Kuku (or kookoo) is a very popular egg-based Azeri and Persian dish.
Among the 2,000 Azerbaijani dishes that we mentioned in our dovga soup article, kuku (pronounced kyukyu) is the star of breakfasts and appetizers.
What is kuku?
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, Middle-Eastern eggah, a Spanish tortilla or Italian frittata.
How to make goyerti küküsü (kuku sabzi or kookoo sabzi)
I chose to prepare the simplest version and by far the most popular: the goyerti küküsü or kuku with fresh herbs, also called kuku sabzi (or kookoo sabzi) in Iran.
You can add fresh mint and spinach to the herbs in the preparation.
Kuku was often served with crushed walnuts or just with whole walnuts on top. You can also serve 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!
- 2 bunches fresh cilantro , finely chopped
- 1 bunch dill , finely chopped
- ½ bunch mint , finely chopped
- 1 scallion , chopped
- 2 oz. fresh spinach , finely chopped
- 1 young garlic (green part), finely chopped
- 5 eggs , beaten
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (clarified butter or olive oil)
- ½ cup yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic , 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.