Best Kuku Recipes
Kuku Shopping Tips
Look for vegetables that are firm and bright in color – avoid those that are wilted or have wrinkled skins, which are signs of age.
Kuku Cooking Tips
Vegetable should typically be cooked as quickly as possible, as they can become bland and mushy, and lose vitamins and minerals.
Kuku Paka (Chicken in coconut sauce)
This dish is synonymous with Mombasa – Kenya, it is cooked in many homes by many women and sometimes men, but as with all popular dishes the recipe changes to accommodate differing palates, this is an authentic recipe from my friend who lives in Mombasa and makes my favourite form of kuku paka.
Serve with coconut chutney (search website for recipe).
Iranians treat herbs not as a seasoning, but as a vegetable: Copious fresh herbs are the foundation of many Persian recipes. This is especially the case in spring, when Nowruz, the Persian new year, pulls everyone out of their homes to go on picnics, where kookoo sabzi is always part of the spread. It&rsquos a frittata-like dish of fresh greens bound by just enough egg to hold it together. Every family has its own combination of herbs. My family&rsquos recipe starts with onions lightly caramelized with turmeric for subtle sweetness, basil for its aroma, and the unusual addition of romaine lettuce, which helps give the kookoo a fluffy texture. &mdashTannaz SassooniReprinted from All About Eggs: Everything We Know About the World&rsquos Most Important Food. Copyright © 2017 by Lucky Peach, LLC. Photographs and illustrations copyright © 2017 by Tamara Shopsin and Jason Fulford. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. Slideshow: More Egg Recipes
- ¾ pounds zucchini (partially peeled lengthwise)
- ¾ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (peeled)
- ½ pound carrots (peeled)
- 1 yellow onion (medium)
- Kosher salt
- 5 eggs (large beaten)
- 3 tablespoons cilantro (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon Brewed Saffron (see Note)
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup canola oil
Preheat the oven to 350°. Working over a colander set in a large bowl, shred the zucchini, potatoes, carrots and onion on the medium holes of a box grater. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the vegetables and toss to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes, then squeeze to release some of the excess water. Transfer the vegetables to another bowl. Stir in the eggs, cilantro, brewed saffron and pepper.
In a deep 9- to 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the vegetable mixture and cook over moderately low heat until lightly browned on the bottom and nearly set, about 20 minutes. Blot dry with paper towels. Carefully invert the kuku onto a plate, then slide it back into the skillet. Cook over low heat until lightly browned on the bottom and set, 18 to 20 minutes.
Invert the kuku onto a paper towel&ndashlined plate and blot dry with paper towels, then invert onto a platter. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
This version of the classic East African-Indian chicken curry will help you see your broiler in a whole new light.
Kuku paka, an East African-Indian dish that’s traditionally made with charcoal-grilled chicken in a spiced coconut milk sauce and served over rice, is comforting, sweet, creamy, and well-balanced. This version, which is adapted from my cookbook, Let’s Eat, approximates the traditional curry base, but features broiled chicken so that you don’t have to grill when it’s raining or freezing or you just don’t want to. Any cut of chicken can be used: I like boneless thighs here for the sake of ease and flavor, but any mix of breasts, tenders, or drumsticks can be used, provided they’ve been cut into similar sizes. Because the chicken is cooked separately from the curry base, you also can substitute it with any hearty vegetable to make this dish suitable for a vegetarian diet. For a plant-based diet, skip the addition of heavy cream or substitute it with a creamy barista-style nondairy milk or additional coconut milk. Jalapeños will work in place of the Thai chiles, though you’ll want to adjust the amount depending on your spice tolerance—my rule of thumb is one medium jalapeño for every two Thai chiles. And a pinch of cayenne pepper will work in place of the Kashmiri chile powder. —Zaynab Issa
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Closely related to an Arab eggah and a distant relative to the Italian frittata, kuku is a simple yet elegant dish. It takes ingredients familiar to most Westerners (spinach, cilantro, cumin, cardamom) and combines them for a decidedly Persian flavor. If you’ve thought Persian food is too exotic for your tastes, consider this a starter dish. And if you are already a fan of the cuisine, serve this with salad or yogurt or eat it on its own for your next culinary adventure.
What to buy:
In a traditional kuku, the Persian herb mixture known as advieh is used. Advieh is a blend of numerous herbs, the most common of which are cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and dried rose petals. Instead of having you search it out, we approximated the flavor by leaving out the dried rose petals and using ingredients you probably already have in your spice drawer.
