Friday 27 January 2012

Frugal Food - Mama bazorg's Persian Herb Omelette, Kuku with Spinach and Yoghurt dip, Mast Esfanaj

One of the first Persian recipes that I learnt at mama's elbow was Kuku, Persian herb omelette. My mother-in-law was one of the best cooks that I have ever known. She loved food and she loved making it, but best of all sharing it with others. It was her way of communicating with everyone, but especially with me. We just 'got' each other when it came to food. 

I would spend hours in her kitchen with pen and paper in hand, watching her cook, taking notes and drawing diagrams. She would speak one or two words of English and the rest in farsi. Me too, and there was also a lot of sign language going on...

I only have to see big bunches of herbs or smell the fresh auroma to think of her carefully spending hours finely chopping them up with great care, and lots of love. 

To make mama's herb omelette for four people you will need...


  • A bunch of fresh coriander
  • A bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • A bunch of spinach
  • A handful or two of ground walnuts
  • A bunch of spring onions
  • Half a dozen eggs
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper. Mama would have used white pepper but I always use black.
  • Oil for frying

Some people like to add a bunch of dill and a tablespoon of dried fenugreek to this recipe. You can play around with different combinations of flavours to suit your palate.


  1. Wash and chop the herbs finely.
  2. Grind the walnuts.
  3. Combine these two ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then add to the other ingredients and season.
  5. Heat the oil in a good solid frying pan.
  6. When it's hot, either pour in all the mixture to make one family sized omelette, or enough to make individual small ones.
  7. Allow the bottom to set before turning over. It should be brown and crunchy outside on top.
  8. If making a family sized one cut into quarters once the bottom has set, then turn each one over individually to ensure the bottom cooks too.

These are delicious served warm with basmatti rice sprinkled with ground sumac, and spinach Yoghurt dip/ Mast Esfanaj:


  • A couple of large bunches of fresh spinach 
  • A pot of natural yoghurt
  • One or two crushed cloves of garlic
  • Sea salt and Crushed black pepper


  1. Wash the spinach and then place in a saucepan cover and cook in a dry pan, taking care not to burn. 
  2. Drain thoroughly to remove any excess water.
  3. Put into a dish and chop finely with a sharp knife.
  4. Drain the yoghurt and add to the spinach plus the crushed garlic and seasoning. Mix well.

This is a really thick substantial omelette more like a spinach cake or tortilla. Packed with herbs. It's delicious served warm with rice and salad or cold in a packed lunch. And when you chop the herbs the whole house smells like a herb's wonderful... favourite picture of mama, looking in her kitchen cupboard...

Most of us have half a dozen eggs in the fridge and probably a few walnuts left over from Christmas, with the addition of a few bunches of herbs this is an inexpensive supper for four people. It's packed full of protein but light and healthy and best of all tastes delicious. So I'm linking over here today for frugal food fridays this week hosted here.


  1. Whoops...I accidentally linked my own entry over to the wrong have done it again...sorry for two entries...

  2. This recipe is going to be my dinner tonight...thank you!
    Have a great weekend.

  3. loving all the persian recipes! and this one I can actually do without resorting to buying new spices for the kitchen again!

    1. Tracey and Shu Han...hope you do manage to try this its's really tasty...but you just feel so good about yourself after eating's so light...some people add a little baking powder to make it even lighter...

  4. I was introduced to Kuku a couple of years ago. I have a lot of eggs at home in the moment, so may give this recipe a try tomorrow. Have a super duper weekend.

  5. Great recipe to have up your sleeve. I've never thought of using walnuts in an omelette but will certinaly give it a try!

  6. It is an unusual ingredient for an omelette but with this herby, garlicky combination seems to work really well Caz...

  7. Walnuts in omelette sounds like something I must try - Kuku sounds delicious.