Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree | Egg-free Eggplant Kuku

Eggplant "Kuku" with Cauliflower Puree | Egg-free Eggplant Kuku

Kuku , sort of like a Persian omelette or frittata, comes in many forms. I love this one that I make at home without eggs. Because it doesn’t have eggs I tend to make it looser than a frittata but it can be cooked more omelette-like and I include instructions below.  It is packed with herbs, and I love the tart barberries with the crunch of the walnuts.

Kuku is traditionally served with flatbread, crunchy items like radishes, acidic pickles and feta. Today I have served it on a Cauliflower Puree as well. It is a great mezze dish.

The inspiration for this dish originally came from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. But as his is an egg-based dish, we have made significant alterations. It is delicious, though, retaining the original flavours of barberries and herbs. I like that Ottolenghi’s version is a “wet version” – it sort of justifies my take on this dish. His recipe is here.

Similar recipes include Three Cheese Eggplant Bake, Eggplant Pahi, Smoky Eggplant with Coriander, and Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce.

Browse all our Eggplant dishes, Iranian recipes and Ottolenghi dishes.

Eggplant "Kuku" with Cauliflower Puree | Egg-free Eggplant Kuku

Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree | Egg-free Eggplant Kuku

120ml sunflower oil or olive oil
3 medium onions, peeled and sliced
3 medium aubergines, peeled
2 Tblspn chickpea flour
2 Tblspn cream
25g chopped parsley, plus extra to garnish
25g mixed chopped green coriander and dill
35g walnuts, toasted and chopped finely, or use fresh breadcrumbs
0.25 tspn turmeric powder
1 tspn saffron strands, dissolved in 1 cup of hot water
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
20g dried barberries

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan and sauté the onions over medium heat for seven minutes, until soft but not brown.

Meanwhile, cut the aubergines in two widthways, cut each half into 1cm-thick slices, then cut each slice into 1cm-thick strips. Add these to the onion pan and cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for around 10 minutes, until the aubergines are completely soft (add a little more oil and a small splash of water if needed, but not a lot). Set aside to cool down.

Add the herbs, saffron and its water, garlic, turmeric, walnuts, salt and a good grind of pepper. Once smooth, fold in the barberries.

Mix the chickpea flour and cream with enough water to make a smooth pourable paste, then add to the eggplant and mix well. The flour will thicken, and coat the eggplants.

Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with parsley. I like to serve it over a base, and in this case I have used Cauliflower-Tahini Puree. Accompany with radishes, feta, lime wedges and pickle.

recipe notes and alternatives
Dried dill and fenugreek leaves can be added.

If serving on top of a puree, top the dish with diced radishes and feta chunks.

To Make Frittata – Style

When soaking the saffron, use only 1 Tblspn water.

Make the recipe as above, without adding the chickpea flour. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.

In a large bowl, make a mixture of 1.5 cup chickpea flour, 1 cup cream, half tspn eno and water to a thick pancake batter consistency. Add the eggplant mixture and mix well.

Heat oil in a 20-22 cm sauté pan over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking. Pour the batter into a generous amount of oil (make 1 large or use half the batter to make 2 large frittata), quickly spreading it evenly to the edges of the pan, into a flat cake.

After 4-5 minutes, when one side is golden brown, lift the frittata with a wide spatula or two small spatulas and flip it over to brown the other side. When golden brown, slip onto a serving tray. Garnish with chopped herbs and serve hot, cut into wedges.

It will look somewhat like this dish.




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