Turkish Eggs (Cilbir)

turkish eggs

These delicious Turkish Eggs are my new favorite brunch/ breakfast for dinner recipe. I’ve made them three ways to accommodate dairy allergies, and I have to say that the non-traditional version with hummus is my favorite. This recipe is so quick and simple to make, but is sure to wow your taste buds and your guests.

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After I fell in love with shakshuka, I found myself wondering what other delicious egg-based dishes have been missing from my life. I stumbled upon cilbir and was immediately drawn to the simplicity of the dish, not to mention its beauty. I immediately knew, however, that I modifications were in order to accommodate my son’s allergies. Before I made any changes though, I made the traditional recipe with garlic-yogurt as the base. It was delicious, so I tried a dairy free yogurt option. It was good, but I thought that I could do better. I thought about it, and landed on plain hummus- jackpot! While it’s not the traditional ingredient, I actually prefer the hummus option. See the modifications section below for how to make the traditional option- let me know which option you prefer!

Prepare the Turkish Eggs

Start by poaching the eggs. Fill a large skillet 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add 2-3 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar to the water, this helps keep the eggs together as they cook. Crack in 4 eggs, one at a time. Cook for 2-1/2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the eggs and place on a parchment lined plate.

While the eggs cook, add the oil and Aleppo chili pepper flakes to a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. If you can’t find Aleppo, any other chili flakes will do, but the flavor may be less sweet or a bit more spicy, depending on the pepper chosen.

Add 1/2 cup of plain hummus to a wide dish. Immediately top with two poached eggs. Drizzle half of the pepper-oil over the top. Garnish with chopped dill and a sprinkle of sea salt. Serve with a slice of thick, country bread.

turkish eggs

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Yield: 2 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Turkish Eggs Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain hummus
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 2 slices of thick, country bread, optional
  • Pinch of sea salt

Turkish Eggs Instructions

  1. Arrange 1/2 cup of hummus in the center of each deep dish
  2. Fill a large saute pan 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add in 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar. Crack in each of the eggs, leaving adequate space between the eggs. cook for 2-1/2 minutes.
  3. While the eggs cook, add the oil and chili flakes to a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
  4. With a slotted spoon, remove the eggs and place on a parchment lined plate to drain excess water. Immediately place two eggs on top of the prepared hummus on each plate. Drizzle half of the oil over each plate. Garnish with chopped dill and a pinch of dill and serve with sliced bread on the side.

Recipe modifications

The traditional way of serving cilbir is with garlicky yogurt. Use either plain, full-fat greek yogurt, or plain greek-style non dairy yogurt (like kite-hill). Take 1 cup of room temperature yogurt, add 2 cloves of minced garlic and stir to combine. Divide among the two dishes and continue with the recipe as above, omitting the hummus.

To make gluten free, omit the bread or replace with gluten free option.

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