Boost your immune system with this plant-based Persian-style cabbage frittata

If you’re looking for comfort food and nutrients, look no further than this Persian frittata, taken from Sally Butcher’s Veganistan cookbook.

There’s frittata and then there’s Persian frittata AKA kookoo – a fancy, heaving omelette that’s positively bursting with flavour. Traditionally made with eggs, Veganistan author Sally Butcher plucked up the courage to make a vegan version, after requests from customers at her Peckham restaurant, Persepolis.

Kookoo is baked like a cake and sliced to eat for breakfast, in a sandwich or as part of a meze spread – yum.

To make this plant-based, eggs are replaced with aquafaba (chickpea water), which isn’t as scary as it sounds – this recipe is actually super simple to put together.

This dish is stuffed with fresh herbs, leeks and leafy greens, which are full of nutrients, including magnesium and vitamins A, C and K. Your immune system will thank you!

While the key to a fluffy frittata is flour, this one contains chickpea flour, making it gluten-free, which is perfect for all you grain-free queens.

This Persian-style cabbage frittata is packed with plants.


Makes: 1 large frittata

For the batter

200g chickpea flour

Pinch of bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of ground turmeric

1 tbsp oil (rapeseed or non-virgin olive oil are good)

250ml aquafaba (roughly the amount of liquid you’ll get from 2 x 400g cans chickpeas)

Sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper

For the filling

Sunflower oil, for frying and greasing

1 small leek, washed and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced (optional, and unauthentic)

Around 300g chopped green cabbage (or any other type of greens)

Big handful fresh herbs (flat-leaf parsley, coriander, tarragon, dill – you choose), roughly chopped


1. Mix the dry batter ingredients together, add the oil, seasoning and 300ml water and whisk into a smooth batter.

2. Next, heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the leek and garlic. Once they have softened, add the cabbage and fry for around 5 minutes, before adding the herbs. Tip the cooked mixture into the batter.

3. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas mark 5 and grease an ovenproof pan.

4. Whisk the aquafaba – an electric whisk will save you wrist ache at this stage. Once the chickpea foam forms stiff peaks, fold it into the batter, and then spoon the whole lot into the greased pan. Bake for around 35-40 minutes or until the surface of the kookoo has set and feels firm to the touch.

5. Cut into wedges and serve with fresh herbs, warm bread and pickles.

Recipe taken from Veganistan: A Vegan Tour of the Middle East by Sally Butcher (£22, Pavilion Books), out now. 

Image: Yuki Sugiura

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