Baked Zucchini Kuku is a Persian style frittata. So custardy, delicious and nutritious. Low in calories and carbs but with high quality protein, potassium, antioxidants.
WHAT IS GOOD ABOUT THIS PERSIAN ZUCCHINI KUKU
You’ve got to try this one. Its like eating a vegetable custard. So…..tender and with crispy golden edges. Yum! Now, it is like a frittata, but with a complex yet mellow flavor from the addition of spices.
You know it, if you have tried my equally delightful and veggicious (sorry I coined a new word :) ) Persian kuku with mushrooms, spinach and red pepper. Kuku is so easy and quick to prepare and works well for any meal of the day – lunch, dinner or brunch.
It combines the high quality egg protein with a load of veggies. And apart from the saffron and Persian spice blend (advieh), kuku has turmeric. The spice which thunders in the nutrition halls of fame! Having grown up in India, I could sing the praises of turmeric all day long. But I will reserve it for another time.
Suffice it to say that, curcumin, the active substance in turmeric has been found to have health benefits for heart health, cancer prevention, brain health, inflammatory bowl diseases, diabetes and more.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ZUCCHINI
So now we will move on with the star of the show – Zucchini! The zucchini plant is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family along with pumpkins, cucumbers and gourds. Zucchini is low in calories and carbohydrates. And high in free radical fighting nutrients such as vitamin C and manganese. This vegetable is also rich in B vitamins, that participate in energy metabolism.
Zucchini is good for eye health as it is a good source of the carotenoids – lutein and zeaxanthin. It is rich in potassium, the nutrient that balances sodium levels and regulates blood pressure – which makes it very heart healthy. Besides, it also provides good amount of dietary fiber. Then, it has a high percentage of water, so it makes a filling and satisfying dish. That is so good for maintaining a healthy body weight with a nutrient dense food. And it is pretty easy to digest too.
COOKING TIPS FOR PERSIAN ZUCCHINI FRITTATA
Not surprisingly, a lot of the antioxidant potential of the zucchini is in the skin. So, don’t peel it away. Use organic zucchini and scrub it nicely with a vegetable brush. While cooking the zucchini, some juices are released. But for this dish I make sure to drain the juices well before adding to the whisked eggs. You can add the drained juices to another soup or stew.
If you do not have the Persian spice blend, you could try substituting with a ‘mild’ middle-eastern or eastern Mediterranean spice blend. Traditional Zucchini kuku (aka kuku kadoo) recipes use a pat of butter on the top, but olive oil works well too.
I hope that you enjoy making and eating this golden colored Persian Zucchini Kuku and give an anti-inflammatory boost to your meal. If you like cooking with squash, here are other favorite recipes of mine – Tahini Creamed Yellow Squash with Caramelized Shallots and Roasted Butternut Squash with Coconut, Cumin and Ginger.
Photography above: bijansviewfinder.com
★ DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? PLEASE COMMENT AND GIVE IT A STAR RATING BELOW!
- 1 ½ pounds zucchini sliced
- 1 onion large, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic large, grated
- 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon butter (grass fed) or olive oil
- 6 eggs large
- 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper ground
- 1 ½ teaspoons Advieh Persian spice mix*
- 1/3 teaspoon saffron ground, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 ½ tablespoon rice flour or all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 3 tbsp green onions or chives, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a 10 inch iron skillet. Sauté onions until light golden. Then stir the garlic.
- Next add the zucchini and sauté until soft.
- Drain any juices and transfer the sautéed zucchini to another bowl.
- Then beat the eggs very well. In a separate bowl mix the salt, pepper, advieh spice mix, saffron, turmeric, flour and baking powder.
- First, add a third of the whisked eggs into the spice-flour mixture and mix very well. Pour the remaining whisked eggs and stir.
- Then add the sautéed vegetables to the eggs and combine. Adjust the seasoning as per taste.
- Heat the remaining oil in the iron skillet. Then pour the egg-vegetable mixture and bake it uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and spread 1/2 tbsp butter or olive oil and sprinkle the chopped green onions or chives.
- Return the skillet to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until it turns golden brown on the top. If needed, may broil the top for a minute or so.
- Run a knife around the zucchini kuku to loosen it from the pan and cut it into wedges.
- This Persian Zucchini Kuku may be served with bread and yogurt if desired. Enjoy!
- Persian spice mix (Advieh) recipe is on the blog. Ready made advieh is available at Persian or middle eastern grocery stores or online.
- May use a middle eastern or Mediterranean mixed spice as a substitute.
- The Zucchini kuku is gluten free when using rice flour and not the alternative option (all purpose flour).
Servings: 6 Serving Size: 1 wedge
Calories 170, Total Fat 11 g (Saturated Fat 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat 6 g), Cholesterol 189 mg, Sodium 301 mg, Potassium 414 mg, Phosphorus 179 mg, Total Carbohydrate 9 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Sugars 4 g, Protein 8 g