I do not pride myself of being a connoisseur of Persian foods. My mother cooked the stews we loved when we were growing up, but we didn’t branch out and try the other wonderful Persian dishes. Typically, we’d try new things when we went to visit my mom’s side of the family in California or when my grandparents would visit us from Iran. Just like many other families, food and cooking is central in our lives.
My grandmother (pictured below) was an amazing cook. When I think of her, I remember her in the kitchen cooking and the smells emanating from her kitchen and down the hall outside as we approached her apartment.
My Aunt Louise is also an exceptional cook. She wrote up (in farsi) a collection of her recipes for her kids. My mother translated these recipes years ago into English for the younger generation (like me) to enjoy. I still use my Aunt’s cookbook as a reference to traditional Persian cooking.
My Uncle Parviz is also an amazing cook. He doesn’t believe in cookbooks. He’ll follow a recipe loosely if it’s new to him, but he immediately makes it his own. When I attended the college, I lived in the same town as my uncle and I frequently went to his house for weekend getaways and good food.
This is how I spent my free-time my freshman year!
My aunt was sweet and said, “Laura, we love having you here, but you can’t spend every weekend here!”
How could I turn down this good food?
Now that I have my own family to cook for, and a non-traditional Persian for a husband, I find myself going back to my mom, aunt and uncle to learn to cook some of our family’s favorite meals. I also have added my mother-in-law to my consulting group, although her family is from a different part of Iran.
But, I still tend to cook like my Uncle Parviz. I look at a recipe and make it my own.
This is what I did with this Kookoo. Persian Kookoo is similar to a quiche, but more dense and not as eggy. Pictured below is Kookoo-yeh Sabzi (Persian Herb Quiche). It is made with six different herbs and is extremely aromatic and delicious.
With traditional potato kookoo, you boil the potatoes first, peel them and then mash them. Then you mix it with egg and bake it. I didn’t want the extra step of boiling the potatoes, and since I still had fingerling potatoes left over from the Idaho Potato Commission, so I came up with this version.
I cut the fingerlings into thin slices and mixed it with eggs, chives, milk and saffron. Then I baked it until it browned. The result was a fabulous. I shared this for lunch with my friend on a pool play date and paired it with a green salad.
You can find the recipe for my Persian Fingerling Potato Quiche with Chives (Kookoo-yeh Sib-Zamini) here.
And here are my other Persian recipes I have posted on Family Spice:
Ajeel (Perisan Trail Mix)
Avocado Shirazi Salad
Baklava Cake (Almond Cake)
Basmati Rice with Potato Crust
Beef & Pomegranate Dolmeh
Chicken Breast Kabob (Joojeh Kabob)
Filet Mignon Kabob (Kabob-eh Barg)
Grilled Tomato Kabob
Ground Beef Kabob (Kabob-eh Koobideh)
Kookoo-yeh Sabzi (Persian Herb Quiche)
Persian Celery Stew (Khoreshteh Karafs)
Persian Chicken Stew with Pomegranate and Walnuts (Fesenjoon)
Persian Eggplant Dip (Kashkeh Bademjoon)
Persian Eggplant Stew (Khoreshteh Qiemeh Bademjoon)
Persian Saffron Cookies
Persian Okra Stew (Khoreshteh Bamieh)
Rice & Lentil Dolmeh with Pomegranate
Saffron Rice Pudding (Sholeh-Zard)
Yogurt with Cucumbers (Mast-o Khiar)
Yogurt and Eggplant Dip (Borani-e Bademjoon)
Yogurt and Spinach Dip (Borani-e Esfenaj)
I have countless more waiting to be typed up, so I better get back to work!