Borani Kadoo – Kaddo – Afghan Pumpkin

written by Mirriam Seddiq
2 · 25 · 21

Some people are surprised when they hear that one of the most popular dishes in Afghanistan is pumpkin. Borani Kadoo – Kaddo is a delicious mix of roasted pumpkin (or other squash) mixed with creamy yogurt and rich fried onions.

How could that go wrong? No need to have the same old boring side dishes at dinner. Enjoy this pumpkin dish that you don’t even have to carve.

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The video is the best way to learn this recipe. The way the cool yogurt plays off of the crispy onions and smokey pumpkin is to die for.

I didn’t grow up eating this dish because, allegedly, my dad didn’t like it. But, I have to say, he must never had it made well because it is delicious and I’m a little upset that I went this long without making it. This dish is very popular at Afghan restaurants, and there are a lot of variations – some are sweetened, some fry the pumpkin first and others are made the way I make it here. Pumpkin grows in Afghanistan, but it is hard to get eating pumpkins in the States this time of year, but you can use any winter squash. I used butternut squash and it turned out really well, if I do say so myself. Make sure you have a batch of garlicy Afghan yogurt sauce because this dish needs it. 

Mirriam tweeting about her rice recipe.

Borani Kadoo is a dish you will make again and again. Check out our yogurt sauce recipe here.

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borani kadoo

Borani Kadoo – Kaddo – Afghan Pumpkin

  • Author: Mirriam Seddiq
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Diet: Vegetarian



1 winter squash or pumpkin, peeled and cubed

2 tblsp oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 tblsp ginger-garlic paste of 4 cloves garlic, minced and 2 tsp ginger, minced

2 tblsp tomato paste

about 1 to 1 1/2 cups water


black pepper

2 tsp turmeric

1 tblsp coriander

1 tblsp cumin

red pepper flakes or aleppo pepper

garlicky Afghan yogurt sauce


  • Heat oil in large saucepan.
  • When oil is hot, add onions and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and some start to brown. Stir frequently.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and ginger garlic paste. Cook and stir for another 3 minutes until the tomato paste gets a deep red color.
  • Add the turmeric, salt, black pepper, cumin and coriander. Cook for 1 minute stirring frequently. 
  • Add about 1/2 cup water and stir to combine all ingredients. You want to make sure the tomato paste is fully incorporated and there are no lumps of it in the sauce. 
  • Add another 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water to the saucepan. The consistency of the sauce should be similar to heavy cream or half and half. It should be thick but still easily pourable. Cover and let simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Check and stir frequently to make sure the sauce doesn’t get too thick. If it does, add more water so it remains that same consistency. 
  • Cook until the tomatoes are completely broken down. 
  • Add squash. Stir so that all of the squash is covered in the sauce. Set on medium heat, cover and cook for about 25 minutes. Stir and check on it frequently. The squash is done when it is fork tender. You do not want it to turn into mush.

To Serve

  • Pour a thin layer of garlicky Afghan yogurt sauce on the bottom of a large serving platter.
  • Add the squash on top of the yogurt sauce.
  • Drizzle more yogurt sauce on top of the squash.
  • Top with chopped parsley or cilantro.
  • Serve with rice, Afghan bread or pita.



Borani Kadoo will win friends and influence people. If you make the dish, make sure you tell us on the Gram!

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Category: Side dish
  • Cuisine: Afghan

Keywords: Pumpkin, vegetarian, squash, winter, vegetable, sauteed vegetables

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Mirriam Seddiq

I am Mirriam Z. Seddiq, the Afghan Cook. I was born in Afghanistan and came to America as a when I was 18 months old. I am a criminal defense, personal injury, and immigration attorney. I started the first Muslim American Woman Political Action Committee, once owned a coffee shop and a restaurant, and currently am the CEO of the Komak Foundation which focuses its efforts on helping Afghan refugees.

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  1. justin

    great recipe.

  2. Denys Beecher

    Made this with winter squash and it went over spectacularly with even a semi-picky 9-year old

  3. Elise Senkerik

    The video suggests msg, however, it is an allergen for some people. I actually get migraines from them. This ingredient is Not in my kitchen.

  4. YeLLik

    getting headaches, as the person wrote, from msg is not racist. Nonsensical accusations of racism come from racist people.

    • Mirriam Seddiq

      To be clear, I shared these articles because they helped me understand MSG and its history better. I am willing to listen to Asians and Asian-Americans, but not everyone has to.


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