Kookoo ‘ye Sabzi| A tale worth telling thrice
I’ve twice already posted the recipe for Kuku ‘ye Sabzi (a type of fresh herb Persian frittata) and here I go posting it thrice! Overkill perhaps? I hope not, as I thought it’d be worthwhile revisiting this nutritious and classic Iranian dish to showcase a slight but pivotal modification of the traditional recipe (using spring onions or chives in lieu of the parsley and cilantro) which ends up giving the fresh herb kookoo a lighthearted vibe in both color and flavor.
I love the pale green color one gets with this modified batter!
Still as delicious as the traditional fresh herb kookoo – and as always and as is true with many other types of Iranian food, it pairs wonderfully with bread and yogurt and torshi (Persian pickles.)
That’s all folks — a quickie post! And the recipe follows. Enjoy!
- 2 cups (washed, trimmed, dried, chopped) chives or spring onions
- 1 teaspoon dried mint + 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (can substitute 1 teaspoon of dried fenugreek for mint/tarragon)
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon baking powder – allow it to soak in a bit of water so that it bubbles
- 4 eggs – left to reach room temperature
- 1 tablespoon (soaked for 5 minutes, rinsed, and dried) barberries plus extra for optional garnish
- 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a skillet, sautee chopped herbs in 2 tablespoons of sizzling cooking oil of your choice for a few minutes (approximately 5 minutes) until the herb mixture reduces in bulk and takes on a soft and pliant texture. Let cool completely. (This step is called “taft dadan eh sabzi” in Farsi and the goal is to rid the herbs of any excess moisture to prevent a soggy kookoo and get a fluffy and thick one instead.)
- Crack eggs in a big bowl; add flour, salt and pepper; and beat lightly with a fork. Add chopped sauteed fresh herbs, dried mint & dried tarragon (or dried fenugreek), dried dill, chopped walnuts, barberries, baking powder, turmeric, and the sauteed herbs. Mix well.
- Heat at least 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a big skillet. Once the oil is sufficiently hot (i.e, a dollop of the mixture puffs up when dropped into the pot) pour the into skillet and lightly press the top with a spatula or spoon to evenly spread out the mixture. Cook covered (ideally with a glass lid so you can see the batter) for 10-12 minutes on medium low heat until the batter is cooked on its bottom side. Cut kookoo into 4 wedges (with the edge of a spatula) and flip each wedge over to cook the other side. (Add more oil at this point if necessary.) Continue to cook – uncovered this time – on medium heat for approximately 5-7 more minutes until the batter is evenly cooked throughout. [ Alternative method: Instead of frying the batter on the stove top, you can bake it in the oven. To do so: preheat the oven to 350 °F, pour the kookoo batter into an oiled heatproof dish, and bake uncovered for 20- 25 minutes.
- Place kuky wedges on a serving platter, garnish with sauteed barberries and walnuts, and serve.Run a knife around the edges of the kookoo to loosen and invert onto a serving dish. Cut into wedges or squares, garnish, and serve.]
- For the garnish: heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet over a medium flame, add sugar (optional, skip it if you like tangy flavor like we do) and 1 tablespoon of barberries, and stir well for just under and no longer than a minute. Sprinkle barberries over the kookoo when it’s ready to serve.
Eat it. Enjoy it. And as they say in