I am a fan of eggs in any form and when I chanced upon this delightful Turkish recipe for combining eggs with thick and fulfilling greek yoghurt I just had to go ahead and experiment! Total Greek Yogurt 0% is fat-free, gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians and pregnant women – all good, no nasties! Besides these virtues its consistency is great and I have in the past few days consumed one of the smaller pots per day part in smoothies and just a dollop with my rice and curry dinner. There are so many versatile combinations that are possible with this yoghurt. From smoothies and shakes to use in cooking as a marinade or cooling dip with chopped goodies like fresh chives, garlic, chilli flakes etc.The thick and creamy consistency is a bonus if you’re trying to watch your weight too!
I made these poached eggs for brunch and served them with wholemeal pitta toasted in the same pan where I made my chilli butter – fabulous!
Traditionally this dish is called Cilbir (pronounced as chillburrr, roll the r’s!) is a Turkish dish of poached eggs with yoghurt (often with garlic mixed in). There are records of Cilbir being eaten by Ottoman sultans as far back as the 15th century. It is now common to serve the dish topped with melted butter infused with Aleppo pepper, for which paprika can be substituted. (Source: Wiki)
- 4 large eggs – 2 per person
- a handful of fresh mint roughly chopped
- 5-6 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped fine
- 500gm Total Greek Yogurt 0%
- Butter 50gm
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Plenty of freshly cracked black pepper
- Sea Salt as per taste
- a pinch of chilli powder – as per your tolerance levels
- Boil water in a large saucepan (my time-saving trick -boil water in the kettle and add to the saucepan), then cover with the lid and allow to simmer on a medium flame for a while
- When the water is absolutely boiling hot, take off the lid and reduce the flame to a very low simmer. Then, carefully crack the eggs into the water one by one. They seem to sort of go ‘freeze frame’ once dropped into the boiling water. Give them about 30 seconds and when it seems like they have been poached carefully remove them one by one using a slotted spoon. If you suspect that the yolk will just burst open it means it needs some more time inside. Don’t worry if this process isn’t perfect the first time around , its a learning curve and you will get it right in a few tries – in case of disaster scoop out as much of the egg as you can and after you are done with all the eggs use a sieve to save the remaining egg 🙂
- Use two bowls or plates to serve. First, scoop some yogurt into each of the serving bowls. Season with sea salt, a generous sprinkling of cracked black pepper and a pinch of chilli powder. Mix well
- Create a bit of shallow space in the middle of the yoghurt mix and place the poached eggs on top
- Heat a non-stick pan on a medium flame, reduce flame to a simmer. Melt the butter and before it starts to brown add the finely chopped garlic and smoked paprika. Then add some sea salt
- Quickly pour this delicious golden spiced butter over the eggs and yoghurt
- Garnish by sprinkling some fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped for a burst of fresh flavour
- Toast the mini wholemeal pitta bread portions in the same pan that was used to melt and spice the butter and it will give your pitta that extra kick of flavour!
- Scoop the flavoured poached egg and the cooling yogurt with the pitta bread. It’s a beautiful sensation on your palate as the cold yogurt and smoked paprika work their magic on your taste buds.