Persian-style Cabbage Frittata (Kookoo-ye-Calam)

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» Persian-style Cabbage Frittata (Kookoo-ye-Calam)

Kookoo is Persian frittata; a posh, fat omelette full of flavour – herbs, spices, nuts. They can be sweet or savoury, made into individual patties or cooked like a cake to be cut in the pan. They can be used in sandwiches, as a snack on their own, as part of a mezze spread, or for breaking fast. But they are, of course, normally made with eggs. We finally plucked up the courage to make vegan kookoo a little while ago after one of our Iranian vegan customers reported success with aquafaba. 

Makes 1 large frittata 

Ingredients  Persian-style Cabbage Frittata (Kookoo-ye-Calam)

For the batter: 

  • 200 g/7 oz chickpea flour  
  • Pinch of bicarbonate of soda  
  • Pinch of ground turmeric  
  • 1 tbsp oil (rapeseed or non-virgin olive oil are good)  
  • 250ml/9fl oz aquafaba (roughly the amount of liquid you’ll get from 2 x 400 g/14 oz cans of 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 inauthentic)  
  • Around 300 g/10½ oz chopped green cabbage (or any other type of greens)  
  • Big of handful fresh herbs (flat-leaf parsley, coriander, tarragon, dill – you choose), roughly chopped 


Mix the dry batter ingredients together, add the oil, seasoning and 300 ml/10 fl oz water and whisk into a smooth batter.  

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.  

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

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.  

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

Nutrition per portion 



Saturated fat  





236 Kcal  

4.2 g  

0.4 g  

31 g  

5.3 g  

14 g  

0.84 g  

Recipe from Veganistan: A Vegan tour of the Middle East by Sally Butcher (Pavilion Books). Image credit Yuki Sugiura. 

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