Kuku Sabzi (Fresh Herb Frittata)
Here is another Kuku (کوکو)/kookoo …no, not me…the dish, which resembles the frittata minus the cheese and a couple of eggs. Today’s popular kuku is Kuku-e Sabzi کوکوسبزی, with a prominent herb flavor and very dark green color.
My mom used to buy her herbs fresh, and it would take her hours to finely chop them all. Without modern technology and food safety regulations, preparing meals was an all day affair, best handled with more helping hands. Here is a picture of a group of women, most likely from the villages of Iran, picking through the rice and herbs. Having participated in these domestic gatherings before, I have to add, they make for a great bonding experience among family member and friends. I also find them very relaxing and meditative.
With the price of fresh dill being ungodly expensive, I sometimes substitute dried dill (1/3 in volume) or…. just between you and me…with dill seed. Huh! “ey vai, khoda margam!”, a typical Persian response of of surprise and disbelief with a direct translation of ‘God bring death to me !’ (The language and culture can be a bit melodramatic.)
The best part of this dish, besides eating it, is the fresh herb aroma that fills the house while it’s being cooked. The optional fixins, especially the walnuts, are highly recommended. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did last night.
Ingredients (serves 4):
(Remove stems from herbs, chop either by hand or in a food processor. If your herb bunches are of different sizes just do your best to use equal amounts of cilantro, parsley and green onion. )
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley ~ 1.5 cup chopped
- 1 bunch green onions (or leeks, chives, Iranian tareh) ~ 1.5 cup chopped
- 1 bunch dill OR 2 Tbs dill weed (may substitute 1- tsp dill seed)
- 1 bunch cilantro ~ 1.5 cup chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 2 Tbs flour (any), OR for a heartier Kuku replace with a medium sized potato (cooked and grated)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp salt & pepper
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbs barberries (zereshk)
- 2 Tbs walnuts, chopped
Time~ Prep: 10 min Cook: 40 min
- In a small pan dry toast the walnuts over low heat. Set aside.
- In a large bowl beat the eggs and baking powder with a fork or whisk.
- Add all the the ingredients except the oil to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Oil a baking dish and pour in the mixture and distribute evenly.
- Cover lightly with an aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Half way through uncover and continue baking.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool before cutting into small pieces.
- Stove top
- Oil a non-stick pan and place on med-low heat .
- Pour in the herb mixture and distribute evenly.
- Cook covered for about 20 minutes on medium-low.
- Divide into 4 with a spatula, carefully turnover each piece and cook covered for another 20.
Kookoo could be served hot or cold as a side dish with bread and yogurt or torshi (pickled vegetables).
Use sour cream instead of yogurt if preferred.
Now nooshe jan