture is the perfect way to ease you into the day, with its rich, glossy appearance. It's a breakfast fit for royalty!

A small bowl of melted butter with Aleppo pepper

Stuff You'll Need

Turkish Çılbır doesn't require much - here's what you'll need to make it at home.

  • Eggs - buy the best you can, a good quality egg usually makes the best, plump poached egg.
  • Yoghurt - Greek style, plain yoghurt brings the creaminess.
  • Garlic - a little minced garlic flavours the yogurt with a savoury note.
  • Butter - or ghee creates the nutty luxurious texture to the final dish.
  • Aleppo Pepper - is added to the warm butter and infuses all its colour and mild, warming spice.
  • Bread - Cilbir and bread are essential - flatbreads, crusty bread - whichever suits you best.

Step by Step

Making Çılbır is simple. Make everything in advance if you like and then come breakfast time, it's just a case of assembly. Either way, it's a simple dish to put together in even the groggiest of mornings.

  1. Step 1 - Warm the butter and let it bubble a little and turn lightly golden brown. Add the Aleppo pepper and leave to infuse. (you can strain out the Aleppo pepper once infused if you like).
  2. Step 2 - Poach the eggs (see my how to below)
  3. Step 3 - Mix the yoghurt with the garlic and salt and then gently heat in a pan or microwave.
  4. Step 4 - Arrange the Çılbır - make a bed of the warm yoghurt, add the eggs on top and then drizzle with the infused butter.
A small bowl of Turkish Cilbir (poached eggs) drizzled in orange Aleppo pepper butter

The perfect poached eggs

Another element that makes this Çılbır recipe so special are perfectly poached eggs. Many people are intimidated at the prospect of poaching eggs and there are countless contraptions that promise to deliver them, many of which I bought in the past!

  • In truth, poaching an egg is not difficult. Simply bring a small pan of water to a boil, reduce the heat so that it’s not bubbling. Add a little vinegar or lemon juice (it helps to keep the egg firm).
  • Now break your eggs into a small bowl (put all your eggs in the same bowl - they won’t stick together). Create a little whirlpool with the water with a spoon and while it's still spinning gently ease in the eggs. They’ll spin for a few seconds and then finally settle. Now leave them alone for about 3-4 minutes. They should sit in still, not simmering hot water. Then simply remove them using a slotted spoon and drain briefly on paper towels.

TIP: You can poach eggs in advance and keep covered in cold water in the fridge for up to a week! Then just pop into boiling water for 20-30 seconds to warm through.

Pro Tips

Making in advance - All the elements for Çılbır can be made in advance.

  • The eggs can be pre-poached and warmed in hot water when needed
  • The yoghurt can be mixed in advance and gently heated when needed
  • The butter can be made in advance and kept at room temperature until needed.
A small bowl of Turkish Cilbir (poached eggs) drizzled in orange Aleppo pepper butter with a piece of flatbread

Ready to get cooking?

When this dish comes together and you take your first dive into the egg, the runny yolk combines with everything to create a soft, luxurious texture that is quite literally the most amazing thing.

When teamed with either flatbreads or a few slices of crusty sourdough. It’s the most perfect way to start any day and the best weekend brunch.

This recipe serves one (because morning are all about being selfish!), but there’s nothing better than Çılbır served communal style in a giant flat bowl with copious amounts of the yellow butter sauce drizzled over. It’s a joy! I hope you enjoy!

A small bowl of Turkish Cilbir (poached eggs) drizzled in orange Aleppo pepper butter

Any Questions? (FAQ)

Have a question about Turkish Çılbır? Let me know in the comments.

What is Çılbır?

Çılbır is a traditional Turkish dish featuring poached eggs on a bed of tangy yogurt. Topped with a spiced butter sauce, it offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures. Optional garnishes like herbs and bread accompany this breakfast or brunch favorite, making it a satisfying and flavorful meal.

What is Aleppo pepper?

Aleppo pepper is a mildly spicy red chili pepper originating from Syria. It offers fruity and earthy flavors, often used to season dishes in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Its vibrant red color and moderate heat level make it a popular choice for adding flavor and color to various recipes. In Turkey a similar chilli is called Pul Biber.

Where does Çılbır come from?

Cilbir comes from Turkey.


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A small bowl of Turkish Cilbir (poached eggs) drizzled in orange Aleppo pepper butter with a piece of flatbread

Çilbir (Turkish Eggs)

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5 from 3 votes
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Recipe by Lee
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 minutes
Total Time14 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 1
Calories (per serving) | 390



To make the butter sauce

  • Heat the butter in a small pan until it bubbles then begins to turn a little brown. Remove from the heat and quickly add the Aleppo pepper and olive oil. Shake to stir a little then set aside while you complete the dish.

For the eggs

  • Heat a small saucepan with water until boiling. Reduce the heat to low so that it stops bubbling. Add the vinegar.
    Break the eggs into a small bowl or cup - you can put both in the same cup, they won't stick together.
    Using a spoon, carefully create a whirlpool with the water. With the water still spinning, gently ease in the eggs. Let them spin in the whirlpool until they stop. Ensure the water isn't bubbling and let the eggs cook for 3-4 minutes without any stirring.
    When cooked, the white will be firm and the yolk still runny inside. Take out each egg with a slotted spoon and rest on paper towels briefly.

For the yoghurt

  • While the eggs are poaching, whisk together the yoghurt, garlic and ¼tsp salt. Using a microwave, heat the yoghurt in 10-15 second bursts, whisking after each burst for about 30 seconds in total until it's just luke warm.
    Alternatively, place the yoghurt in a ceramic bowl over a small pan of simmering water and stir until the yoghurt is luke warm.

Arranging the Çilbir

  • Spread the yoghurt over the bottom of a shallow bowl and then top with the eggs. Drizzle over 1-2 tbsp of the butter sauce and a final light sprinkling of salt & pepper.
    Optional: scatter over a little fresh parsley or dill. Serve warm with plenty of breads to help soak up the delicious sauce.


Calories: 390kcal (20%) | Carbohydrates: 3g (1%) | Protein: 16g (32%) | Fat: 35g (54%) | Saturated Fat: 12g (75%) | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 360mg (120%) | Sodium: 842mg (37%) | Potassium: 151mg (4%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 2g (2%) | Vitamin A: 1148IU (23%) | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 112mg (11%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)
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