This is an Afghan recipe for borani banjan made with eggplant and yogurt. Eggplant is mixed with yogurt, garlic, and other spices and then either cooked on a stovetop, or baked in the oven. Afghan borani banjan is one of the most popular dishes in Afghanistan. It is usually served with rice and naan. The bread is absolutely necessary to soak up the rich eggplant sauce that runs all over your plate.
- 3 eggplant thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 potato sliced
- 2 tomatoes sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 C plain yogurt
- 1 jalapeno
- 1/2 C water
- Cooking oil (sufficient to fry eggplant)
1. Slice your vegetables thin: eggplant, onion, potato, tomato. Also make your yogurt sauce. Take 1/2 tsp of salt, two cloves of garlic minced, and mix into your 1 C of yogurt. Making this earlier will allow the flavors to develop while your dish cooks.
2. Fry eggplant in oil in batches until brown. This is the longest step in the process. Don’t overcrowd your pan with Eggplant or it it will not fry well. Little trick: I like to use the small thin Japanese eggplant. Traditional eggplant works well but I find the small Japanese eggplant get a very nice caramelization.
3. Once done frying the eggplant, take most of the left over oil out of the pan. Leave some, however. Add potatoes to the bottom of the pan. They will not only get nice and crisp on the bottom, but they will help protect the other ingredients while cooking.
4. Before the rest of the layers, make your tomato sauce mixture. For this mixture, in a bowl, mix the tomato paste, 1/2 cup water, cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt, and black pepper.
5. After the potatoes and making your mixture, layer tomatoes, then onions, then eggplant, then top with the tomato sauce mixture. Do two rounds of this.
6. This isn’t as traditional, but my mom would take one jalapeno, quarter it, and place it on top of the banjan. (who am I to argue?)
7. Take the dish and cover it and place on low-medium heat for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the dish to watch that the potatoes don’t go from crispy to burned. As an alternative, you can place in the oven for 325 F for 30 minutes.
8. Once cooked, take your platter and cover in the yogurt sauce that you have made. Then, cover the platter with the banjan. Drop the yogurt sauce around the top of the dish and then sprinkle with parsley for some color.
Tip: The dish goes well with any kind of bread. Afghan bread or store bought naan is best. I hope you enjoy our family’s borani banjan.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Cuisine: Afghan
Keywords: borani banjan