Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fresh Herb Kuku

5 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons Persian allspice (advieh)
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon cardamom, ½ teaspoon cumin and dried rose petals, if you can find some
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 cup finely chopped fresh garlic chives or scallions, about 1 bunch
1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, about one bunch, thick stems removed
1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, about 1 bunch, thick stems removed
1 cup chopped fresh dill, about 1 bunch, thick stems removed
Note: You can use a food processor to chop the herbs.
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves, optional
½ cup oil, butter or clarified butter

2 tablespoons dried barberries or dried currents for garnish, optional
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon oil
yogurt for drizzling, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-inch ovenproof baking dish or a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
2. Break eggs into a large bowl. Add the baking powder, Persian allspice mixture, salt, and pepper. Beat with a fork. Add the garlic, chopped herbs, fenugreek if desired, and flour. Mix thoroughly. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
3. Pour ¼ cup oil or butter into the prepared baking dish and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Pour in the egg mixture and bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and gently pour the remaining oil or butter over the kuku. Put the dish back in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes longer, until golden brown.
4. Sauté the barberries or currents in oil with 1 teaspoon sugar. Reserve for garnish.
5. Serve kuku in the baking dish or unmold it by loosening the edge with a knife and inverting it onto a serving platter. Cut the kuku into small pieces, drizzle with yogurt if you wish, and sprinkle with the reserved barberries or currents. Serve hot or cold with lavash bread and yogurt.

The photo above shows my kuku with a delicious patty pan squash salad.

Variation: Kuku can also be cooked on top of the stove. Heat the oil or butter in a non-stick skillet, pour in the egg mixture, then cook, covered, over low heat until it has set, about 25-30 minutes. Cook the second side by cutting into wedges and turning them over one by one, adding more oil or butter if needed. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Makes 6 servings
Adapted from Najmieh Batmanglif's New Food of Life and A Taste of Persia (from Epicurious on line)

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