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

  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.

Eat it. Enjoy it. And as they say in


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Comments (37)

  • lapetitecasserole 7 years ago Reply

    I love chives! Thanks for sharing it…

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    You do? Well then, I’m delighted and I think you’ll enjoy this. Bon 🙂

  • Maria Dernikos 7 years ago Reply

    So beautifully presented. I love the idea of including walnuts, something I would not have thought of.

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    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.

  • polianthus 7 years ago Reply

    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 🙂

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    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 😉

    polianthus 7 years ago

    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 🙂

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago

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

  • Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things 7 years ago Reply


  • Aneela Mirchandani 7 years ago Reply

    great tip about cutting into 4 wedges before flipping!

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    passed on from generation to generations! happy to pass it along!

  • apuginthekitchen 7 years ago Reply

    I love Kookoo sabzi, never tire of it. I think the slight change in ingredients is great. I also really dig the fabric!!

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    Do you have any Persian textiles yourself Suzanne? I wanted to stock up but they were expensive!

    apuginthekitchen 7 years ago

    I have none, they are so beautiful. I used to have but not anymore.

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago

    well now I know what to bring you next time I go visit Iran 🙂

  • ladyredspecs 7 years ago Reply

    Yummy kookoo, but it the cloth behind I’m coveting, it’s gorgeous!

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    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

    ladyredspecs 7 years ago

    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

  • laurasmess 7 years ago Reply

    Yay! I am so happy to see you back Azita! I’ve never eaten kookoo but I really need to… I drool over it every time I see a recipe 🙂 Yum x

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    When you return from your trip, give it a try! 🙂

  • Very interesting recipe. I make frittatas often, but I’ve never approached it this way ( with flour and baking soda) and I’ve never done the first step with the herbs. I’m looking forward to trying this.

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

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

  • Gather and Graze 7 years ago Reply

    This looks really wonderful Azita! Gorgeously presented too, as always!

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    Thank you as always dear Margot!

  • Fae's Twist & Tango 7 years ago Reply

    Kookoo deserves thrice.

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    ta seh nasheh bazi nasheh 😉

  • Francesca 7 years ago Reply

    I honestly think this is worth telling a forth and a fifth and a sixth time. Maybe more! Keep it coming! 😉

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    if there’s a next time, I’ll put an Italian spin on it in your honor 🙂

  • Ahila 7 years ago Reply

    Can’t get enough of your kookoo sabzi recipes, Azita 🙂 I need to make one of them soon, perhaps this one with spring onions first.

  • Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    If you do Ahila jan, do let em know, Ok? 🙂

  • Sophie33 7 years ago Reply

    This is something special to me! I have never seen this before! I must make it today! Special & very appetizing too! I dig the Persian textile: Cool!

  • Mary Frances 7 years ago Reply

    Looks like another great kookoo recipe!

  • Bizou 7 years ago Reply

    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.

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    do let me know! 🙂 happy 4th!

  • Fatemeh 7 years ago Reply

    I love your blog! 🙂

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    Awww, thank you! You made my day 🙂

  • […] what the heck, my friends: the world is turning topsy turvy and going cuckoo and not in a delicious Persian kookoo way. I am not flippant and I don’t mean to be frivolous and I know this blog is a platform […]

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