Have you ever had Çilbir? It is a delicious Turkish dish usually enjoyed for breakfast of poached eggs nestled in garlic and herbed thick yogurt drizzled with warm chilli butter. I’ve fallen in love with the contrast of textures, temperatures and flavours of this meal. Perfect to dip a warm piece of pita or a crusty piece of bread into the soft yolk. I’ve paired it with quinoa for this delicious quinoa çilbir bowl.
I prefer to make a big batch of the yoghurt mixture and use whichever herbs I have on hand. I’ve also added grated cucumber to the mix before for some added texture (water squeezed out). I discovered Çilbir while researching a potential trip to turkey with my parents. As always when I visit a new place, the first thing I do is research what their traditional foods are. I much prefer to eat foods that will help me connect with a country’s cultural identity. I find it fascinating how different dishes were developed and why they’re eaten. It’s important for me to also research dining etiquette. Did you know that in Turkey, you must always accept any coffee or tea offered out since it’s always offered everywhere as a gesture of hospitality; even if you just have one sip. Also, you hold the rounded tea/coffee cup at the lip and not at the stem when drinking! Even though we did not get to go to Turkey, I was fascinated with their traditional meals. Although çilbir is not always found at the breakfast table, eggs are normally there but can be found as a scramble with onions, tomatoes, peppers and oil called Menemen. That’s next up on my list- I guess it’s sort of like a shakshuka with scrambled eggs cooked in the mix! This quinoa çilbir breakfast bowl is an ideal meal for breakfast, brunch of lunch. The great part is that each of the components can be made ahead of time. Even the eggs, you can cook them and keep them in a warm water bath until you’re ready to serve. The paprika butter can be made a head and re-heated in the microwave to melt the butter. So easy! Feel free to add any vegetables you like, I’m a sucker for sweet summery cherry tomatoes and avocado. This makes enough for one bowl, but as i mentioned before it’s really easy to double, triple or more! It’s perfect for a group brunch in the summer as well- make your own bowls
- In a small bowl, mix together yoghurt, garlic, herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine the butter, paprika, salt and pepper in a microwaveable bowl. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in-between until butter is melted and combined. (note: if the butter solidifies, just re-heat in microwave in 10 second intervals)
- To serve, arrange quinoa, avocado, cherry tomatoes and yoghurt in a shallow bowl or plate. Place poached egg on top of yoghurt mixture. Drizzle paprika butter over poached egg. Top with fresh herbs to finish. Serve immediately!
NOTES: - Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled - Make the quinoa, yoghurt and paprika butter ahead of time - If you don’t like poaching eggs, a soft fried egg works as well or a soft boiled egg. The delish part is when the soft yolk mixes with the yoghurt.