Kaygana – Turkish Omelette

Breakfast in Turkey is not considered complete without fresh cheese, tomatoes, olives and bread. Egg dishes and/or pastry usually accompany these. A traditional recipe, despite wide variations, a common favorite of both people of rural Anatolia and the Ottoman elité, is called kaygana. It’s something in between crepés and omelette.

Again, contemporary Turkish cuisine has a tendency towards neglecting classic recipes of good old kaygana, especially those sweet ones. Savory types still have a huge crowd of fans. I know dozens of locals who frown upon recipes such as “eggplant kaygana” or “anchovy kaygana”, let alone sweet kaygana recipes. They say they hate the idea of a sweet omelette because mixing eggs with sugar/honey sounds gross, well, what’s the main ingredient in a sponge cake, or almost any cake for that matter? I can’t sympathize with them, sorry. When a classic Ottoman dish is of concern, I am ready to try it, it turns out to be delicious 99 percent of the time  and that 100th percentile never came in my way, anyway.

Anyways, it’s a very flexible recipe. You can make plain kaygana and roll almost anything into it or simply serve with sweet or savory sauces. Or you can add things into the batter prior to cooking. Here is the recipe for plain kaygana:


6 eggs,

2 tablespoons of flour,

4 tablespoons of milk,



— Herbs and spices, cheese, honey, walnuts, grated or chopped vegetables, precooked or processed meat, chicken, fish or by products… etc. — a combination of these (all optional)

Mix all the ingredients into an even textured batter, except for the butter. Melt butter on medium-high heat. Pour the egg batter into the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn over and cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat. You can make one big kaygana or cook it in small batches and serve with feta, tomatoes, bell peppers in between its layers, as seen in the pictures.



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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I agree with you. Look how well sugar and egg work together in the Japanese tamagoyaki (sweet omelette).

    Just to confirm, the kaygana has no sugar in the egg mixture. It’s just the toppings that can be sweet. Is that correct?

    Cheers! Renee

    • Well, kaygana is the generic name for an omelette. You can adjust the amount of salt and add sugar in the egg-mixture (my granma used to make it this way) or top the cooked kaygana with sweet stuff. Both ways work, up to you.

      You might wanna check out “soganli yumurta” aka eggs with onion too if you’re up for a sweetish egg dish. The balance of spices and sweetness of onions in that recipe is amazing: http://ottomancuisine.com/2010/12/02/soganli-yumurta-eggs-with-onion/


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