Eggplant Thursday: Borani Banjan

Borani Banjan is a traditional Afghan recipe that has eggplants layered in a tomato sauce and topped with a garlic yoghurt sauce and dried mint. It is so simple to make but the flavours are complex and blend so wonderfully together to make what has become one of my top favorite ways to make eggplant. It is SO good, if you love eggplant as much as I do, you have to make it.

I have shared this dish before here, but felt that it. deserves its own post. Share the goodness right?

I like the recipe from Mazar Cuisine and it is always the one I use when making this dish, though I sometimes roast the eggplant in the oven instead of frying.

Our ingredients are:-

  • 4 purple eggplants, thickly sliced and soaked in salty water to remove bitterness.
  • 4 sliced tomatoes.
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of tomato paste.
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon each of paprika, ground coriander, ground turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of ground red chilli.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 4 minced garlic cloves. (I used local garlic that has stronger flavour than imported one).
  • 1 level tbsp of dried mint.
  • I cup natural yoghurt.
  • Cooking oil.
After soaking the eggplant in salted water, rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss with olive oil and roast in a 180°C oven for 20 – 25 minutes.
As the eggplant roasts you can get started on the tomato sauce.
In a heated saucepan, add 2 tbsp of cooking oil, and add half the minced garlic.
Once it releases its aroma, add the ground spices, the turmeric, paprika, chilli and coriander and mix well. Let the spices cook a while before adding the tomato paste and mix well. ( I added a green pepper I had on hand though its not included in the original recipe).
Add your sliced tomatoes and some salt, lower heat and cover. Let it cook till the tomatoes break down completely.
Meanwhile, add the yoghurt to a bowl, the rest of the minced garlic, the dried mint and some salt and pepper.
Mix well and set aside (I put mine in the fridge as it was a hot day, but if its cool you can leave it out on the counter till ready to use).
The tomatoes will have broken down completely into a lovely red rich and thick sauce.
Add the roasted eggplant to the tomato sauce and mix gently. If too dry you can add a splash of water. Cover and simmer for about 8-10 minutes for the eggplant to absorb the flavour and the sauce. Remember to check your seasoning too.
The eggplant really holds its shape well and is full of flavour with a bit of heat but not too much.
To serve, plate the eggplant then add the garlic yoghurt on top. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and a bit of dried mint.
This might just become my favorite eggplant recipe!
I had mine with a simple flatbread made with self raising flour, yoghurt and some herbs.

The best way to have this is with a decent flatbread that is great for scooping up the sauce and balances out the flavours too.

This is a must try dish!

Tasty Chickpea, Eggplant and Spinach Curry.

This curry is insanely delicious!

All you have to do is take your time and let it sit a while. As with all curries the flavors just melt into each other and are still delicious as leftover lunch.

This curry has eggplant, chickpeas, tomatoes, baby spinach and some coconut milk, making it an explosion of flavour that will please both meat lovers and vegetarians alike.

Ingredients are : a can of chickpeas, a small bag of baby spinach, two medium eggplants, one onion, 3 tomatoes, a heaped teaspoon of ginger garlic paste, some tomato paste, a pinch of sugar, cup and a half of thick coconut milk, and salt and pepper to taste, a small bunch of coriander, leaves and stalks separated and chopped. Our spices are 1 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp dhania jeera powder and a tbsp of Kenyan curry powder. Also used a tsp of black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and 1/2 a tsp of fennel seeds, as well as a bay leaf.

First off, drain and rinse off our chickpeas, set aside. Chop /Dice your eggplant and soak in salted water to remove bitterness and avoid them turning black.

Heat your pan on medium heat and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil, add the mustard, cumin and fennel seeds and bay leaf.

Once they start sputtering add the chopped onion and some coriander stalks. Mix well and let it cook till softened, before adding the ginger garlic paste.

Once that cooks, add your ground spices, lower heat and let the spices cook a bit. Add the tomato paste and mix well.

You can now add your drained and rinsed eggplant, add a splash of water, cover and let cook for 5-6 minutes. Then add the tomatoes. Add a bit of salt and pepper, then cover and let the tomatoes cook down. ( I do not rush this as I want the flavours to blend properly, also I usually season food as I cook).

Once the tomatoes cook down, add the chickpeas and about a cup and a half of thick coconut milk. Mix well, cover and let simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Add your washed and drained spinach leaves and let cook for about five minutes more. Check seasoning, turn off heat and garnish with dhania leaves.

Serve hot with chapati or rice.

We had ours with coconut and pumpkin chapatis, whose recipe I will share soon.

Enjoy this meal as a quick weeknight curry that is great for the kids lunchboxes the next day too.

It is healthy, colourful, tasty and easy to make which as you already know, I love!

Try it and let me know what you think.



Easy Peasy Pizza.

It has been a while since I baked as the oven has been out of order. What better way to test it after repairs than make some tasty homemade pizza?

I have already shared the pizza base recipe here. But this time I changed up the pizza sauce to a no tomato one that is just as, if not more, tasty than my usual one.

As always, I usually make one with meat and the other with veggies, and mozzarella was my cheese of choice. Topping one was goat meat aka chevon, which I had slowly cooked with only garlic, ginger, salt and black pepper. Second topping was grilled eggplant that I had marinated with Jamaican jerk seasoning paste. Hot and spicy!

Let’s get started.

