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Kuku kadu halva-ee

Butternut squash and walnut kuku patties
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: butternut squash, kuku
Servings: 4
Author: Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef


  • 1 medium sized butternut squash (about 4 cups), peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, ground
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup rice flour, or more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk yogurt, Greek or Labneh
  • 2 eggs


  • Place the cut butternut squash in a medium sized pan, add 2 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cook covered for 15 minutes.
  • The butternut squash should be softened but still have some texture. Drain and set aside.
  • In a frying pan, saute the onions with 2 tablespoons olive oil for 15 minutes over medium flame until golden brown.
  • Add salt, pepper and the remainder of the spices and stir for an additional minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a food processor, combine the squash, walnuts, onions, rice flour and yogurt and process until you have a creamy mixture.
  • Add the eggs and pulse until the eggs have been well integrated into the squash mixture.
  • Assess the consistency of the batter and add more rice flour as needed. The batter should not be runny like a pancake, instead should feel thick and sticky to so that you would need an ice cream scoop to form them into a patty.
  • Heat the remaining 6 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan.
  • Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, pull out enough dough to place in the frying pan. Gently press on the batter to flatten and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on one side before flipping them over. Continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes. Both sides should have turned golden brown.
  • Serve kuku with steamed basmati rice or a variety of Persian flat breads accompanied by fresh herbs or Shirazi salad (see notes).


Shirazi salad is a traditional and famous Persian salad the combines cucumbers, tomatoes, spring onions or red onions with an olive oil, lime juice and fresh mint dressing.