Soft herb omelette

Soft herb omelette

New Middle Eastern Food
6 as part of a mezze selection
Mark Roper

Known as kuku-ye sabzi, this is the most famous of the Persian kukus — thick, tortilla-style egg dishes — and it is always served at Persian new year to symbolise spring and new life. Kuku-ye sabzi is made with a startling quantity of soft herbs — you cut through the golden exterior to a soft, dense, green interior. The barberries are optional — they’re usually reserved for special occasions (sometimes combined with chopped walnuts) — but we love the little bursts of zing they add. Use any combination of fresh herbs that you fancy, and add chopped spring onion or garlic, as you like. Omit the fenugreek if you don’t like its slight curry flavour, but it is a traditional component of this particular kuku. A non-stick, ovenproof frying pan — no more than 24 centimetres in diameter — is ideal for making kuku.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons barberries, stems removed
1 cup chopped coriander leaves
1/2 cup chopped dill sprigs
1/2 cup snipped chives
50ml olive oil
6 free-range eggs
2 tablespoons saffron liquid, (optional)
1 tablespoon self-raising flour
1/3 cup fenugreek leaves
or 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, lightly crushed, (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Soak the barberries in cold water for 2 minutes, then drain and dry. Toss the herbs together and use paper towel or a clean tea towel to pat out as much moisture as you can.
  2. Pour the oil into a non-stick ovenproof frying pan and heat in the oven for 5–10 minutes.
  3. Whisk the eggs and saffron liquid, if using, until frothy. Whisk in the flour, fenugreek, salt and pepper, followed by the herbs and barberries.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the hot oil. Cover the pan with a lid or foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until nearly set. Remove the cover and cook for a further 15 minutes to brown the surface.
  5. Cut into wedges and serve hot from the pan. Alternatively, drain on paper towel and cut into wedges when cold. Cold omelette is particularly good as a sandwich filling.
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