Poached Eggs with Yogurt, Tomato, Onion and Cumin Chili Oil.

This recipe for Poached Eggs with Yogurt, Tomato, Onions topped with Cumin Chili Oil inspired by “Cilbir” also known as Turkish eggs. IT is a breakfast staple in East Turkey and traditionally is made with poached eggs, served over tangy yogurt and drizzled with a spicy Aleppo butter and served with crusty bread. The first time I ate this was at a restaurant I worked at in Soho, Manhattan, and honestly that is the only thing that got me out of bed to serve those not so fun brunch shifts! This is my take on it. I added soft boiled eggs and a light cumin chili tadka which goes so perfect with the tangy yogurt and soft eggs.

Tricks that will help you get the best poached eggs with a perfectly runny yolk.

The key to this dish is getting perfectly poached eggs. If you don’t like a runny yolk, maybe do a jammy one but please I ask that you don’t try this recipe with a hard-boiled egg because then, you are on your own, it’s not going to taste as good and you will never trust my opinion again.

1. Strain the thin whites.

Use a mini strainer and strain the thin whites for just ten seconds and transfer to a small bowl that will hold the individual egg.

2. Have all the eggs ready to go before you turn on the water.

Preparation is a must. So how many ever eggs you decide to use, make sure you strain and put them into small bowls ready to add to the simmering water.

3. Keep this equipment handy.

  • Plate with a paper towels.
  • Slotted spoon to scoop out eggs.
  • Yogurt bowl with all ingredients except the cumin chili oil.
  • Wide shallow pot to poach eggs.

4. Monitor the water closely.

Instead of having the water on a rolling boil the whole time, my method asks that you turn the heat to a gentle simmer so that water gently bubbles. Then you do a gentle swirl, drop your egg and let it sit and do its thing for four minutes. This ensures that the eggs whites are cooked just right leaving the yolks silky and runny.

What kind of yogurt should you use?

For this recipe of Poached eggs with Yogurt, Tomato, Onions and CuminChili Oil. I like using plain whole milk yogurt that has a silky consistency and tangy bite. But I have used Greek yogurt and it tastes just as good. You will need to thin out the consistency a tad bit with lemon juice or water. I do not recommend fat free yogurt as it has a grainy texture which doesn’t lend very good to the dish.

What spices can I use instead of cumin?

The traditional recipe for Turkish eggs does not use cumin or another spices except for Aleppo which I definitely recommend in this version as well. But if you are not a fan of cumin, I recommend substituting with the spices below for this version of poached eggs with yogurt recipe.

  • coarse ground coriander
  • sumac
  • chilli flakes
  • sesame seeds

What do poached eggs in a yogurt sauce with tomato, onion and cumin chili oil taste like?

Emm, like heaven! Every bite of this an explosion of flavor. The silky egg yolk mixed with tangy yogurt, cumin chili oil crunchy bits of red onion, tomatoes and cucumber with crusty sourdough is a bite that you want to go back to again and again until the bowl is licked clean. Literally. Might I say this is one of those meals which will immediately bring you back from the dead, the morning of after a boozy night around town, if you know what I mean!

Assembling the Poached Eggs with Tomato, Onion and Cumin Chili Oil.

Spread the yogurt in a bowl and then add chopped cucumbers, onions and tomatoes on one side. Then place poached eggs in the centre and drizzle cumin chili oil. Serve with crusty sourdough or as is.

This Poached Eggs with Tomato, Onion and Cumin Chili Oil recipe is the perfect thing to make for yourself or for a crowd for brunch! Prep everything in advance and serve up when ready.

Turkish eggs
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Poached Eggs with Yogurt, Tomato, Onion and Cumin Chili Oil

Perfectly poached eggs with a silky yolk over tangy yogurt with onions, tomatoes, and drizzled with a cumin chili oil and cilantro.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 mins


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tomato finely chopped
  • 1/4 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Toasted bread to serve


To poach eggs

  • In a small bowl, crack an egg and tthen pass it through a small fine mesh strainer to remove any thin bits of egg white. Fill a wide pot with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and add vinegar.
  • Using a spoon, swirl the water to create a whirlpool. Gently lower the egg into the pot and poach for 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove egg from water. Dab extra water by placing a paper towel under the slotted spoon.
  • Add egg onto a plate and set aside.

To make chili oil

  • Heat oil in small pan on medium heat, add cumin seeds, smoked paprika, red chili flakes and temper for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Remove from heat into a bowl.

To assemble

  • To a serving bowl, spread yogurt at the bottom, then place poached eggs to one side, add onions, tomatoes, drizzle with cumin chili oil and sprinkle cilantro, salt and serving immediately.

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