How to Make Aubergine Kuku Cuisine

A Middle Eastern take on the frittata with a surprise sharp and tasty kick. Yotam Ottolenghi’s aubergine kuku cuisine: a bit like a frittata, only better. Dried barberries (zereshk in Persian) are sold in Middle Eastern and Asian grocers. Their extreme sharpness is often used to create little “surprises” in pilavs, and our salads at Ottolenghi have recently benefited greatly from them. Kuku, which is similar to frittata, is great served at room temperature with a salad on the side. If you can’t get barberries, add a tablespoon of lime juice to the mix instead. Serves six.

aubergine kuku recipe

aubergine kuku recipe

120ml sunflower oil, plus extra
3 medium onions, peeled and sliced
3 medium aubergines, peeled
5 free-range eggs
2 tbsp plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
25g chopped parsley, plus extra to garnish
1 tsp saffron strands, dissolved in 1 tbsp of hot water
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
½ tsp salt
Black pepper
20g dried barberries, rinsed and dried

Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan and sauté the onions over medium heat for seven minutes, until soft but not brown.

Meanwhile, cut the aubergines in two widthways, cut each half into 1cm-thick slices, then cut each slice into 1cm-thick strips. Add these to the onion pan and cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for around 10 minutes, until the aubergines are completely soft (add a little more oil if needed, but not a lot). Set aside to cool down.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, flour, baking powder, parsley, the saffron and its water, garlic, salt and a good grind of pepper. Once smooth, fold in the barberries and the aubergine and onion mix.

Brush a 22cm spring-form cake tin with plenty of oil, line with greaseproof paper and brush the paper with more oil. Pour the egg mix into the tin and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden-brown and cooked through – insert a skewer in the middle to make sure the egg has set.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with parsley. It will keep in the fridge for two days.

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