Borani Kadoo va Bademjan is a vegetarian dish made with squash (kadoo) and eggplant (bademjan) and slices of fresh tomatoes and garlic. It is served with plain yogurt on the side and the red powder you see on top of the yogurt is a dash of cayenne pepper. This bornai gets its spiciness from serrano peppers that add flavor and heat. If you like more heat add more peppers, or just spice up the yogurt with ground cayenne pepper like I do! If you prefer a less spicy Borani just leave the serrano peppers out.
As the rest of the Borani dishes in Persian cuisine this borani is served with yogurt and toasted flat bread; it can be a main dish as well as an appetizer. The Borani kadoo va Bademjan can be cooked with fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes, but the fresh tomatoes taste so much better in this recipe and I would recommend using them instead of the alternative. I have used the Mexican Grey Squash in this recipe which is the type of squash that grows in Iran and has a light green skin; however the regular green zucchini squash will also be perfectly fine in this recipe. As far as the eggplants, I would recommend not using the large Western Globe variety. Both the Chinese or Italian eggplants work beautifully in this recipe.
The Borani Kadoo va Bademjan always used to signal the arrival of summer in our house when I was young. Like most of my Persian recipes, this is my mom’s recipe and she made it regularly every summer with the freshest produce from the produce bazaar. Back in the day zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes were only available in summer months in Iran, so it was not really possible to make this except in summer. I remember the appetizing aroma of this lovely dish filling up the whole house with all the healthy beautiful ingredients that she sliced and prepared so meticulously before simmering them together in her large skillet. I loved the hot peppers that she used in this dish, I can’t find those in the markets here but serrano peppers do a marvelous job.
The eggplants are peeled, cut in half lengthwise and baked. Leave the skin on squash and quarter all of them, then fry until golden brown.
Make the sauce and layer the skillet with browned squash and baked eggplants. Then add the sliced tomatoes and peppers on top. Simmer covered until the sauce is thickened and flavorful.
Enjoy Borani Kadoo va Bademjan with Sangak or other flat bread and a side of plain yogurt with Salad Shirazi or Sabzi Khordan.
- 5 Chinese or Italian eggplants, baked
- 5 Mexican gray zucchini, or green zucchini, quartered lengthwise unpeeled
- ⅛ cup vegetable oil
- One large onion sliced and fried, (or 4 ounces offried onions)
- 3 TBSP vegetable oil
- 1 ½ TBSP tomato paste
- 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 4-5 small tomatoes, sliced to ¼-inch thick
- ¼ large green bell pepper (about ½ cup), diced medium
- 2 serrano peppers, sliced with seeds (optional for added spiciness)
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Side of non-fat Greek yogurt
- Sprinkle of cayenne pepper powder on the yogurt for garnish and added flavor
- Bake the eggplants according to instructions on Baked Eggplants on How To section
- Meanwhile add ⅛ cup oil and sliced zucchini to a large nonstick skillet. Cover and brown over medium heat for 15 minutes. Turn the other side, reduce heat to medium low and brown for 10 minutes. Remove from the skillet, set aside.
- In the same skillet heat 3 TBSP vegetable oil and fry the sliced onions over medium heat until golden brown.
- Add the tomato paste and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
- Add hot water, 1 tsp kosher salt, and ⅛ tsp black pepper to the skillet and bring it to a boil. If you opt to not use serrano peppers, increase the black pepper to ½ tsp.
- Layer the prepared eggplant and zucchini slices in the sauce. Add the tomato slices in a single layer on top. Sprinkle with diced bell pepper and optional sliced serrano peppers.
- Cover the skillet and simmer over medium low heat for one hour, or until most of the liquid is cooked off and the sauce has thickened. You may adjust the salt and pepper to your taste anytime during cooking. Occasionally use a spatula to just move the ingredients in the sauce. Do not stir, you want to preserve the layered look.
- Use a large spatula to transfer the Borani to a serving platter.
- Serve this yummy Borani right away with a bowl of Greek yogurt and a side of Salad Shirazi. I sprinkled the yogurt with just a dash of ground cayenne pepper, but that is only a matter of taste. Traditionally the Borani is served with toasted flat bread, such as Sangak or Lavash, or pita wedges, but it will taste great with crusty French baguette pieces too.