Kuku (food)


Kuku sabzi, with herbs and topped with barberries and walnuts
Place of origin Iran
Associated national cuisine Iranian cuisine
Main ingredients Eggs
Similar dishes Frittata
Cookbook: Kuku  Media: Kuku

Kuku also spelled as kookoo (Persian: کوکو, Azerbaijani: kükü) is an egg based Iranian dish.[1] It is frequently a vegetarian dish, made with whipped eggs which then are folded in with various ingredients.[1] It is similar to the Italian dish frittata or an open-faced omelette.[2] Kuku typically has less egg than a frittata, and it cooks for a shorter amount of time, over a low heat,[3] before turned over[3] or grilled briefly to set the top layer.[4]

For the typical kuku sabzi recipe (as pictured), the eggs and herbs are mixed and seasoned with salt, black pepper, walnuts, sometimes flour, sometime barberries, sometimes baking powder and ground turmeric or adviyeh spice mixture. The mixture is then poured into a preheated oiled pan, covered and cooked over low heat until set, sometimes flipped or finished in a hot oven. Some cooks saute the herbs briefly before adding the eggs. The amount of herb ingredients usually greatly exceeds the amount of eggs, which merely serve to hold the kuku together, making the predominant flavor that of the herbs rather than that of a typical "egg omelette." Walnuts and zereshk (barberries) are a favorite garnish for on top. It is often sliced and served hot or cold with bread or rice, yogurt, sabzi khordan (platter of fresh herbs) and torshi (pickled vegetables). Kuku can be a main dish or an appetizer.[1]


Iranians including ethnic Persians and ethnic Azeris make many different types of kukus with a variety of flavorings.[5][6] Some variations include; Kuku sabzi (herb Kuku), potato kuku (Kuku sib-zamini), lima bean and dill kuku, fava bean Kuku (Kuku Shevid-Baqala), squash Kuku, eggplant Kuku (kuku-ye bademjan), zucchini Kuku, and chicken Kuku (kuku-ye morgh).[7]

Kuku sabzi

One of the most popular variations is kuku sabzi (Persian: کوکوسبزی, 'fresh-herb kuku'), flavored with some combination of herbs and leafy vegetables (e.g. scallions, parsley, chives, coriander, dill, spinach, lettuce, fenugreek leaves) and tinted a deep green. This dish is often served at Persian New Year (Nowruz) and has been associated with a food one would bring to Sizdeh Bedar picnic (the 13th day of Persian New Year, marks the end of the holiday often celebrated with an outdoor picnic).[8][9]

Kuku sib zamini

Another kuku popular in the Iranian province of Gilān made by Gilak people, is called kuku sib-zamini (Gilaki: کوکو سیب زمینی, 'potato kuku'). Potato kuku is made with shredded potatoes, onion, saffron, sometimes garlic chives and sometimes cinnamon. Frequently, potato kuku is cooked in smaller patties, but it is also cooked in a larger pancake-style or baked.[10] This dish and has been compared to the latke, rösti, and Tortilla Española (Spanish omelette).

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Kookoo Sabzi II – Persian Herb Kookoo (an encore presentation)". Fig and Quince, Persian Cooking and Culture. January 9, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  2. Najmieh Batmanglij (24 Oct 2007). A Taste of Persia: An Introduction to Persian Cooking. I.B.Tauris. p. 49.
  3. 1 2 Sarah Brown (1984). Vegetarian Cookbook. HarperCollins. p. 127. ISBN 0-7225-2694-6.
  4. Gillian Riley (1 November 2007). "Eggs". The Oxford Companion to Italian Food. Oxford University Press. p. 168.
  5. Nesta Ramazani (1997). "Persian Souffles (Kookoo)". Persian Cooking: A Table of Exotic Delights. Ibex. pp. 53–65. ISBN 0936347775.
  6. "Yotam Ottolenghi's aubergine kuku recipe". The Guardian. 2 January 2010. p. 43.
  7. Lamborn, Sanam (March 28, 2012). "Potato Kuku". My Persian Kitchen. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  8. Bashar, Laura. "Kookoo Sabzi (Persian Herb Quiche)". Family Spice. familyspice.com. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  9. Lamborn, Sanam. "Sizedeh Bedhar, 13th Day of Norouz". My Persian Kitchen. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  10. "Kuku-ye Sibzamini (Potato Patties)". Vida Vitality, Bad Assing it All The Way. VidaVitality.com. March 25, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
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