Random Neural Firings

the inner workings of a restless creative brain

Meatless Monday – Persian Potato Kookoo


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This is super simple to make and delicious and one of my go-to recipes when I have leftover mashed potatoes. What’s a Kookoo? It’s the Persian version (does that rhyme?) of a frittata. Basically, an oven-baked omelette that comes out rather fluffy. This is made with eggs, potatoes, onion, saffron and salt. That’s it. The saffron gives it a subtle, more interesting flavor than a regular potato omelette. Also, all the ingredients are basically mashed/grated/mushed together so you have more of a uniform texture. Here’s how I make it:

INGREDIENTS (makes about 4 servings)

  • Leftover mashed potatoes – about 1-1.5 cups (if you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, just cook about 2 large potatoes in the microwave, get rid of the peel and mash ’em up – just be sure and let them COOL before you put them in the egg mixture)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in a little bit of hot water (or not hot – it doesn’t matter and doesn’t matter if it doesn’t dissolve all the way)
  • 1/2 large onion grated (or one medium one)
  • Salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of oil (doesn’t matter what kind – I’ve used olive and canola before)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. I use a mortar and pestle and grind the saffron. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you could put the saffron stems in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. Dissolve the saffron in a couple of tablespoons of hot water.
  3. Crack your eggs into the bowl with the dissolved saffron.
  4. Grate your onion and add it to this bowl (or grate it on top of the bowl – one less thing to clean!)
  5. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of oil onto the bottom of a 9-inch casserole dish. Stick it in the oven to heat up the oil.
  6. Add salt (about a teaspoon) then whisk/stir – you know, blend it up.
  7. Put the cooled mashed potatoes in the egg mix. Stir till mixed/combined.
  8. When the oven is at 350 and the oil looks hot, remove the casserole dish and pour your egg mixture into it. BE CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH THE CASSEROLE DISH. Why do I warn you about this? Well, cuz I’ve done it before and burned my fingers. See? I put hot pads in the picture to remind you.
  9. Put it in the oven for 30 minutes. The eggs will look set. You may have hot oil bubbling around the sides. That’s normal.

When it’s finished, you can invert the kookoo onto a serving dish and enjoy. True Persians will sprinkle the top with powdered sugar – more for looks than for taste. It’s often served with flatbread and herbs with feta cheese. I’ve made this the centerpiece of many a brunch and served it with fresh fruit and a fruity bread, like a strawberry bread.

Many Persian families eat leftover kookoo cold. I re-heat mine in the microwave. I love it cuz I can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And it’s perfect for Meatless Mondays.

There are dozens of varieties of kookoos – you can add spinach, peas, green beans, Persian herb mixtures – and I’ll try and make some and post updates. DISCLAIMER: this is not a food blog. I don’t have a recipe widget. I am most decidedly an amateur. I didn’t even break out a real camera; all photos were shot on my cell phone. I just occasionally share stuff that I find easy to make that still has a bit of a wow factor.

Not that you need pictures to help you with this, but here are a few just in case! Enjoy!

Grind the saffron and dissolve it in a bowl with a bit of water. It’ll look something like this. Note that my saffron did not dissolve very much. ‘Tis OK.

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Mix up the eggs, grated onion, saffron and salt.

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Mix the cooled mashed potatoes in the egg mixture (you can use leftover  mashed potatoes that have butter and milk in them – it won’t hurt this recipe – or you can cook 2 potatoes and mash them fresh, let them cool, then add to this).

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Pour your egg mixture into a casserole dish that has heated oil in it. The oil will come up around your egg mixture like this.

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If you touch this casserole dish while you’re adding your egg mixture, don’t be a dumbass like me – use hot pads.

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This is what it looks like fresh out of the oven, oil bubbling on the sides, top lightly browned.

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Loosen the sides of the kookoo with a knife, or spatula. Invert the kookoo onto a plate. Sometimes this doesn’t work. Use your hot pads to do this obviously.

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Of course, the one time I’m making this for the blog, it did not slide out of the casserole dish so I MacGyvered it; I used a spatula, broke it up into pieces and served it onto a platter.

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Then I started eating it. And just to show you what an amateur I am, you can see I was working on this post while the kookoo was cooking. Had I known I wouldn’t have had a pretty finished shot, I might have skipped the post. But alas, too much work has gone into the post (a lot more work than went into the making of this kookoo) so here ya’ go!

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posted under Food
4 Comments to

“Meatless Monday – Persian Potato Kookoo”

  1. On March 25th, 2013 at 9:59 am Katherine G Says:

    I would definitely give this a try. It looks delicious.

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