Being a vegetarian, this is Sahar’s go to dish when she misses her hometown back in Afghanistan. Borani Banjan – an Afghan eggplant dish layered with fresh tomatoes, packed with herbs: dills, coriander and mint. Slow cooked to perfection and served with garlicky yoghurt dressing, fresh mint and home made green chilli powder. Sahar also cooked the accompanying dish Challaw, which is an Afghan basmati rice with crispy potatoes and cardamon infused olive oil.
A crowd pleaser at any Afghan dinner party and now in my family too.
Borani Banjan – Afghan Eggplant dish with Garlicky Yoghurt
Prep time: | Cook time: | Serves 6-8
- 3 small – medium size eggplants – sliced into 1 cm thick
- 5 tomatoes – sliced into 1 cm thick
- a handful of finely sliced garlic plus a bit more for the yoghurt dressing
- a handful of chopped fresh coriander stalks included
- 2 tbs dried dill
- 2 tbs dried mint
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 3 tbs of tomato puree
- 1 cup of Greek yoghurt
- 1 cup of water
- Olive oil for cooking
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rub the sliced eggplant with salt and let it sit in a colander for few hours. The salt will draw out most of the liquid. Give it a pat dry then deep fry until slightly golden. If you don’t want to do any frying you can cook the eggplant under the grill on medium heat with some olive oil. Grill until halfway cooked.
- On a medium size deep dish pan, shallow fry the garlic with some good amount of olive oil until golden then the layering of ingredients begin!
- 1st layer: the fried/grilled eggplant. Fill up the area of the pan with them. 2nd layer: tomato slices. 3rd layer: chopped fresh coriander, dried dill and dried mint. Keep repeating this until these ingredients are all used up. Pour in just enough water to be slightly under the line of the top layer. Cover the pan with the lid and slow cook on low heat for about 30 mins.
- After 30 mins you should see the eggplants and tomatoes have reduced in size and there should be lovely aromatic orange reddish colour oil in your pan. Add in the tomato paste, ground turmeric, salt and pepper.
- Stir well but gently and cook for a further 15 mins still on low heat.
- For the yoghurt dressing. Water down the 1 cup of Greek yoghurt with lukewarm water until slightly runny with a couple of pinch of sea salt and crushed garlic. Stir well and serve over the Borani Banjan top with freshly chopped mint leaves, more dried mint and chilli powder (optional).