This recipe was featured as part of our Supercharge with Superfoods photo gallery.
Tips for Eggs
Eggs should keep a consistent and low temperature. This is best achieved by placing their carton in the center of your fridge. The eggs should also remain in their original packaging to avoid the absorption of strong odors.
It is wise to follow the “best by” date to determine overall freshness, but eggs can be tested by simply dropping them into a bowl of water. Older eggs will float while fresh eggs will sink. This is due to the size of their air cells, which gradually increase over time.
Cooked eggs have a refrigerator shelf life of no more than four days, while hard-boiled eggs, peeled or unpeeled, are safe to consume up to one week after they’re prepared.
The beauty of an egg is its versatility. Eggs can be cooked in a variety of ways. Here are some tips in accomplishing the four most common preparations.
Scrambled: Whip your eggs in a bowl. The consistency of your scrambled eggs is a personal preference, though it seems like the majority of breakfast connoisseurs enjoy a more runny and fluffy option. In this case, add about ¼ cup of milk for every four eggs. This will help to thin the mix. Feel free to also season with salt and pepper (or stir in cream cheese for added decadence). Grease a skillet with butter over medium heat and pour in the egg mixture. As the eggs begin to cook, begin to pull and fold the eggs with a spatula until it forms curds. Do not stir constantly. Once the egg is cooked to your liking, remove from heat and serve.
Hard-boiled: Fill a pot that covers your eggs by about two inches. Remove the eggs and bring the water to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, carefully drop in the eggs and leave them for 10-12 minutes. For easy peeling, give the eggs an immediate ice bath after the cooking time is completed. For soft-boiled eggs, follow the same process, but cut the cooking time in half.
Poached: Add a dash of vinegar to a pan filled with steadily simmering water. Crack eggs individually into a dish or small cup. With a spatula, create a gentle whirlpool in the pan. Slowly add the egg, whites first, into the water and allow to cook for three minutes. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and immediately transfer to kitchen paper to drain the water.
Sunny Side Up/Over Easy/Medium/Hard: For each of these preparations, you are cracking an egg directly into a greased frying pan. For sunny side up, no flipping is involved. Simply allow the edges to fry until they’re golden brown. To achieve an over easy egg, flip a sunny side up egg and cook until a thin film appears over the yolk. The yolk should still be runny upon serving. An over medium egg is flipped, fried, and cooked longer until the yolk is still slightly runny. An over hard is cooked until the yolk is hard.
Eggs can easily be frozen, but instructions vary based on the egg’s physical state. As a general rule, uncooked eggs in their shells should not be frozen. They must be cracked first and have their contents frozen.
Uncooked whole eggs: The eggs must be removed from their shells, blended, and poured into containers that can seal tightly.
Uncooked egg whites: The same process as whole eggs, but you can freeze whites in ice cube trays before transferring them to an airtight container. This speeds up the thawing process and can help with measuring.
Uncooked yolks: Egg yolks alone can turn extremely gelatinous if frozen. For use in savory dishes, add ⅛ teaspoon of salt per four egg yolks. Substitute the salt for sugar for use in sweet dishes and/or desserts.
Cooked eggs: Scrambled eggs are fine to freeze, but it is advised to not freeze cooked egg whites. They become too watery and rubbery if not mixed with the yolk.
Hard-boiled eggs: As mentioned above, it is best to not freeze hard-boiled eggs because cooked whites become watery and rubbery when frozen.
- 1 Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with clarified butter or vegetable oil set aside.
- 2 Mix together salt, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and pepper in a large bowl until evenly combined. Add spinach, leek, parsley, and cilantro and mix until evenly coated.
- 3 In a second large bowl, whisk eggs until yolks are broken up. Pour egg mixture over greens and mix until evenly combined.
- 4 Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake until firm in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes. Slice into 8 to 12 pieces and serve warm or cold.
Beverage pairing: Bodegas 1+1=3 Brut Cava, Spain. A complex-tasting dish like this needs a wine that won’t stand in its way. The bubbles and acid of this dry cava lift the heaviness of the eggs, while its clean, brisk flavors don’t obscure the spices.
Best Kuku Recipes - Recipes
Kuku (or kookoo) is a very popular egg-based Azeri and Persian dish.
Among the 2,000 Azerbaijani dishes that we mentioned in our dovga soup article, kuku (pronounced kyukyu) is the star of breakfasts and appetizers.
What is kuku?
