Tarts Turkish Eggs

This is our take on Turkish eggs (Cilbir), something that might not sound so appealing if you haven’t had it before – poached eggs with yoghurt - but the reality is delicate, luxurious and utterly delicious. We love this brunch dish, it feels spoiling and indulgent but like music to our ears it’s a healthy dish, as long as you don’t add too much butter (although its far better with lots of the spicy butter). Cilbir has dense garlicky yoghurt swirled into spicy butter with the rich yolk from the poached eggs running through just to be mopped up with crusty bread. It is known as a Turkish comfit food, originating from the Ottoman Empire and for good reason has it stuck around for so long! Just the kind of comfort food we want in January. We are finishing the dish with a Turkish spice mix – a mixture of Turkish pul bibers: Aleppo pul biber for hot-fruity notes, Urfa pul biber to bring a smokiness to the party, and then cured sumac for a tangy, lemony finish. It’s a Holy Trinity which tastes incredible on avocado toast or Turkish eggs. Try stirring through grains, sprinkling over feta or halloumi and using it to finish roasted meat and vegetables.  As well as tasting great, this blend is a healthy way of introducing a whack of flavour through spices, instead of turning straight to salt. We were introduced to this mix by our friends at Rooted Spice – Two girls changing the way you look at spices, you will never buy supermarket spice again after trying their high quality spices (so much so we are only using their spices in our restaurant and deli!). It’s astounding the difference when you compare and when you wonder why a dish you have made at home doesn’t taste nearly the same of that on your travels it will largely be down to the quality of the ingredients. On one hand we are lucky enough to be able to use many exotic ingredients that have only recently become available, but sadly often the quality is lacking. You can buy the spice mix online, in our deli – or substitute for sumac.


    Serves 2


    150g Natural yoghurt

    1 garlic clove crushed

    1 tsp. ground cumin

    salt and pepper

    3 spring onions, chopped

    200g spinach

    salt and pepper

    pinch of ground nutmeg

    30g butter

    1 tsp chilli flakes

    small bunch sage leaves, chopped

    2 – 4 eggs (your preference)

    White wine vinegar

    Handful toasted pine nuts

    1 tsp Turkish Pul Biber spice mix (or sumac)


1.     First make the yoghurt by whisking the yoghurt, garlic and cumin together, season and leave to one side.

2.     Make the spinach – heat a little olive oil in a pan and add the chopped spring onions, sauté for a couple of minutes and add the spinach, stir so it starts to wilt and add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Once wilted leave to one side, cover to keep warm

3.     Make the butter – melt the butter in a pan till starting to foam then add the chilli flakes and the sage leaves so they sizzle. Cook for another 30 seconds then take off the heat.

4.     Bring a bowl of water to the boil and add 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar. Crack the eggs one by one into a tea cup and carefully drop into the water. Cook for a couple of minutes, or to preferred yolk hardness. Repeat for the other eggs.

5.     Serve in warm (quite hot is better as the yoghurt will be cold) bowls. First divide the spinach mixture between the bowls then the yoghurt then the poached eggs then spoon over the hot butter over the top. Finish with a handful of toasted pine nuts and sprinkle with spice blend. Serve with warm flat breads or sourdough toast.