In Azerbaijan, “a house without a guest is like a mill without water,” or so the saying goes. You don’t hear about Azerbaijani cuisine every day but Feride Buyuran hopes to change that with her new cookbook, “Pomegranates and Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan.” On “Good Food” this week, she discusses the food served in her home country and shares this recipe for fresh herb kuku.
Göyerti küküsü is the most popular version of kuku. Feride throws lots of fresh herbs into the eggs, then cooks the omelette in a frying pan until both sides are golden. You can substitute some of the herbs for spinach, fresh mint or green garlic (just the green parts). Serve the kuku hot with bread if you’re eating it as a standalone dish, or room temperature as an appetizer. Don’t forget the dollop of creamy garlicky yogurt sauce on top.
Fresh Herb Kuku (Göyerti Küküsü)
Yield: Serves 4
2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped and densely packed
1 cup fresh dill, chopped and densely packed
½ cup fresh green onions, chopped
5 large eggs
¼ cup clarified butter or unsalted butter (use more as needed)
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Plain yogurt, for serving
Prepare the mixture: In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped fresh herbs with the eggs. Season with a half teaspoon of salt and pepper, to taste, then stir with a spoon to mix well.
Cook the kuku: In a 10-inch nonstick frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat and pour the herb-egg mixture into the pan, filling it completely. Level the wet mixture using the back of a spoon. Cook the kuku until it turns golden brown on the bottom, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Once done, use your spatula to carefully cut the kuku into 4 wedges (or 8 if you prefer smaller portions). Now gently turn the wedges over to brown on the other side, adding more butter if necessary. Be sure not to overcook the kuku. The interior should still be tender and moist.
To serve: Remove the cooked kuku from the pan and transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately with bread and yogurt, as desired.