I’m back with a recipe for kookoo bademjan (aubergine/eggplant kookoo), that is, a Persian dish I find easiest to call a frittata to give my readers an idea of what the dish is all about. Like a frittata, a kookoo is an egg-based dish.
I love aubergine but smoked aubergine is a whole different story for me. It goes into quite a few of my favourite dishes including this easy frittata, omelette or to be more precise, kookoo (or kuku) as it is called in Persian. The smokiness of the aubergine, the sharp burst of tangy barberries, and subtle spicing make this dish simply divine. Chicken adds to the flavour but vegetarians can easily omit it.
Smoking aubergines on the BBQ is not hard at all but if you can’t smoke them go for grilling in the oven, hot as hell oven (220C), like I did with the ones in the picture below when it was too chilly outside. If you are barbecuing meat or chicken just throw your aubergines on the fire after everything else is done and ready, shut the lid and leave them there for an hour or so. Do check every twenty minutes so they don’t turn into a carbon pile by accident.
I always make a lengthways cut on the skin of the aubergines to make it easier to open them up later and to make sure they don’t explode while baking. You can keep the prepared aubergines in the fridge to make your frittata the next day or even two or three days later.
The day I baked this kookoo the house filled with a smell hard to describe. I served it with my Persianised Japanese cucumber salad (sunomono). I learned how to make sunomono from my Japanese friends Tomoko and Miho years ago. Sometimes I give their recipe a little twist by changing the ingredients. The method is the same but the flavour is Persian, i.e, sour! The salad can be made a couple of hours earlier to make last minute rush unnecessary.
You will need the following ingredients for the frittata to feed four to six people as a starter or four as a light meal:
To garnish and serve