Turkish poached eggs
When I’m tired, really hungry or suffering from a bit of a late night, I crave a poached egg on toast. The pleasure of cutting into the soft centre and letting the yolk spill over the crunchy bread (brown with butter) is sublime in my book. Now, I’m a big fan of Lakeland, the UK kitchenware suppliers, as you probably know, but I cannot fathom why one of their best sellers is an egg poaching pod. What makes putting an egg in a pod less arduous than putting it in a pan? Poaching an egg is so simple. And it’s not really a poached egg this way is it? – more like coddled. Anyway – if you are a fan of these pods I’d love to hear from you – but in the meantime back to breakfast.
I’m in Turkish food mode all of a sudden and can’t think why I haven’t really explored it before. Since my virtual culinary tour with Joan of Foodalogue my eyes have been opened to a great treasure of new recipes, Çılbır (pronounced “chilber”) being one of them a.ka. Turkish poached eggs.
The slightly salty yoghurt mixed with the soft egg is ….I’m searching for the right superlative here…heavenly (it’ll have to do). I used Greek-style yoghurt which added a fabulous creaminess but ordinary would do. I’ve also seen versions with dried mint (authentic from Almost Turkish) and sage (from Eat Like a Girl – probably not as authentic but still excellent). I took my inspiration from Claudia Roden but scaled it down from a serving of six eggs to one. It’s a luxurious breakfast and I do urge you to try it. I mopped up the velvety mixture on the plate with my usual brown toast but Arabic bread would do very well.
See what Joan of Foodalogue got up to in Turkey as well as everyone else on the virtual culinary tour. Next stop is Japan – hope you can join me.
Turkish Poached Eggs with Yogurt (Cilbir)
(adapted from A New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden)
a dash of vinegar
About 4 tablespoons of plain yogurt
A knob of butter – about thumb-size
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Use fresh eggs and poach them in the usual way. Bring a medium sized pan of water and the vinegar to the boil and then reduce the heat so the water just shivers. Break the egg onto a plate and slide into the pan of water. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it, covered, for 4 minutes or just leave on a very low heat until the egg is set to your liking. The water must not boil or the whites will break up. Remove the egg with a perforated spoon. Do not attempt to poach more than 2 eggs at a time.
Arrange the poached egg on a warm serving dish or plate.
Beat the yogurt with salt and spoon it over the egg. Melt the butter and stir in the paprika. Dribble over the yogurt and serve.
Stick your knife into the centre and watch the golden yolk meld deliciously with the yoghurt. Bet you close your eyes in bliss as you eat it.