I made a tasty sauce with some roasted vegetables – Beetroot, carrot, onion, garlic, and green pepper. Take one medium beetroot, apply a bit of olive oil. Wrap the beetroot in foil tightly and roast at 200°C for 30 minutes or so till soft. Let cool, peel and chop.

Sprinkle the other veggies with some olive sail, salt, freshly ground pepper and a teaspoon of ground mixed spices blend. You can peel the garlic after roasting.

Roast them for half the time. ( 20 minutes). Let cool a bit and blend with 2 tbsp water to make a tasty pizza sauce.

It smells and tastes really good.

On to the toppings.

By now your dough is risen well. Punch and knead a bit before dividing and shaping into 2 medium pizzas. Spread on a baking sheet with some corn flour poured on it so the pizza doesn’t stick.

Apply a bit of olive oil on the pizza bases, then the roasted vegetable pizza sauce, a bit of cheese, the toppings then the rest of the cheese. I used grated mozzarella.

Bake for 15- 20 minutes at 200°C.

Mind you the pizza crusts are quite thick.

Tasty and cheesy.

Both pizzas were really delicious! The eggplant has a kick of the hot and spicy jerk seasoning, that blends well with the sweetness of the pizza sauce that balances with the cheese taste. The goat aka chevon pizza is fragrant, the meat is tender and melts in well with the cheese and sauce too. The roasted vegetable sauce is really tasty too. The beetroot brightens it up and adds sweetness, and the other roasted vegetables though caramelised balance the sweetness well, and the mixed spices help deepen this unique flavour. It is also a great option if you do not want tomatoes and a fun way to get those veggies in your kiddies tummies right?

Next time you want to indulge in some thick crust homemade pizza, why not try this out? It is not hard to make, is colourful, delicious, filling and definitely different from what you are used to.

Eggplant Thursday: Brinjal and Potato Fry.

This is a very simple meal with two of my favorite vegetables; Eggplant, also known as aubergine or brinjal, and Irish potatoes.

It is a flavorful vegetarian side dish that goes well with chapati or rice.

Let’s get started.

Take one large purple eggplant. Chop and sprinkle salt and set it aside for a while. The salt helps draw out the bitterness you may find in some eggplants. Just brush off the salt and squeeze out and discard the liquid collected before cooking.
Other ingredients are one sliced onion, one grated tomato, one large potato, peeled and chopped, one grated green pepper, one tbsp of tomato paste, one tbsp of curry powder, one tsp of black mustard seeds and salt and pepper. You will also need some cooking oil and some coriander for garnishing the dish.


Heat 2tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan. Once really hot, add the eggplant and sauté a bit.

Once eggplant is browned, set aside. Do the same with the potatoes.

If the oil is too much, remove and remain with a tbsp or so in the pan. Add your mustard seeds and once they start popping, add your sliced onion.

Sauté the onions till soft. Then add the grated capsicum.
Once the capsicum is a bit soft, add your curry power and reduce heat. Mix well to let the spice mix release its aroma and oils. Make sure it doesn’t burn.
Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, as well as salt and pepper. Mix well and let simmer a while for the tomatoes to cook down into a thick sauce.
Add the potatoes.
Then add the eggplant. Mix all well.
Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes till the vegetables are cooked through. If too dry add a bit of water and mix well.
Once ready, check seasoning, add a squeeze of half a lemon and garnish with some coriander leaves.
The aroma and colors are lovely.
This is a really tasty dish that goes well with rice or chapati.

It is hearty, filling, quick to put together and full of flavour. The eggplant is not at all bitter and gives a meaty bite to the dish, the kids love it too and so will you.

Definitely worth a try!

Instant Pot Arrowroot and Eggplant Curry.

Let me just appreciate my SIL Pesh first, who took the time to bring my instant pot to me in Kampala, it is a life saver and I am on a roll learning to cook all sorts of meals with it. I have no idea why I was not using it as much back home.

Today’s meal is an interesting mix and do not worry, it can be made on the stove top too. Arrow root is a favourite from back home and eggplants too, so why not make them into a delicious curry? Yummy and filling enough for a meatless Monday recipe. Let’s get started.

Ingredients: I large arrowroot, chopped into medium cubes, two chopped eggplants, one chopped onion, I bunch coriander stalks and leaves, 2 grated tomatoes, and 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste. Spices used: I tsp of cumin seeds, 1/4 tp turmeric,1 tsp dhania jeera powder, 1 tbsp Curry powder and salt and pepper to taste. Also a dollop of natural yoghurt to garnish.
With your instant pot on sauté setting, add your tbsp of oil and cumin seeds.
Add your onion and garlic ginger, let it cook a bit then add the coriander stalks (nothing goes to waste), tomatoes, tomato puree and spices. Mix well.
Then add your eggplant and arrow root.
Mix well and add water, not more than a cup and a half; just enough to cover the vegetables. Cancel the sauté function. Cover and cook on pressure cook setting for 3 min on high pressure. Yes, 3 minutes only
Let the instant pot release pressure naturally for 5 minutes then do a quick pressure release. Uncover once the pressure is down, add a squeeze of lemon juice and garnish with the coriander leaves. Serve immediately while still hot.
Serve with a dollop of fresh natural yoghurt which also helps temper the spice for the kids.
You can serve the curry on it’s own, with steamed rice or a simple flatbread which is best to scoop the sauce with right?

As I always say, this dish tastes as good as it looks, and if you do not believe me you will just have to try it to prove me wrong, right?