Kuku Sabzi (Persian Herb Frittata)

Kuku Sabzi is the Persian version of a frittata. Shredded carrots, onion, zucchini and potato give it excellent texture — light and airy but deeply satisfying — while saffron adds the distinct Persian flavor.

Persian Frittata (Kuku Sibzamini)
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
6 to 8


  • 1 tablespoon lightly packed saffron threads

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water

  • 3/4 pounds zucchini, partially peeled lengthwise

  • 3/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled

  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled

  • 1 medium yellow onion

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 5 large eggs, beaten

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup canola oil


  1. In a mortar, using a pestle, finely grind the saffron. In a heatproof jar, mix the finely ground saffron with the boiling water. Let stand until cool.

  2. Working over a colander set in a large bowl, shred the zucchini, potatoes, carrots, and onion on the medium holes of a box grater. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the vegetables and toss to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes, then squeeze to release some of the excess water. Transfer the vegetables to another bowl. Stir in the eggs, cilantro, 1 tablespoon of the brewed saffron (reserve the rest for another use), and pepper.

  3. In a deep 9- to 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the vegetable mixture and cook over moderately low heat until lightly browned on the bottom and nearly set, about 20 minutes. Blot dry with paper towels. Carefully invert the kuku onto a plate, then slide it back into the skillet. Cook over low heat until lightly browned on the bottom and set, 18 to 20 minutes.

  4. Invert the kuku onto a paper towel–lined plate and blot dry with paper towels, then invert onto a platter. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead

The brewed saffron can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

The kuku can be refrigerated overnight.

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