Cauliflower kuku (or frittata, tortilla…)

kuku served.jpgThis is a huge favourite in our house – very straightforward to make but takes a little time in the initial cooking to get the best flavour and texture.

I’ve called it a kuku, which is a Persian frittata, but as they are usually loaded with herbs it’s definitely not authentic.  I feel like it’s more middle eastern in flavours and inspiration than Mediterranean, but feel free to go with frittata, tortilla or just omelette if you prefer.

This is great served warm (not hot), room temperature or cold, and keeps well if you want to make in advance or keep leftovers till the next day.  It makes 8 slices which usually serves 2 of us for dinner or 4 for lunch or as part of a bigger meal.

Eggs – 6-8 depending on size

1 cauliflower

1 large / 2 small onions

2 cloves garlic (optional)

olive oil

1 tsp each: turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

1/2 tsp nigella seeds (also known as black onion or kalonji seeds)

Maldon salt and pepper


Peel the onion, cut in half then slice very thinly. Heat 1tbsp of olive oil in a medium frying pan and cook the onion slowly until very soft and light golden in colour.  Thinly slice/chop the garlic and add after about 10 minutes, being careful not to burn.  Set both aside then add some more oil to the pan and turn the heat up to high.  (Sometimes I use a wok or much larger frying pan for this next stage, especially if I’m trying to speed things up).

kuku start.jpgAdd the cauliflower and stir fry until just tender and nicely caramelised all over – takes about 15-20 minutes.  Return the onion/garlic to the pan and add the spices/seeds, cooking for about a minute and stirring well to distribute evenly. Season well with Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper. At this stage, preheat the grill to medium/high.

kuku cauli.jpgBeat the eggs with salt to taste, then add to the pan and mix well to incorporate all of the cauliflower and onion.  You can do this in a separate bowl then add everything to the frying pan if you prefer, returning to the hob at a medium heat. Cook the kuku for 5-10 minutes until the edges are set and the middle is still runny.

kuku setPut under the grill for around 5 minutes, watching carefully to check it doesn’t burn.  Once set on top remove – the eggs will have puffed up a little and the top will be glossy and burnished.  Sometimes excess olive oil will rise to the surface, so you can blot with kitchen paper to absorb.

Turn out of the frying pan onto a plate and leave to cool slightly, or serve later.  It’s great with some sriracha sauce drizzled over the top or serve with salad or inside a lettuce wrap.



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