Thursday, May 16, 2013

Yogurt Kuku

For my mezze dinner, I'd decided on hummus, baba ghanoush and quinoa tabouleh, but I needed an anchor: something a little more substantive to serve as the centerpiece dish. I asked the Washington Post Food section staff for ideas during a recent Free Range chat, which is how I came across yogurt kuku, a sort of frittata.

Kuku is a Persian dish, so, although it's a little ways from the Mediterranean, I thought the flavors worked well with the other dishes, and making it with Greek yogurt nudges it westward a bit anyway.

The Washington Post's recipe says to cook this at 250 F for 20-25 minutes. This cannot be right. The recipe says to bake the dish until the center is "just set," but after 25 minutes at that temperature it was still very liquidy. I found the original recipe by Iranian-American cookbook author Najmieh Batmanglij from her book Food of Life, and she said to bake it at 350 F for 25-30 minutes, which sounds more reasonable (I brought this to the Food staff's attention, so hopefully it will be corrected).

Yogurt Kuku
Adapted from The Washington Post, as adapted from Najmieh Batmanglij's "New Food of Life"

4 servings

2 to 3 tbsp. extra-virgin oil
1/4 tsp. saffron
1 tbsp. just-boiled water
5 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
1/3 cup fresh snipped chives
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 cup Greek-style low-fat plain yogurt, plus more for garnish
1 to 2 tsp. blanched slivered almonds

1. Add the oil to an 8-inch round or square oven-proof baking dish. Place the dish on the oven's middle rack and preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. While the oil is heating, combine the saffron and water in a medium bowl, stirring to break up the threads. Add the eggs, flour, salt, pepper, chives and carrot, and stir until well combined. Add the yogurt and almonds, stirring to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the hot oiled baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the center is just set. Divide portions among individual plates and top with a dollop of yogurt.


  1. This was yummy. Glad you figured out the recipe contained a mistake. Who knew five minutes could make such a difference?

  2. Thanks! I think it was more the 100 degrees than the 5 minutes that made the difference, but timing IS very important sometimes.