Iranians love eggs, whatever way they are cooked, but they are especially fond of kuku, a type of open-faced omelet similar to the Italian frittata and the Arab eggah. Filled with vegetables and herbs, a good kuku should be thick and rather fluffy. A frittata pan, consisting of two interlinking pans that fit one on top of the other, is perfect for making the kukus in this book—a regular pan will also be fine; you will just have to cook the top under the broiler for a couple of minutes. I am giving you several techniques for making kuku: on the stovetop, in the oven using a quarter-sized rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and, as in the recipe below for cauliflower kuku, a combination of the two using an iron skillet. One of the best things about kukus is that they can be eaten hot or at room temperature, and they keep very well in the fridge for up to 4 days.
1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 small head cauliflower, cut up into florets and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup (40 g) chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon rice flour or potato starch
1/2 cup (100 g) goat-milk cheese, crumbled
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C).
2. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a medium-sized, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, cauliflower, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and parsley, and stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft.
3. Meanwhile, break the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients and whisk lightly.
4. Pour the kuku mixture into the skillet and give it a quick stir using a rubber spatula. Reduce heat to low, flatten the surface of the kuku, and pour the remaining oil around the edges. Cook for 4 minutes.
5. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and coming away from the skillet.
6. Remove the skillet from the oven, cut into wedges, and serve with bread, fresh herbs, and yogurt. Nush-e joon!
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