Kuku Sabzi: Persian Cuisine's Herb-filled Take on a Spanish Frittata

When most individuals think of Persian food, they think of kebabs, rices and stews, and rightfully so. Those dishes form the foundation for Persian food and are most emblematic of what the cuisine represents. For example, in our post showcasing our top 5 favorite Persian stews, we highlight everything from ghormeh sabzi to gheymeh to fesenjan - the three most popular stews in Persian cuisine. And in our post showcasing our top 5 favorite Persian rice dishes, we showcase everything from havij polo to sabzi polo to shirin polo. But in addition to these rice, meat and stew dishes, Persian food offers so much more. For example, in our post highlighting our top 10 favorite Persian dishes, while we cover some of the most delicious stews and rice dishes that Persian cuisine has to offer, we also cover salads and appetizers such as mast-o-khiar (yogurt and cucumber) as well as salad shirazi (chopped cucumber, tomato and onion with lemon juice). One dish that we forgot to mention as part of that top 10 list, but one which absolutely deserves attention is kuku sabzi. 

Given that you’re in the process of becoming an expert Persian chef, you should recognize the word “sabzi.” You may have previously seen it in sabzi polo or ghormeh sabzi, both of which are dishes that are full of Middle Eastern herbs and freshly chopped greens. Kuku sabzi is another Persian dish that prominently features a variety of different herbs and greens that work together perfectly for out of this world flavors. Kuku sabzi is most similar to a Spanish frittata. However, kuku sabzi’s recipes tends to call for fewer eggs than are normally found in a frittata. 

Kuku sabzi is a Persian dish that has won over many hearts and tastebuds, and multiple videos and recipes for the dish can be found online. In fact, Chef Nosrat picked kuku sabzi as one of her ten most essential Persian recipes. Nosrat, through the New York Times Cooking section, provides her own recipe for the preparation of kuku sabzi

Like most people who fall in love with the dish, Nosrat is most appreciative of the outer browned layer of herbs that juxtaposes perfectly with the fresh green inner section, which maintains its freshness despite the heating time. While kuku sabzi can definitely be enjoyed on its own, it is often served alongside the thin Persian bread known as noon e sangak. For out of this world flavors, spread some mast-o-khiar, or yogurt and cucumber, on top of the kuku sabzi before wrapping it into a little sangak sandwich. 

Kuku Sabzi Persian Food

If we’ve piqued your appetite, you’re in luck! We’ve got a traditional kuku sabzi recipe for you to prepare, so that you can show off your Persian culinary skills at home and enjoy this traditional Persian classic for yourself. Unless Persian stews and rice dishes which take a couple hours of preparation, kuku sabzi is a Persian appetizer dish that can be prepared in only a few minutes (20 - 30 minutes). Here is your traditional Persian kuku sabzi recipe:

  1. Begin by finely chopping a variety of different fresh herbs and greens, including spinach, cilantro, parsley, dills and leeks
  2. Next, add two spoonfuls of sauteed onions to the medley of greens
  3. Add a dash of salt and a dash of pepper
  4. Add a couple of eggs (remember, kuku sabzi calls for fewer eggs than are traditionally found in a Spanish frittata recipe)
  5. Gently mix all the ingredients together, and then whisk them more thoroughly so that all ingredients are mixed
  6. Add a bit of oil to a saucepan, and allow the oil to sizzle
  7. Once the oil is hot, pour the kuku sabzi mixture and spread evenly across
  8. Cook fully on one side until the kuku sabzi reaches a dark brown color
  9. Once dark on one side, flip to the other side and cook thoroughly
  10.  Just like that, you’ve got a Persian classic on your hands! Serve it with a small bowl of mast-o-khiar and noon-e-sangak to really wow your guests

There are plenty of creative ways to serve your kuku sabzi as a party pass around dish. For example, some cut it into small squares and poke toothpicks in the middle for guests to enjoy it on the go. Others wrap mini kuku sabzi sandwiches, which are the absolute perfect party appetizers. It’s quite the healthy dish, as it only requires a minimal amount of oil, but is packed with tons of fresh herbs. 

While kuku sabzi is a delicious year-round dish, it is often included as part of the Nowruz, or Persian New Year, meal. The fresh herbs in the dish symbolize re-birth while the eggs represent fertility. This is why sabzi polo is often served during the Persian New Year as well. 

Once you’ve prepared your kuku sabzi, be sure to let us know how it turned out and your thoughts on the dish. And remember, no Persian meal is ever complete without tahdig and khoresht, or crispy rice and stew. Instead of going through the hours long process of making the stew, and ensuring your tahdig comes out just right, why not order Baaz Bites crispy basmati rice tahdig cups with vegetarian Persian stews, and have the whole package delivered to you? Enjoy your Persian culinary masterpiece!

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