Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Fava Bean Kuku کوکو باقلا
It feels as if it was yesterday that in my last blog post I talked about our family picnics when we were kids. Today along with my fellow Persian food bloggers we are sharing our favorite recipes for summer picnics. And that is so appropriate, given how Iranians in general love to picnic. Every Friday, which is the weekend in Iran you can see people in national parks having family picnics and get togethers. We even have a national holiday dedicated to picnicking on the thirteenth day of the New Year.
While the staple dishes on an Iranian table usually consist of rice and hot stews, for picnic most would normally pack something lighter and easier to transport, like this fava bean kuku.
Coincidentally few weeks ago, determined to try out a new recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's cookbook Jerusalem I came across this kuku recipe, which the authors also credit to Iranian Jewish community in the book's namesake city. So I figured I'd kill two birds with a stone and try out this recipe for our collaborative post.
Kuku has many variations of herbs, fruits and vegetables mixed with egg and baked in a frying pan. It's more like a frittata or Spanish tortilla. The most popular version is the mixed herb kuku which is one of the dishes on the Persian New Year's table. There are also some made with different kinds of meat, like this chicken kuku I made a while ago.
Happy picnicking :)
Adapted with minor changes from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's Jerusalem
1 lb/ 500 g fava beans, fresh or frozen
5 tbsp / 75 ml boiling water
2 tbsp superfine sugar
5 tbsp / 45 g dried barberries
3 tbsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp saffron threads
2 tbsp cold water
5 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
7 large free-range eggs
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup / 30 g dill, chopped
1 cup/ 15 g mint, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C. Put the fava beans in a pan with plenty of boiling water. Simmer for 1 minute, drain, refresh under cold water, and set aside.
Pour the 5 tbsp / 75 ml boiling water into a medium bowl, add the sugar, and stir to dissolve. Once this syrup is tepid, add the barberries and leave them for about 10 minutes, then drain.
Bring the cream, saffron, and cold water to a boil in a small saucepan. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside for 30 minutes to infuse.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch / 25cm nonstick, ovenproof frying pan for which you have a lid. Add the onion and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occacionally, then add the garlic and cook and stir for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the fava beans and set aside.
Beat the eggs well in a large mixture bowl until frothy. Add the flour, baking powder, saffron cream, herbs, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and whisk well. Finally, stir in the barberries and the fava beans and onion mix.
Wipe the frying pan clean, add the remaining olive oil, and place in the oven for 10 minutes to heat well. Pour the egg mix into the hot pan, cover with the lid, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the eggs are just set. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes, before inverting onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.