Persian zucchini frittata (kuku kadoo)

Persian zucchini frittata kuku kadoo

This Persian zucchini frittata (kuku kadoo) is an adventure for the palette. Those are the words my American husband uses to describe this fun, Persian dish.

Persian style frittatas, unlike Spanish or American versions, have a higher ratio of filling to eggs. Iranians have a variety of kukus, including ones made with herbs (kuku sabzi), potatoes, and of course zucchini. No matter what type of kuku you’re cooking, you’ll find that the fillings are the star of the show with eggs playing a supporting role. We use just enough eggs to bind the vegetables and spices together which is vastly different than traditional frittatas that have fillings suspended in an egg heavy custard.

Persian zucchini frittata kuku kadoo

With the kuku approach, the eggs take a back seat while the vegetables shine. This kuku kadoo is studded with sweet caramelized onions, crunchy nuts, and fragrant turmeric and saffron. It can be served warm or at room temperature and it’s the perfect addition to a picnic or brunch.

I’ve made this recipe several times and I get rave reviews without fail! I hope you love this recipe as much as my family does. If you get a chance to cook it, leave a comment below!

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Persian zucchini frittata kuku kadoo

Persian zucchini frittata (kuku kadoo)

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  • Author: Sepideh Campos


Persian style zucchini frittata with turmeric, saffron, and sumac. 


  • 4 zucchini
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • Kosher salt 
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric 
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper 
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground saffron (crush threads in mortar and pestle) 
  • ¼ cup walnut pieces or slivered almonds (don’t skip this ingredient, so delicious!)
  • 3 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs 
  • Sumac, for topping 


  1. Grate zucchini on the large holes of a box grater. 
  2. Mix the zucchini with ½ teaspoon salt and place in a colander to drain for 30 minutes. 
  3. Squeeze the grated zucchini in a clean kitchen towel and remove as much moisture as possible. 
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a 10” frying pan for 2 minutes. 
  5. Add the onion plus ½ teaspoon salt to the pan.
  6. Cook onion over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. About 10-15 minutes. 
  7. Combine the eggs, ½ teaspoon salt, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, and saffron in a large mixing bowl. 
  8. Whisk to fully combine the eggs and spices. 
  9. Add the grated, drained zucchini to the bowl along with the caramelized onions, nuts, and panko bread crumbs. 
  10. Stir to fully combine everything. The mixture will be the consistency of very thick pancake batter. 
  11. Add the remaining 2-3* tablespoons of olive oil  to the pan where you cooked the onions (without washing the pan first). 
  12. Heat the oil over medium heat and pour the zucchini and egg mixture into the pan. 
  13. Use a rubber spatula to smooth out the top and sides of the frittata. 
  14. Let the frittata cook, undisturbed, over medium heat until golden brown, 6-8 minutes (use a spatula to lift up a side and peek underneath). 
  15. Once the kuku is browning, use the flat side of a spatula to score the round kuku into 8 equal wedges. 
  16. Carefully flip each wedge over to cook the opposite side of the kuku (I use two spatulas to help with the flip). 
  17. Cook the opposite side until golden brown. 
  18. Slide the kuku onto a serving plate, sprinkle with sumac. 
  19. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*You can reserve 1 tablespoon of oil to pour into the skillet when you flip the kuku over

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  1. kosher salt?!!! What is the purpose of putting kosher in there? It can not be made with salt? it has to be kosher? What the heck!

    1. Hello, Kosher salt, unlike table salt, doesn’t contain any additives (like iodine) so the flavor is more pure and I prefer to use it in my kitchen. Also, kosher salt tends to be a little bit more coarse than table salt so if you choose to use table salt of fine sea salt, you can simply use a little less than what the recipe calls for.

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