Kookoo, also spelt as kuku, are the Persian answer to a lovely egg dish. The French have omelettes, the Italians frittatas, the Spanish tortas, and the Persians kookoos. This dish is seen often on most festive tables and is very integral to the cuisine of the culture, from Iran to Afghanistan.
These delicacies are divine, soft, fluffy and delicately flavoured. They come in a number of variations with different fillings, each with a distinct taste. Here is a very delicate variation with beautiful garlic chives from the Cullinarium in Ooty. Garlic chives are a plant of Chinese origins that have a strong garlicky flavour. They are used often in stir-fries and other quick-cooked dishes. I love their flavour, delicate and yet strong, and they add beautiful colour to the dish.
This kookoo was decadent, brightly coloured and well-flavoured from the herbs and topped with a tart-spicy yoghurt dressing. The patties were super soft and melted on your tongue leaving fleeting flavours that were soft.
Greg and Lucy Malouf have travelled across the Middle East extensively, publishing several specialized cookbooks along their journey. This cookbook is one of my favourites, a thick volume filled with amazing recipes, like this one, and photographs. This cookbook will make you want to get out to the closest Mediterranean store (or on Amazon) and order a pantry full of new ingredients for this cuisine. I have cooked a few, definitely not enough, recipes from this book and each are spectacular. I need to complete the collection of their cookbooks, oh I wish I had a larger cookbook budget. This book is for those who are looking for spectacular Middle Eastern cuisine
For more delicious recipes from this cookbook click here.
2 large potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely diced
3/4 cup garlic chives, chopped finely
2 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cilantro, minced
5 eggs, lightly whisked
Salt, to taste
For the dressing:
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
Spicy dill pickles, finely diced
Peel the potatoes and dice them into large cubes. Boil them in salted water till cooked through and soft. Mash to a coarse mash with lumps. Set aside.
Make the dressing by mixing the pickles with the yoghurt. Taste for salt, the dressing should be bold and tart. Set aside in the fridge till needed.
Heat the oils in a frying pan and sautè the onions on low heat till soft. Do not let the onions colour. Add the garlic scapes and fry for another minute till they are also cooked through and soft. Add the ground cumin and turmeric and give the pan a quick stir. Empty the contents into the mashed potatoes and mix in well.
Add the pepper, flour, cilantro, eggs and salt and mix in well. The mix should be quite sloppy.
In the same frying pan add 1 teaspoon of oil. You can either fry and make 1 large pancake or a tablespoon-sized one depending on how you plan to serve these.
For a large patty, preheat the oven to broil function.
I prefer to make a large one that resembles a frittata. Pour the mix into the pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes for a large patty, or 1-2 minutes for small ones. Once the patty is cooked, it will tend to peel off the pan easily and the edges will release from the sides. Add the pan to the oven and cook for 2-3 minutes till the top is browned a bit. Remove and allow to cool for 2 minutes, slide off the pan to a cutting board or large platter, cut into wedges and serve with the dressing.
You can flip the small ones and cook for 1 more minute. Remove and serve immediately with the dressing.