A fresh-herb kuku such as this one is a traditional New Year’s dish in Iran.
The green herbs symbolize rebirth, and the eggs symbolize fertility and happiness for the year to come.

Similar to an Italian frittata or a French quiche, a kuku is a thick and fluffy baked omelet that is typically stuffed with herbs, vegetables or meat. Here, it is stuffed with herbs and before serving this quiche-like dish, it can be cut into small pieces and topped each with a dollop of labne, a thick Middle Eastern yogurt.

Fresh-Herb Kuku
10 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups finely chopped chives or scallions
2 cups finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 cups finely chopped cilantro
2 cups finely chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek (optional)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
Labne or other thick plain yogurt, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine eggs, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, salt, pepper, and flour in a medium bowl. Whisk until combined. Add garlic, chives, parsley, cilantro, dill, fenugreek, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix thoroughly.

Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square non-stick metal baking pan. Place in the oven for 5 minutes to heat the oil. Pour egg mixture into pan; bake for 30 minutes.

Remove pan from oven, and pour remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over top. Return to oven, and bake until golden on top, about 10 minutes more.

Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool slightly before unmolding. Invert onto a serving platter and cut into pieces. Serve hot or at room temperature with yogurt.

Happy New Year and bon appétit!
Martine

Recipe source: Martha Stewart Living magazine

13 thoughts on “Fresh-Herb Kuku

  1. Hi, Martine. Thank you for sharing about the Persian significance of this dish in the New Year. I will have to read more about this! You mention it is similar to a French preparation… is there any significance in France for a like dish in the New Year? The cardamom and fenugreek certainly caught my attention. I adore Iranian food and am writing down the ingredients for a 2014 treat for the kids and me. Take good care- and thank you for sharing. Best – Shanna

    1. Hi Shanna, Sorry for not being clear, I meant to say that the dish is similar to the French quiche (like a quiche lorraine or florentine). In terms of new years significance for the French, I’m not an expert on the matter but different regions celebrate with different foods, for example I was just reading that in the rural French village called Viella, in the Pyrenees, they have a New Years Eve celebration. As you can imagine, lots of wine, foie gras, duck confit, and cassoulet. I saw a recipe for an apple croustade from this region. If I can, I might try it and share! 🙂

        1. Haha! Shanna, I wish I were off to France in the next few days. None such activities happening on my end. For now I’ll have to settle for imaginary travel by way of articles in magazines and perhaps a culinary French adventure or two in the kitchen! 🙂

  2. Very very interesting. Though north Indian cuisine has a lot of middle eastern impact..but I never same across this…it is quite a combination if different ingredients…fenugreek combined with sweet spices like cardamom n cinnamon and then other greens…very unusual… It looks very delightful 🙂

    1. Yes, I thought the combination of spices, flavors and textures was very interesting too. Unusual but this popular Persian dish knows how to bring it all together to make it work! Glad I could make it and share. Do let me know if you try it! Thank again!

  3. Very nice, Martine! Excellent recipe of kuku sbzi! On behalf of all Iranians, I thank you for a beautiful post! I was planning to post kuku sabzi for our Naw-Ruz last March, but did not get around to it. Maybe this coming March. You have made the elaborate version, vs. mine would be a simplified one! 😀 ))) Bravo!

    1. Thank you, thank you! I’m so happy I tried this lovely Persian dish and you like the recipe. The compliment means a lot coming from you! I had hoped I could do it justice. I loved the tasty mix of fresh herbs and of course I can eat labne with almost anything! 🙂 Thank you again!

  4. Hi Martine. I love making frittatas. I liked the mix of herbs in this recipe. I wondered though if the cinnamon and dill give the omelet a sweetness? I’m not sure about the combination of eggs and sweet. It’s certainly a way to dress up eggs beautifully!

    1. Hi Josephine, yes, this recipe certainly dresses up eggs in a very exotic and intriguing sort of way. I just had to try it! I wouldn’t say the cinnamon and dill add any sweetness. The cinnamon is quite subtle. My palate is not so refined to explain how, but I’m sure the addition of only 1 teaspoon of cinnamon adds a degree of depth to this dish’s flavor. As for the dill, although its taste is prominent, it is not sweet. Actually I don’t think I’ve ever used dill in a sweet dish (perhaps sweet pickles?). I’ve used dill in savory dishes like eggs, vegetables, pasta and tofu. Others have used it with fish, particularly salmon.

      Other variations for this dish add spices like saffron or turmeric and also add barberries, a dried sweet and sour Iranian berry. I supposed I’ll have to try that another time!

  5. IT’S A HIT WITH MY FAMILY!! We are having it for dinner and EVERYONE loves it!! Thank you for sharing! I thought my family would gripe that we were having “eggs” for dinner but the dish was a surprise!

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