Kuku, a very popular Azeri dish, will be my last recipe of our Azerbaijan gastronomic tour.
We just spent a few lovely weeks in the kitchen. Indeed, Mike was visiting the French capital and we had therefore 4 hands in the kitchen to prepare our other Azeri delicacies such as pakhlava, dolmas, plov, and kuku! What is great when you have 4 hands in the kitchen is that everyone has a role to play. For example, Mike’s preferred role is obviously to …. grumble!
Among the 2,000 Azerbaijani dishes that I mentioned when I made my dovga soup, kuku (pronounced kyukyu) is the star of breakfasts and appetizers.
This appetizer gets its origins in Persian cuisine. Generally, this is the name given to dishes whose main ingredients including vegetables, herbs, meat or fish, are bound with eggs and browned on each side on a skillet or, more rarely, in an oven. One should not confuse kuku with an omelet because proportionately, the ingredients of a kuku are used in much greater quantities than eggs.
By its appearance and texture, kuku is a close cousin to Persian kookoo Persian, Middle-Eastern eggah, a Spanish tortilla or Italian frittata.
I chose to prepare the simplest kuku and by far the most popular: the goyerti küküsü or kuku with fresh herbs.
I followed the recipe of Feride, our Azerbaijani culinary expert. I also followed her advice by adding some fresh mint and spinach in my preparation, and as this is the season of garlic, I incorporated a hint of green garlic (green parts of young garlic).
I read that kuku was often served with crushed walnuts or just with whole walnuts on top. For my part, I have followed Feride’s advice and I served my kuku with a garlicky yogurt sauce, which is by far the most authentic version.
Azeris prepare many different types of kuku with a wide variety of aromas, including, to name a few, potato kuku (kuku sib-zamini), eggplant kuku (kuku-ye bademjan), and chicken kuku ( kuku-ye morgh).
The kuku with fresh herbs that I prepared was delicious! My friend Jocelyne, Mike and I ate it cold the next day as a snack and we all loved it. Try it now!
Recipe of Kuku
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Ingredients (4 people)
- 2 bunches fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 bunch dill, finely chopped
1/2 bunch mint, finely chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 oz fresh spinach, finely chopped
1 young garlic (green part), finely chopped
5 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, clarified butter or olive oil
For the yogurt sauce
1/2 cup yogurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and beat well. Add salt and pepper.
In an 8-inch nonstick pan, melt the butter or oil over medium heat. Pour the mixture and cook on medium-low heat for about 8 minutes.
Using a knife, gently cut the kuku into 4 wedges. Carefully turn each piece to brown the other side. If necessary, add a little butter or oil in the pan.
Mix the yogurt and garlic and serve kuku accompanied by the sauce.