This appetizer gets its origins in Persian cuisine. Generally, this is the name given to dishes whose main ingredients including vegetables, herbs, meat or fish, are bound with eggs and browned on each side on a skillet or, more rarely, in an oven. One should not confuse kuku with an omelet because proportionately, the ingredients of a kuku are used in much greater quantities than eggs.
By its appearance and texture, kuku is a close cousin to Persian kookoo, Middle-Eastern eggah, a Spanish tortilla or Italian frittata.
How to make kuku sabzi
The simplest version and by far the most popular is called goyerti küküsü (with fresh herbs). It is called kookoo sabzi in Iran. It is possible to add fresh mint and spinach to the herbs in the preparation.
It was often served with crushed walnuts or just with whole walnuts on top. It can also be served with a garlicky yogurt sauce, which is by far the most authentic version.
Azeris prepare many different types of them with a wide variety of aromas, including, to name a few, potato kuku (kuku sib-zamini), eggplant kuku (kuku-ye bademjan), and chicken kuku (kuku-ye morgh).
How to Make it
- Sauté thinly sliced zucchini with onions and garlic until softened. Squeeze juices really well.
- Combine salt, spices, flour and baking powder. Add a third of whisked eggs into the spice-flour mixture and mix well. Pour remaining whisked eggs and stir.
- Then combine sautéed vegetables with eggs. Adjust the seasoning.
- Heat oil in a skillet, pour egg-vegetable mixture and bake it uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Spread ½ to 1 tbsp butter or olive oil and sprinkle chopped herbs.
- Bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown on the top.
- Loosen baked zucchini omelette from the pan and cut into wedges.
Now that the whole rush to get ready for Norouz is over and done with, it’s time to think about what type of delicious dishes we need to prepare to take with us to the Sisdeh Bedar Picnic.
I think that a dish that is very picnic friendly is Kuku. I have posted a variety of Kuku recipe on this website including Lima Bean & Dill Kuku, Squash Kuku, Kuku Sabzi, Zucchini Kuku, and Chicken Kuku. Today I introduce you to a new type of Kuku which is super delicious and easy to make. Let me begin by saying that there are a few different ways in which Iranians make this specific type of Kuku. So needless to say that this is the first recipe of a few more. I have found that some people like to use Saffron while other swear by this recipe being made with Turmeric. Some people sauté their onion, some don’t. Today’s recipe is made with Saffron!
Typically, this recipe is about 8 servings. If you are not cooking for that many people, but trust me, you’ll want to make the whole recipe because you’ll love the leftovers!
1 medium onion
3 tbsp brewed saffron
1 tsp baking powder
Salt & pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Boil potatoes until cooked. Then mash potatoes.
Preferably use a Food Mill or a Potato Ricer for best result. Once done, allow potatoes to cool down.
Add eggs, salt, pepper, and baking powder to grated onion. Beat together until well incorporated.
Add brewed saffron and continue to beat.
Add potatoes to the bowl and gently stir until everything is mixed together thoroughly.
Warm up the vegetable oil until hot. Pour in a baking dish making sure that all of the bottom surface is evenly covered with the oil.
Add potato mixture. Shake baking dish slightly to make sure that the potato and egg mixture is evenly distributed all over the dish.
Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until cooked all they way through.
I don’t like to further mash my potatoes when making this Kuku and like to leave them in the same shape as they come out of the food mill. I like the texture that the potatoes have and it visually looks nice to me.
Samin Nosrat’s 10 Essential Persian Recipes
The author of “Salt Fat Acid Heat” and star of the related Netflix show chooses the dishes that define the cuisine for her.
Credit. Con Poulos for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks.
“You may attend school in America,” my mom regularly told me and my brothers when we were kids in our native San Diego, in the 1980s, “but when you come home, you’re in Iran.” Accordingly, we spoke Farsi, and attended Persian school on Saturdays to learn to read and write the language we listened to classical Persian setar music and celebrated Nowruz, the Persian New Year.
But certainly, the most powerful form of cultural immersion we experienced was culinary. My mom , who left Iran in 1976, steeped us in the smells, tastes and traditions of Persian cuisine. She spent hours upon hours each week traversing not just San Diego but also Orange County and Los Angeles, over 100 miles away, in search of the flavors that reminded her of Iran. She taught us that regardless of what was going on in the news, home is home, and nothing can transport you there like taste.
In Irvine, she found a bakery making fresh sangak, a giant dimpled flatbread named for the pebbles that line the oven floor on which the slabs of dough are baked. She’d line us all up there on weekend mornings so that each of us could order the three-per-person maximum — 12 pieces being enough to justify the hour-and-a-half-long drive for bread.
