This month’s cooking series recipe feature is Borani Banjaan matched with Corrina’s Shiraz Cabernet
For those that have visited our favourite Afghan restaurant ‘Parwana’ it is more than likely that you have sampled one of their most popular dishes – Borani Banjaan. The same family have published a beautiful cookbook full of culture, history, family stories and recipes – Parwana written by Durkhanai Ayubi
Another favourite version of this recipe from our friends at Pick up Limes allows you to make alterations to suit vegan preferences.
Borani Banjaan – Afghan Eggplant dish
- 4 small eggplants*
- 1¼ cups (300 mL) vegetable oil**
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 green chili peppers, sliced lengthwise
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 2 Tbsp (33 g) canned tomato paste
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp (6 g) salt
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced into ½ cm thick rounds
- 2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1 cm thick rounds
Garlic yogurt sauce
- 1 cup (240 mL) unsweetened soy yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ tsp salt
- Peel the eggplants. Cut them through the middle horizontally and then slice them into 1 cm thick planks.
- Heat the oil in a saute pan over high heat.
- When the oil is hot and shimmering, carefully add a few eggplant slices so that a single layer of eggplant is cooking in the oil. Allow them to cook until golden on both sides, about 2 – 3 min. Flip the pieces as needed to ensure even browning. Transfer the fried eggplant to a strainer set over a bowl to allow any excess oil to drain. Repeat until all the eggplant is cooked.
- There should be leftover oil after frying the eggplant. For the following steps, we will need ¼ cup (60 ml) of oil. If there is more than that in the pan, carefully scoop some oil out. If there is less than that, add a bit more oil to the pan.
- Reduce the pan temperature to medium. Add the garlic, and be careful as it may cause some of the hot oil to splatter. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and golden, about 30 seconds. Stir throughout.
- Add the green pepper, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, turmeric, and salt. Stir and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes.
- Drop the heat to medium-low, and then place the sliced onion over the sauce in a single layer. Then lay half the eggplant over the onions, layer the tomato slices over that, and finish with the remaining half of eggplant slices in a single layer.
- Cover the pan and allow to cook until the onions are soft, about 20 minutes. Try not to stir, if possible, so that the onion and tomatoes retain some of their shape, otherwise they get “mushy”.
- While the dish is cooking, make the sauce by combining the yogurt, garlic, and salt in a small bowl.
- You can serve this straight from the pan with a some of the yogurt dressing drizzled on top. Alternatively, you could transfer some fo the yogurt sauce to the base of a serving dish. Then scoop up the eggplant, tomato, and onions mixture and transfer it to the dish. Remove the peppers from the bottom of the pan and place them decoratively on top of the dish. Scoop any remaining sauce and drizzle over the dish.
- Finish with another drizzle of yogurt sauce, dried mint, and paprika powder for garnish.
Reach for a bottle of 2020 Corrina’s Shiraz Cabernet from your collection and let this delicious dish melt in your mouth.
Remember to take a pic and share on socials using hashtag #oliverstarangacookingseries
Cheers, Nicky and the OT crew