Italians have their frittata, Spaniards have tortillas, and Persians have kukus. They are all similar, yet distinct from each other. The kuku gets its flavor from saffron – which is ground with sugar and dissolved in hot water.
My first introduction to the kuku was the second night during my first trip to Iran. It was about 3 am and we had fallen asleep without eating dinner. So when we woke up, my husband’s sister-in-law made tuna kuku for us. Ever since then, kukus bring me a feeling of being nurtured.
The star of this kuku is zucchini from my garden – or kadoo, as it is called in Farsi.
I like kukus with a good salad, here I paired it with a cucumber, tomato and feta salad – a bright, light, yet satisfying dinner.
Kuku-ye Kadoo (Persian Zucchini Omelet)
2 medium zucchini, sliced thinly (from the garden)
8 eggs (from Farmer Kim)
1 large onion, sliced
1/2 tsp saffron
2 Tbsp Sunflower or canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the saffron: grind the saffron with some sugar in a mortar and pestle. Add a few spoons of hot water to dissolve the saffron.
In a large nonstick or cast iron skillet, add 1 Tbsp oil and fry the onions over medium heat until slightly golden. Remove to a plate with paper towels.
Add the other tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Fry the zucchini in batches until golden browned. Drain on paper towels. Allow to cool.
Beat the eggs in a bowl with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the saffron and mix well.
Add the zucchini and onions, mix and adjust the seasoning.
Wipe out the pan, leaving a light coat of oil. Heat until hot. Pour in the mix, flatten the surface with the back of a spoon and cook over medium heat until it starts to set through, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Cut the kuku into 4 wedges, turn over and cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!