A plant-based kudu topped with roasted chickpeas and caramelised red onions
A layered potato, chickpea and caramelised onion plant-based Kuku with a wedge sliced ready to eat

This plant-based kuku is a combination of a savoury eggless mixture that binds together layers of seasoned potato, caramelised red onions and roasted smoky paprika chickpeas to make a tasty baked dish. It’s my plant-based version of Persian kuku sabzamini, similar to a Spanish tortilla de patatas or an Italian frittata. No matter what you call it, served hot or cold, a wedge of it makes a delicious addition to a spring picnic, weekend brunch or save a slice for your weekday packed lunch.

The caramelised onions and roasted chickpeas can be made ahead of time, but the roasted paprika chickpeas are also perfect for a tasty snack.

Save/freeze the aquafaba (chickpea water) for egg-free meringues or aioli.

This mixture fits a 23-25cm heavy based frypan.

Serves 6-8

Plant-Based Kuku

Ingredients:

  • 120g chickpea flour
  • 120g gluten-free flour
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan sea salt and ground white pepper
  • 1 medium red onion finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 400g tin chickpeas drained or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 420ml cold water
  • 600 – 700g thinly sliced potatoes – washed
  • 2-3 tsp canola or sunflower oil
  • Himalayan salt and ground white pepper for seasoning

Pre-heat oven to 180ºC

Method:

Batter 

Mix chickpea flour, gluten-free flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder, ¼ teaspoon salt & ground white pepper with water to make a smooth batter then set aside.

Potatoes 

Bring a large pot of well seasoned water to the boil. Blanche thinly sliced potatoes for 3-4 minutes, they need to be just cooked. Drain and set aside.

Roast Chickpeas

Put oil, paprika, chilli flakes into a bowl and mix, add chickpeas, stir to coat with mixture. Arrange in a single layer on a baking tray, season to taste and bake for 15 minutes

Caramelised onions

Heat enough sunflower or canola oil to your pan to coat the base over a medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt to help it release water, stir frequently so they don’t stick or burn.

Add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and cook until the onions are soft and lightly coloured then season to taste.

To make the Kuku

Use enough sunflower or canola oil to coat the base of the frypan, make sure you coat the sides too. You’ll need your frypan hot so the batter forms a crust immediately, so heat the oil until it’s beginning to shimmer.

Stir baking powder into the batter, pour enough batter to cover the base of the pan then sprinkle about ¼ of the caramelised onions over the layer of potato, add more batter and repeat the layers until the pan is full. Finish with a layer of batter sprinkled with caramelised onions and roasted chickpeas.

Turn down the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes. When the mixture is set around the edges, put the frypan into the oven until the kuku is cooked through.

Let the Kuku cool in the pan before removing it.

This recipe was first published here.

For a simpler version of this dish you may like to try a Spanish inspired Potato and Red Onion Vegan Tortilla.

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