The first time I tried kaygana was 15 years ago when I was traveling in the Black Sea region with my family. There was a small authentic restaurant that served only Black Sea region food on the way to Sumela Monastery, in Trabzon province, and they served us kaygana along with other numerous delicious local food. Since I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with eggs, I was reluctant to taste it at first. But then it became my favorite egg dish. After our trip I couldn’t find kaygana anywhere else, and that’s why I believed it was a Black Sea dish; however, from Marianna Yerasimos’ 500 Hundred Years of Ottoman Cuisine I learned that kaygana is an old Ottoman dish.
It seems that there are numerous ways of making kaygana. Yerasimos says that you can make “bread kaygana,” “anchovy kaygana,” or “eggplant kaygana” (mmmm). So it’s a really flexible recipe with which you can go creative. You can make a sweet kaygana (by adding sugar, honey, or jam) as well as a savory one; it’s all up to you. You can add peppers, green onions, feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, mushroom, bacon, pepperoni, honey, etc. in the eggy mixture or you can make a plain kaygana and roll all those things with it just like you’d do with a crepe. I tried adding feta and parsley and it turned out great!
One last point: The recipe in Yerasimos’ book is not the same as the one I tried in Trabzon, in that little restaurant. The reason is that they use corn flour in Black Sea region, whereas the recipe I used required white flour. But next time I’ll try corn flour.
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp water or milk
1 tbsp butter or olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup crumbled feta (you can use more or less than this)
red pepper flakes
-Put flour in a bowl and break eggs into the bowl. Mix well. Add water or milk, whichever you want, and mix again. [So far is the basic recipe. You may go ahead and cook it on frying pan with butter or oil, and then roll it with feta and parsley.]
-Add parsley, feta, black pepper, and pepper flakes to this mix and mix them all. (Since feta was already very salty, I didn’t add salt).
-Heat oil in a frying pan. Add either one scoop at a time for small rounds or the whole mix for a big one. When one side is cooked, flip it over.