Do It Yourself: Turkish Food, Part Three

Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck

On our last trip to Turkey we practically ate our way through the country. We had no idea that the country had such a vast menu of food. Most dishes that we tried, we loved. We even attempted to make our own recipes and succeeded. You can see what we tried to make in Part 1 and Part 2.

Now that we’re back in Turkey and are house-sitting again we’ve cracked open the recipe book again to see what else we can learn to make.

We give you…Part 3.

Çılbır – Poached Eggs with Yogurt

Poached Eggs with Yogurt

4 eggs
1 tablespoon salt
1.5 tablespoons vinegar or 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup yogurt
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon ground red or chill pepper


Chop garlic very fine and add to yogurt. Stir and refrigerate for approximately 2 hours (it’s not necessary for that long, but the flavour will be better). Next, heat up a pan filled with water and add salt and vinegar or lemon juice. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat. Slowly add the eggs and cook for 4-5 minutes. While the eggs are cooking, melt the butter in a sauce pan. Once melted, add the chills and stir until blended. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish. Cover the eggs with the yogurt mixture and then drizzle the butter and pepper mixture overtop. Serve immediately.


This dish is very similar to Mantı, probably our favorite Turkish meal. It was super easy to make, and we enjoyed it for breakfast. For garlic lovers, you can add more than one clove of garlic to the yogurt to give it a little more kick.

Tepsi Böreği – Baked Börek



3 sheets of Yufka (philo dough) Recipe Here
3/4 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter
3 eggs

White cheese filling
200 gr. White Cheese (Feta will work)
1 egg
Optional Parsley and Dill.


Mash the white cheese with a fork. Add the egg, parsley and dill. Mix well.


Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Brush a 24x30cm cookie sheet. Add the eggs and the milk to the rest of the melted butter and beat well. Lay one sheet of yufka over the pan allowing the edges to go 8-10cm over on each side of the sheet. Cut the excess parts away and save for later. Spread 3-4 tablespoons of egg mixture over the yufka. Lay two more sheets of yufka cut the same size as the pan over the each layer, making sure to spread the egg mixture on each. After the three layers of yufka spread the white cheese mixture evenly over. Lay the remaining yufka on top, making sure to spread the egg mixture after each. When all the yufka has been used, fold the edges from the first yufka layer over. Spread the remaining egg mixture overtop sealing it. Bake at 175 degrees celsius for approximately 25-30 minutes until golden brown. It will naturally rise.

Making Börek


One word, DELICIOUS. We cheated and got the yufka from our local market, but we let the pros take care of that as the dough is so extremely thin and there is an art to making it. Once we had the philo the rest of the recipe was extremely easy to create.

Stay tuned for Part 4….

17 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • Ela
    April 25 2013

    Mmm! Çılbır, my aunt used to make this for us when we were little! Thanks for sharing this!! I’ll give it a go.

    • Pete
      April 29 2013

      Thanks Ela, it’s super easy to make, and yes it was delicious!

  • April 26 2013

    Those look quite impressive. I have yet to reach even a moderate level of success in any of my attempted ethnic home cuisine, but I sure do try. At least I can make my favorite Thai dish! Great way to bring travel experiences back home with you, too.

    • Pete
      April 29 2013

      That’s awesome that you try! And I can’t wait to get to Thailand and enroll in some cooking courses. It’s my favorite type of cuisine, and I’m ok right now cooking them, but I want to learn many more dishes.

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    April 26 2013

    Yum! That egg dish sounds fantastic while also being something just slightly strange enough I never would have thought of that combination myself. My only issue is that I am terrible at poaching eggs… they always look so raggedy and I lose most of the white. Maybe you can offer a masterclass on that part?!? 🙂

    • Pete
      April 29 2013

      There’s a couple easy things you can do Steph. The first being using cooking rings, the other being using a small sauce pan keeping the egg white concentrated in one area. Temperature is key, you don’t want the water boiling as that will separate the white as well. Good luck 🙂

  • April 26 2013

    Mmmm…Turkish food is one of my absolute favs!
    Andrea recently posted..Visiting Lyon: Practicalities

    • Pete
      April 29 2013

      Mine too Andrea!

  • Nat
    April 27 2013

    You have made more Turkish food than I ever have in ten years! Hope my husband never finds your blog!
    Nat recently posted..Traveling around Turkey on a Budget: Tips to Save Money

    • Pete
      April 29 2013

      haha, your secret is safe with me 😉

  • April 29 2013

    MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmm! I’d come over for dinner 🙂
    Samuel Jeffery recently posted..The Time I Tipped My Rickshaw Driver

    • May 1 2013

      Get yerself here and Pete will cook up a storm! 🙂

  • Looks yummy! I love love love Turkish food, although I’ve never dreamed of making it. Maybe now I’ll give it a go! ;-P

    • May 3 2013

      It’s really not too hard – some of their recipes are so simple!

  • May 7 2013

    YUM! We only spent a few hours in Istanbul on a layover but had a few amazing meals there and need to go back to Turkey to further explore the cuisine!

    • May 8 2013

      Oh boy – a few hours? You need a few months! 🙂 Love Turkish food!

  • Dan
    July 4 2013

    The Tepsi Böreği sounds delicious!

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