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Kaddu Borani: Pumpkin with Tomato and Yogurt Sauces

While surfing Afghani food channels, I paused when I saw this layered, brilliantly colored thumbnail: “kaddu borani“, said its label. I hit play and by the end of it, had my mouth salivating and my heart saluting the beauty of this dish.

Kaddu borani takes a set of independently prepared ingredients (pumpkin + tomato Sauce + yogurt sauce) and meshes them into something so exquisite, the end product is nothing short of a work of art.

What’s “borani”?

That was the question foremost on my mind after first coming across the recipe. A web search led me to Wikipedia:

Borani is an Iranian appetizer made with yogurt, spinach and other ingredients.

That had me puzzled, as my reference borani recipe used no spinach.

Further digging around showed me that there are several interpretations of “borani”.

It isn’t just pumpkin that is cooked borani style: other popular favorites are eggplant, potato, spinach, beetroot. The sauces have variations too: the yogurt sauce might use mint or do without it; the Tomato Sauce might call upon onions or not. The garnishing can get creative: cheese and walnuts and pomegranate and spices and so on.

My recipe takes elements from the following: Arzo Food Channel, Zakia Hamidi’s Kitchen, Ashpazkhane Mazar.

I make two departures from the source: I use fresh tomatoes instead of tomato paste as I don’t have the paste, and for pre-cooking the pumpkin, I don’t deep fry but use a stove-top grill pan instead.

You Need:

[For 2-3 servings]

For pan-grilling the pumpkin:

  • Pumpkin – 250 grams
  • Olive oil – 1 tablespoon [buy here]
  • Equipment*: stove-top grill pan [buy here]

*Note: Feel free to substitute stove-top grilling with a similar pre-cooking method of your choice: say, microwave grilling or deep-frying.

For the tomato sauce:

  • Tomatoes – 3 medium
  • Garlic – 3 fat cloves (~1 heaped teaspoon when crushed)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon [buy here]
  • Ground pepper – 1/4 teaspoon [buy here] (adjust to taste)
  • Red chili powder – 1/4 teaspoon [buy here]
  • Dry red chili – 1, cut into pieces [buy here]
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon [buy here]
  • Olive oil – 1 tablespoon [buy here]
  • Equipment: flat-bottomed, thick-walled pan with lid [buy here]

For the yogurt sauce:

  • Yogurt – 3/4 cup
  • Garlic – 1 clove
  • Salt – to taste
  • Dried mint – 1/2 teaspoon [buy here]

The links in the ingredient list are affiliate links. The Steaming Pot will earn a small commission if you buy via the links, at no additional cost to you.

How To Make Kaddu Borani:

1. Grill the pumpkin

Peel the pumpkin, chop into manageable chunks and scoop out its seeds. Slice the pumpkin chunks into thin slivers about 2-inches long.

Heat a large grill pan. When hot, spray some olive oil into the pan and place the pumpkin slivers.

Let the pumpkin slivers toast undisturbed for a couple of minutes on medium-high, then check if the side facing down has started to turn golden. Move about only if you must to evenly distribute the heat.

Spray oil on the top, flip over the pumpkin slivers. Now toast the other side for another few minutes or till done.

Sprinkle some salt and set aside till the tomato sauce is ready.

2. Make the yogurt sauce

Whisk yogurt with some salt. Add a crushed garlic clove and a sprinkling of dried mint to the yogurt, and whisk again.

Set aside (this yogurt sauce will be called upon in the final step).

3. Make the tomato sauce

Crush the garlic. Slice the tomatoes.

Heat olive oil in a flat-bottomed thick-walled pan. On low heat, add the crushed garlic and dry red chili pieces to the hot oil.

Stir around and fry on low heat for a few seconds. Follow immediately with turmeric powder, cumin powder, red chili powder,

Give a quick mix and immediately mix in tomato slices and salt. Cook with lid on, on low heat.

Cook the tomatoes for ~6 minutes, stirring once or twice in between.

Add half a cup of water and continue to cook covered for another 3-4 minutes, or till the tomatoes have turned into a sauce-like consistency.

4. Grilled pumpkin in tomato sauce

Layer the grilled pumpkin over the tomato sauce. Sprinkle ground pepper in between the layers.

Put the lid on and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.

Let the pan stand for another 5 minutes to absorb the flavors.

5. Assemble kaddu borani for serving

Take a wide serving plate. Spread at the bottom, the yogurt sauce prepared in step 3.

Layer over the yogurt sauce, the pumpkin and tomato sauce prepared in step 4.

Top with dollops of yogurt sauce.

Finally, garnish with a sprinkling of dried mint, chili flakes and ground pepper.

Enjoy kaddu borani with any bread such as chapatis or parathas.


Try other pumpkin recipes:

  • vegetable dhansak: a Parsi delicacy
  • pumpkin adzuki bean curry
  • pumpkin za’atar with butter garlic sauce

Check out other dishes that use olive oil as starring ingredient:

  • brown rice with basil walnut pesto
  • green beans with roasted nuts and cranberries
  • okra with ginger coriander sesame and olive oil

The post Kaddu Borani: Pumpkin with Tomato and Yogurt Sauces appeared first on The Steaming Pot.

This post first appeared on Purpledragonfly, please read the originial post: here

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Kaddu Borani: Pumpkin with Tomato and Yogurt Sauces


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