Systematically, she bought and tasted every brand of plain yogurt available at the grocery store, in search of the thickest, sourest one. She regularly packed us into our blue station wagon and drove across town to the international grocer, where she could have her choice of seven types of feta and buy fresh herbs by the pound rather than by the bunch.
The cornerstone of every Persian meal is rice, or polo. Each day, my mom would unzip a five-kilogram burlap sack of rice — always basmati — and portion out a cup per person into a large bowl, rinsing and soaking it for hours before giving it a brief boil. Then she’d begin the sorcery required to make t ahdig, the crispy rice crust by which every Persian cook’s worth is measured.
Sometimes, she’d line the pot with lavash for a bread tahdig. On other occasions, when a special trip for bread wasn’t possible, she’d use a readily available flour tortilla, which yielded similarly glorious results. Either way, she’d divide and serve the rice and tahdig, encouraging us kids to delay gratification and resist gobbling down that gloriously crunchy crust first . I never could.
Persian cuisine is, above all, about balance — of tastes and flavors, textures and temperatures. In every meal, even on every plate, you’ll find both sweet and sour, soft and crunchy, cooked and raw, hot and cold. In the winter, we ate khoresh-e fesenjoon, a hearty, sweet-and-sour pomegranate and walnut stew to warm us from within. In the summer, we’d peel eggplant for khoresh-e bademjoon, a bright tomato and eggplant stew made distinctly tart with lemon juice and ghooreh, or unripe grapes.Image
No Persian meal is complete without an abundance of herbs. Every table is set with sabzi khordan, a basket of fresh herbs, radishes and scallions, which are eaten raw and by the handful, often tucked into a piece of fresh flatbread with a bite of feta, cucumber or walnuts. I’ve never quite grown accustomed to the practice and prefer the incredible, and multifaceted, ways herbs find their ways into cooked dishes . Kuku sabzi, a sort of frittata, is so densely packed with finely chopped sautéed herbs that the ingredient list reads like a practical joke.
Across Iran, but particularly in the northern regions, where my family is from, herbs are treated like a vegetable or main ingredient, rather than a garnish. In the Bay Area, where I now live, I can always spot an Iranian shopper’s grocery cart from afar — it’s the one piled high with bunches of parsley, cilantro, dill and mint.
Though I am both Iranian and a cook, I’m hardly an Iranian cook. I’m more of an Iranian eater, so when The Times asked me to choose the dishes that somehow encapsulate Persian cuisine to me — the essential recipes — I interviewed my mother, surveyed two doz en Iranian and Iranian-American cooks, and compared ingredient lists and techniques with just about every Persian cookbook published in the English language in the last 30 years.
Being an Iranian-American — honoring, representing and embodying two cultures that often feel at odds with one another — has always been a tightrope walk for me. This project has felt more significant and personal than any other recipe collection I’ve created.
I’ve sought, more than anything else, to share the taste of my own childhood, which is to say the taste of an Iranian kitchen in America. Even so, I had to break my own heart repeatedly when I chose to leave out many of my favorite dishes , like baghali polo (fava bean rice), tahchin (a savory saffron rice and yogurt cake with layered chicken or lamb) and khoresh-e beh (quince and lamb stew).
A word about terminology: For various personal, political and historical reasons, many Iranians in the West refer to themselves as Persian. “Persian” is both an ethnicity and a language, also known as Farsi, while “Iranian” is a nationality. Not all Persians and Persian-speakers are Iranian, and not all Iranians are Persian. If the distinction leaves you baffled, rest assured that you’re not alone — I’ve spent most of my life confused about it — and for our purposes here, feel free to think of the terms more or less interchangeably.
The task of distilling the entirety of a 2,000-year-old cuisine down to a handful of recipes is a futile one, so think of this list as an invitation to cook rather than a declaration of fact. It’s also an invitation to my childhood home, and to the Iran my mother built for her children out of rice, bread, cheese and herbs.
The main ingredient is the egg. Herbs, mostly leeks or scallion’s green parts, are the most essential ingredients. Other herbs that Iranians add all of them or one of them to the scallions includes parsley, cilantro, and spinach. Flour is the other primary ingredient of Kookoo Sabzi. Some spices such as grind rose, and turmeric adds to the taste.
To prepare Kookoo Sabzi, you have to mix the battered egg with chopped herbs and flour and spices. Then flatten the mixture in a pan and fry them. It is a fast cook time food, and if your chopped herbs were ready, you could cook it in 15 minutes.