In Azerbaijan, kükü (read: kyukyu) is the general name given to dishes in which main ingredients – vegetables, herbs, meat, or fish – are bound with eggs, then browned on both sides on a stovetop. It is not to be confused with an omlette as the featured ingredients in a kükü are used in far greater amounts than eggs. By its appearance and texture, kükü can be likened to a Persian kookoo, Middle Eastern eggah, Spanish tortilla or Italian frittata.
Simplicity in itself, goyerti küküsü or fresh herb kükü is by far the most popular and the most frequently made kükü of all in the versatile kükü repertoir. In this light summer dish, fresh herbs are mixed with eggs, then the mixture is leveled in a frying pan and cooked on both sides to yield a tender flavorful interior laced with a golden surface.
If you wish, add some fresh mint to the kükü, and if in season, fresh green garlic (green parts only) as well, decreasing the amount of other herbs accordingly. Sometimes, spinach is added too. Herb-laden tender kükü wedges can be served cold or at room temperature as an appetizer or immediately as a light standalone dish with bread or as a side dish to rice pilaf. And don’t forget a dollop of thick, creamy garlicky yogurt sauce on top, for that extra touch of authenticity.
Fresh Herb Kükü (Goyerti Kyukyusu)
2 packed cups chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
1 packed cup chopped fresh dill
½ cup fresh green onions
½ teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup unsalted butter or vegetable oil
Garlicky yogurt sauce (mix 1 cup plain yogurt with crushed garlic to taste) or plain yogurt, to serve
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped fresh herbs and eggs. Season with salt and pepper, then stir with a spoon to mix well.
Melt the butter or oil over medium heat in a 10-inch non-stick frying pan. Pour the herb-egg mixture into the pan to fill it completely, leveling it with the back of a spoon. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a knife, carefully cut the kuku into 4 wedges (or 8 if you wish). Gently turn the wedges over to brown the other side. If you need to, add more butter or oil to the pan.
Remove the cooked kuku from the heat and transfer it onto a serving platter. Serve with bread or as accompaniment to rice pilaf. Separately serve a bowl with garlicky yogurt sauce or plain yogurt, to spoon onto kükü to taste.