I love Middle Eastern Food, that's no secret. But more important than that, I love food that is full of flavour, different textures and is easy to make. The best-selling author of Persiana, Sabring Ghaynour (I need to purchase her first book asap) recently published her second book, Sirocco, full of inspiring easy to replicate recipes. Sabrina states that the book is not strictly Middle Eastern but has Middle Eastern flavours and being one that loves Middle Eastern flavours, I promptly bookmarked several recipes to try. This is the first recipe I tried, I was a bit hesitant, after all what is a kuku? It's simply and egg based fritatta dish, this is perfect for lunch or a light dinner. I found this incredibly easy to make and it makes a nice change for lunch.
Recipe for Courgette, Saffron and Potato Kuku
Serves 8 - 10
Olive oil, for dazzling
12 large eggs
500g courgettes, grated, with excess moisture squeezed out
350g potatoes, parboiled, cooled and coarsely grated
1 bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced
1g (about a pinch) saffron threads, ground, then steeped in 2 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons thick natural yogurt
2 tablespoons plain flour
2-3 teaspoons baking powder
2 heaped teaspoons sea salt flakes, crushed
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C, Gas Mark 6. Line a large rectangular or square ovenproof dish with baking paper, then drizzle a little olive oil on to the paper and rub it over the base. (Alternatively, use 2 smaller containers, or 16 muffin cases for individual kuku).
Combine the eggs, courgettes, potatoes, spring onions, saffron, yogurt, flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl, season with black pepper and mix until evenly combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared ovenproof dish, ensuring the mixture is at least 2.5cm clear of the rim so it does not overflow during cooking. Bake for 35 minutes (or 25-28 minutes for smaller or individual kuku) or until the top of the kuku is golden and begins to brown. To check if it is cooked, insert a knife into the centre of the kuku - if it comes out clean of liquid (raw egg, in this case) but moist, the dish is down, if it looks wet and eggy then it will ned a few more minutes.
Allow to cool slightly, then flip the baking dish upside-down and tip out the kuku on to a chopping board. Peel off the baking paper and cut the kuku into pieces to serve.