Kookoo are a popular Persian meal or snack and are best described as a kind of Frittata. You can get a vast variety of different kookoo, one of the most popular being kookoo sabzi which is made with copious amounts of fresh herbs and eggs and is nearly always on the menu for Persian New Year (Nowruz). The other kookoo which I’ve posted and love is kookoo baghali which is made with broad beans and dill. This time I’m sharing the other kookoo that we eat at home regularly, kookoo goosht. You can use any type of lean minced meat you like but it is traditionally made with minced lamb. I like to mince the lamb myself to ensure that it is very lean but you can substitute it with beef, chicken or even turkey. Kookoo can be eaten hot or at room temperature. They make a great lunch with a side salad and some flat bread but I also like to serve them as an appetiser to a Persian meal or as a side dish.
Ingredients – Makes one 30cm cookie which can be sliced into 8 pieces
2 small white onions finely diced
Vegetable oil, something neutral tasting such as sunflower oil or rice bran oil
½ teaspoon turmeric
700g lean minced lamb – you can substitute with beef, chicken or turkey
6 extra-large eggs. organic or free range if possible
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a 30cm non stick fry pan. When the oil is hot add the onions along with a pinch of salt and cook until caramelised and golden brown. Add the turmeric and stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the mince and turn the heat up slightly and cook the meat, making sure it is well crumbled and separated, until the meat has changed colour, is starting to brown and all the juice from the meat has evaporated. Remove from the heat, season well with salt and pepper and allow to cool.
In the meantime break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk until the yolks and whites are combined. When the meat has cooled add it to the eggs and stir through. Heat the same frypan (no need to wash it) over medium heat and add enough oil to cover the base of the pan by a ½ centimetre. Add the mince and egg mixture, spreading it out evenly over the base of the pan, especially the sides. Turn the heat to low and cook covered with a mesh cover (an oil splash guard is ideal) for 30 minutes. The reason behind the mesh cover is that it lets a little bit of evaporation occur while keeping the heat level just right.
After 30 minutes the kookoo should be just set and ready to flip over. I find the easiest way to do this is to cut the kookoo in the pan into four even slices and then flip each slice over. Continue to cook on the other side for 5 more minutes by which time the kookoo will be completely set. Serve straight away or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.