Borani Banjan (Afghan Eggplant with Spiced Tomatoes & Yogurt)


One of our favorite restaurants here in DC is Lapis, a French Afghan bistro. While I haven’t even attempted a swing at their bolani, I felt like I might be able to remake one of my favorite dishes there, Borani Banana. Essentially you have fried eggplant covered in a flavorful tomato sauce and topped with yogurt and herbs.

While I found a few recipes online for this, I couldn’t find a whole lot- at least none with lots of reviews. So I decided to wing it.

I choose to roast instead of fry the eggplant, as I felt like it still got that silky smooth texture without the extra calories. As for the tomatoes- I made my own sauce with roma tomatoes I got at the market. And I went rogue- inspired by my friend @stylebysonia, I tossed in tons of spices- mustard seeds, cumin seeds, sumac, & more. My improvisation paid off big time- the tomatoes had such depth and flavor it almost became a new dish!

Borani Banjan (Afghan Eggplant with Spiced Tomatoes & Yogurt)

  • 5 small eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • spiced stewed tomaotes (see recipe below)

  • 1/4 cup plain skyr of full fat greek yogurt

  • fresh herbs- can be cilantro, basil, thyme, or min (or a mix)

Spiced Stewed Tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 small shallots, diced

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon sumac

  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 4 roasted garlic cloves

  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced

  • 1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 425. Rub oil onto eggplant so they are generously coated with oil and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping the eggplant and rotating the pan at 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make stewed tomatoes. In a saucepot, add in olive oil and shallots. Add in mustard seeds, cumin seeds, sumac, and coriander. Saute at low to medium heat until the shallots are translucent and just beginning to brown. Add in garlic, sea salt, roma tomatoes, and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until water has evaporated and tomatoes are broken down so it has the consistency of a thick, chunky sauce, about 20 minutes.

To assemble: place eggplant on the dish you are planning to serve. Spoon the stewed tomatoes over the eggplant and add dollops of yogurt on top (see picture). Top with fresh herbs.

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