Iranian Kuku-ye Sabzi (Soft Herb Omelette)

I absolutely adore kukuye sabzi (also known as kookoo sabzi), an Iranian recipe for a soft, herb-filled omelette. This recipe is from Greg & Lucy Malouf’s Malouf: New Middle Eastern Food and is straightforward to make.

Kuku-ye Sabzi (Soft Herb Omelette) -- Kookoo Sabzi

Read our review of Malouf: New Middle Eastern Food.

(Kuku-ye Sabzi) Soft Herb Omelette

Also commonly spelled Kookoo Sabzi.
Author Greg Malouf


  • 2 tablespoons barberries, stems removed
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • ½ cup chopped dill sprigs
  • ½ cup snipped chives
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 6- free range eggs
  • optional 2 tablespoons saffron liquid (a few strands of saffron soaked in a couple of tablespoons of boiling water)
  • 1 tablespoon self-raising flour
  • optional 1/3 cup fenugreek leaves or 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Note: we omitted the barberries, saffron liquid and fenugreek.
Note: The first time we made this (with halved amounts), we used a small frying pan, which was better suited to a smaller volume. The second time, we used a much larger pan, which resulted in a flatter finished omelette with raised sides, reminiscent of a Yorkshire pudding. Both tasted great and had a good texture, but the one made in the smaller pan was more in line with what the dish should look like.


  • Preheat the oven to 180 C. 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.
  • Pour the oil into a non-stick oven-proof frying pan and heat in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
  • Whisk the eggs and saffron liquid, if using, until frothy. Whisk in the flour, fenugreek, salt and pepper, followed by the herbs and barberries.
    Kuku-ye Sabzi (Soft Herb Omelette) -- Kookoo Sabzi
  • 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. 
    Kuku-ye Sabzi (Soft Herb Omelette) -- Kookoo Sabzi
  • Remove the cover and cook for a further 15 minutes to brown the surface.
  • 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.
    Kuku-ye Sabzi (Soft Herb Omelette) -- Kookoo Sabzi
  • This dish became a favourite of mine at (now closed) Aqua restaurant in North Finchley, so it’s great to have a simple, delicious recipe to make it at home.

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New Middle Eastern Food by Greg & Lucy Malouf is published by Hardie Grant. With thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

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