Dairy Free Turkish Eggs

With Aleppo Chilli Oil, and Crispy Crumbs

This effortlessly chic meal comes together in under 30 minutes (even less if you buy your chilli oil), perfect for brunch with the girls or a breakfast for dinner situation. Smokey, garlic spiked coconut yogurt is swirled with red pepper pesto, topped with perfectly poached eggs, and finished with a quick Aleppo chilli oil and crispy breadcrumbs. 

Aleppo Chilli, the low down: A little spicy, with cuminy, zesty and fruity undertones.

Aleppo chilli originates from Aleppo, Syria, but these days is largely exported from Turkey, and used widely in Turkish cuisine. Half as hot as regular chilli flakes and twice as flavourful, we love the floral, flavour enhancing properties of this ingredient. It is becoming more available in South Africa, and I’ve seen it at quite a few spice shops and deli’s, however should you not be able to source it, simply sub it out for your favourite chilli flake of choice (Woolworths smoked chilli flakes are my second best alternative)

Want to learn to poach eggs like a pro chef? Head over to @The_Culinary_Cartel on Instagram, and watch the Turkish Eggs story highlight for all the tips and tricks. You will also find the full recipe there as a cook-along video. 

We have kept this dish dairy free with coconut yogurt and vegan pesto, but feel free to use any plain, thick yogurt and sub out the pesto for harissa, chermoula or any saucy compliment you enjoy. Liquid smoke can be found in loads of super markets and adds a lovely complexity to this dish, but if you can’t get hold of it, feel free to omit it. 

Happy Cooking x

Turkish Eggs

Serves 2 



4 Very Fresh Eggs

2 Tbsp Dairy Free Red Pepper Pesto, Harissa or Chermoula (optional)

1 Cup Coconut Yogurt

1 Clove Garlic, grated finely

2-3 Drops Liquid Smoke (optional)

¼ Cup Bread Crumbs

White Wine Vinegar

Toast for serving

Baby herbs, microgreens or sprigs of fennel for decorating your dish (optional)


Aleppo Chilli Oil

(Make your own or substitute for your favourite shop brand)

1 Tbsp Aleppo Chilli Flakes/ Smoked Chili Flakes 

1 Clove Garlic, grated

⅓ Cup Avocado Oil / Canola Oil



Add your yogurt into a bowl, along with the garlic, and liquid smoke. Stir everything together, then add salt and pepper to taste. Set the yogurt aside until needed.

Next make your chilli oil. Add your oil, chilli flakes and garlic into a pot. Warm on a low to medium heat for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to colour the garlic too much as it can burn and go bitter if your heat is too high. Should the garlic start to brown, lower the heat to its lowest setting. 

*Chefs Tip: If you have time, the oil is best left to infuse for 15 minutes. I love to double or triple the recipe. It keeps for ages in the fridge and jazzes up everything from avo toast to salads and pasta. 

Next make your crispy crumbs. To a bowl add your breadcrumbs, and 1Tbsp of your chilli oil (be sure to include a bit of the garlic and chilli flakes). Mix everything together until well combined, then add a small pinch of salt. Crisp your bread crumbs until lovely and golden, either in the oven (180C for 4-6 minutes) or in a dry frying pan on a medium heat (about 5 minutes).

To poach your eggs, fill a pot about 10 cm deep with water and bring it to a gentle simmer. Add vinegar into your water until you can start to taste a little acidity. The amount needed will vary depending on the size of your pot and volume of water. Once gently simmering, crack your egg into a small ramekin or bowl. Stir the water until a whirlpool develops, then gently slide your egg into the centre of the whirlpool. Once the whites have started to set, swirl the water again and add another egg. Cook your eggs for 3-4 minutes for soft yolks and set whites (I like a just set 3 min egg). Once cooked to your preference, remove your eggs into some just warm water while you finish poaching the rest of the eggs. 

Tip: Cooking for a crowd? See our recipe notes to smash pre-cooking your poached eggs. 

To plate up add a dollop of pesto each into two serving bowls, divide your coconut yogurt between the bowls, and swirl it to just ripple it through the pesto. Create a small “nest” in the middle then add your eggs. Scatter over the crispy crumbs, add the chilli oil, and finish with some lovely toast spears to complete the dish. 


Top Tips for poached egg success:

Head over to my Turkish Eggs Highlight on Instagram (@The_Culinary_Cartel)  to watch me poach eggs and hand out lots of tips to get it right every time. 

Cooking poached eggs for a crowd:

Cook your poached eggs in batches as directed. Once cooked, drop them into ice water to stop the cooking. Repeat until all your eggs are cooked. Once ready to eat, bring a pot of water to the boil. Remove your eggs from the water and drop them into the boiling water, to reheat for 30 seconds -1 minute. Serve as directed.