The only thing better than a good recipe? When something is so easy to do that you don’t even need one. Welcome to As simple as that, a column where we walk you through the process of making food and drink that we can make with our eyes closed.
My youngest sister recently reminded me that our paternal grandmother, whom we called Mader (mother in Dari), kept a special journal of some of her special yogurt-based recipes, ranging from mint-scented cucumber raita to pumpkin borani.
Borani is a cold dish of roasted or sautéed vegetables paired with thick, creamy yogurt, often garnished with spices, nuts, fried onions, fresh herbs, and olive oil. Cooked and popular in Afghanistan and Iran, borani can be served as a starter with bread or crackers, as a side dish, or on its own for a light meal. According to legend (and what I’ve heard in my family), the dish gets its name They were named after her as Būrānī by the Sasan Empress Būrāndoḵt, who loved cold yogurt-based dishes so much. To this day, Afghans and Persians love yogurt-based dishes, and my Mader was proof of that. Unfortunately, I don’t have her handwritten recipes for either Raita or Borani, but I remember how much she adored them.
This recipe is Andy Baraghani‘s version of Borani Esfanaj.
Some of my favorite Borani are Borani Badejaan, made from fried eggplant slices and served with a slice of seasoned tomato sauce on top of the yogurt borani esfanaj, made from fried garlic spinach that is stirred into yogurt.
However, in the colder months, I love making Borani Kadoo (Kadoo means pumpkin or pumpkin in Dari) with butternut squash. While the squash or squash is traditionally cooked in a spicy tomato sauce for this type of borani, I find that butternut squash speaks for itself and doesn’t require a sauce. The gentle sweetness against the cooling, garlicky yogurt and the crunch of the pomegranate arilles make for a wonderful meal alone or with grilled meat. I also like adding hazelnuts instead of the classic addition of walnuts. And while borani is traditionally made by mixing vegetables and yogurt, I follow my mom’s tradition of keeping the two separate when enrobing – it’s all about styling and serving, and you can do what you want.
To make this borani kadoo that will serve 4 people, first cut a 3-4 lb.. Butternut squash to separate the lightbulb from the neck. Use only the neck for this dish (save the lightbulb for another delicious one recipe). Peel it (Make sure the white fiber layer is completely removed), cut them in half lengthways, and cut them into ½ “thick crescents. Preheat your oven to 450 ° F. Place the prepared butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss him with ¼ cup of neutral oil (I like to use sunflowers) and add some flavor Salt-. Fry in the lower third of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the butternut squash pieces halfway until they are cooked through and begin to char. Take the butternut squash out of the oven and let it cool for about 15 minutes.