Borani Banjan

Borani Banjan is an Afghani Eggplant dish – extremely versatile dish and perfect for summers. The combination of rustic eggplants with tomatoes is like a match made in heaven and garlic- flavored yogurt topping is like a cherry on top. 

Eggplant is one of those versatile vegetables which is readily available around the world. 

When buying eggplants, always choose the ones that are firm and use them right away or store them in a cool place, not in the fridge. Longer it is kept in fridge more bitter it will get. Therefore, I buy them fresh the same day when I want to cook them. 

My husband is one of those picky eaters who will eat gobibut not baingan. On the other hand, I love eating bainganin every form – baingan ka bharta to bhagray bainganto borani.

I always try to cook bainganas an entrée to compliment rice and the other main dish or prepare it whenever there is a dawatat my place. Having said that, I was going to host some friends who are vegetarian. We were meeting after a decade, so I wanted to make something special for them and that something special was Borani Banjan

This is a very hearty and colorful dish famous in afghani cuisine and adapted in every culture according to their own taste. The thinly sliced eggplants are first fried and later cooked in a tomato-based curry masala and served on a bed on yogurt. For a healthier version, bake the eggplants instead of frying. Use of dried mint and pomegranate seeds enhances the flavor of the dish. It can be served with roti / naan or palou / biryani / boiled rice.

The recipe is adopted from Maryam from @PakistanEats. 

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes 
Serving: 4 – 6 people 

Recipe:

  • Eggplant – 1 medium, thinly slice
  • Onion – 1 medium 
  • Tomato – 2 large
  • Green chilies – 3
  • Garlic – 3 cloves 
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Red chili powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Yogurt – 2 cups 
  • Pomegranate seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Dry mint leaves – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil for frying 

Method:

  1. Whisk yogurt in a bowl. Don’t add any water to make it runny. Flavor it with 1 teaspoon chopped garlic. Layer the serving dish with this prepared yogurt and set aside.
  2. Take the eggplant and wash it thoroughly. Cut it into thin slices and shallow fry them in oil until light golden brown on each side. Eggplant absorbs oil, once fried pat with kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. 
  3. To prepare the tomato masala curry, in a pan take 2 – 3 cooking spoons of oil. Add sliced onion and cook until slightly pink. Add garlic and fry for a minute or so. 
  4. Add tomatoes, green chilies and spices.  Let it cook on medium flame, until tomatoes are tender, and oil starts to separate.
  5. Add the fried eggplant slices into the cooked masala curry. Don’t mix with the spoon because they will get mashy which we don’t want.  Cook on dam for 5 mins. 
  6. Layer the prepared eggplants on top of the yogurt along with all the masala and oil. 
  7. Garnish with dried mint, red chili flakes and crushed pomegranate seeds. 

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