Kookoo ‘ye Sabzi| A tale worth telling thrice

kookoo sabzi Herb kuku Persian food on paisley cloth Iranian fabric with tangerines

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.

kookoo sabzi Herb kuku Persian food on paisley cloth Iranian fabric with tangerines

Kookoo Sabzi with torshi (Persian pickles)

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.)

kookoo sabzi Herb kuku Persian food paisley cloth Iranian fabric

Persian textile with paisley and “saghee” mofit. Do you dig it?

 

That’s all folks — a quickie post! And the recipe follows. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients graphic icon illustration black and white

  • 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

Direction graphic icon illustration black and white

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.]
  5. 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.

Serving Ing graphic icon illustration black and white

 

Eat it. Enjoy it. And as they say in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

36 thoughts on “Kookoo ‘ye Sabzi| A tale worth telling thrice

    • Thank you Maria jan! Can’t take credit for using walnuts. In the culinary tradition of making kookoo sabzi in Iran, walnuts are an optional ingredient that are commonly used and give the kookoo a great texture.

  1. i am still traumatized from watching a wonderful friend by the name of Soudabeh, the worlds most amazing Iranian cook, make this for me in Orange county – starting out with big bunches of herbs and chopping chopping chopping – the sabzi was about 4 cm high. No cilantro though, but that special type of I think its a basil,plant, that I have not found since LA, Nobody can import seeds for me from iran as it was illegal to bring from iran to LA and I did bring the plant back from Dubai once and it grew and then died, so I have had to live without….I also brought one back from Grenada but that died as well, and I seem to remember bringing 3 back from Egypt and the fungus gnats got them…ah well, I can remember the taste of that wonderful herb and the wonderful sabzi and I will not attempt it as I sure I will never get it as good is is in my memory. BTW I have zereschk soaking in my kitchen :)

    • Am most intrigued by the tale of this “most amazing cook in the world” Soudabeh! The name itself is straight from Shahnameh and evokes so many images and feelings. And oh yeah, lots and lots of chopping in making this kookoo (also when making another herb based stew called ghormeh sabzi)

      Thank yo for sharing your interesting stories and now I’m dying to know to what purpose zereshck is soaking in your kitchen … hmmmmm ;)

      • Ah Soudabeh – wonderful, beautiful, kind and gentle, her brothers and sisters did say that exposure to me influenced her to become less so as I championed those very western values of selfishness over selflessness and do things to make yourself happy once in a while. I was planning making jahaver polow – but ran out of dried orange rinds ages ago…should make some more from organic oranges, should have done that down south in italy, ah well. anyway tonight am hosting a friend whose plane was cancelled and as we all worked too much (neverending story) we are getting takeaway and the poor zereschk will just sit in the fridge till tomorrow. Have to soak the basmati anyway :)

      • your comments = intriguing short stories :) (ps I KNOW the zereshk will have a happy and delicious ending)

    • I know! Right? It’s one of my favorites. Like I was telling Suzanne, I wish I could bought tons but the good ones were quite expensive. I do have a good stash already though

      • I love “exotic” fabric, each time I visit India I bring home saris to make into clothes for myself, scarves, tablecloths and dare I say the odd antique embroidery. Once I went on a textiles tour of NW India where ancient traditional dying weaving and decorating techniques are still used. It was wonderful

    • Why do I now feel nervous? Hope the recipe lives up to your expectations. Please let me know how it turns out!

  2. Oh I love kookoo sabzi & unfortunately don’t make it enough but I will this week. It looks delicious & if I’m brave enough I would try a variation for instance like soufflé. Will let you know how it goes. Thank you for the inspiration.

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