Main Meals

Cilbir (Poached eggs with garlic yoghurt)

10 minutes
20 minutes

Thanks for your rating!

You must be logged in to rate a recipe. Login


  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely slivered
  • 2½ cups plain, Greek-style yoghurt
  • 2–3 T white wine vinegar
  • 4 very fresh free-range eggs (we recommend Woolworths’ organic or indigenous eggs), cracked into small
  • 2 T butter
  • Fresh or dried sage or Italian parsley a few leaves (crumbled if dried)
  • 1 T Woolworths smoked Spanish paprika
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Bread, for serving

Stir the garlic into the yoghurt and spread over two plates to form little beds for the eggs.

Boil a small saucepan of water, add the vinegar and gently lower the first egg into the water. Feel free to do the whirlpool thing if you like, but it never seems to make a difference to my poaching endeavours. (Or follow these tips on how to poach eggs perfectly every time here.)

Keep the water on a low boil and cook each egg for about 3 minutes (for soft-yolk eggs), keeping the others warm under a lid on a warm plate.

While the eggs are cooking, melt the butter in a pan, stir in the sage leaves (if they’re fresh, fry them until crispy) or parsley, add the paprika and remove from the heat.

Remove the eggs from the saucepan using a slotted spoon and place on the yoghurt. Spoon the paprika-sage butter over the eggs, season and eat with lots of warm bread.

Chef's note: “I love the unexpected savouriness of this dish. The flavours of sage, garlic and paprika make it taste totally different to any other egg dish. It’s also not as heavy as traditional egg dishes that are usually served with Hollandaise sauce, and could be served as lunch or dinner. (If you'd prefer Hollandaise, follow our "how to make cheat's Hollaindaise" here.) In Turkey, it is a warm meze dish and is usually served with lots of hot pita or flatbread, but hunks of good sourdough will do, too.”

Discover more breakfast recipes here.

For more tips and tricks on cooking with eggs, follow our ultimate egg guide here.

Andrea Burgener

Recipe by: Andrea Burgener

Andrea Burgener is the quirkiest of all Jozi food royalty. Her restaurants, The Leopard, is a favourite in the city and she is the author of the book Lampedusa Pie.

View all recipes


Load more