Borani Kadoo is zucchini simmered in a garlic tomato sauce. Borani is a vegetarian Persian food with vegetables cooked with different techniques and simmered in different sauces, but they are all served with yogurt on the side. This particular one is called Borani Kadoo; zucchini is kadoo in Farsi. This vegetarian dish may be served at room temperature as an appetizer, or served hot as a meal or side dish.
When buying zucchini select small ones with shiny green skin. I leave the skin on because it tastes great and is loaded with nutrients.
Cut each into quarters
Use a nonstick skillet with a cover. Do not heat the oil, just add it at the same time that you’re adding the sliced zucchini to the skillet and then heat it. If you have ever fried zucchini you know how much oil splatter it can cause as soon as it hits the hot oil.
Fry both sides to golden brown
Fry the sliced onions to golden brown, add tomato paste and saute for a few minutes, then add chopped garlic and saute for another minute. Don’t want to brown the garlic.
Add hot water, salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a boil
Add the zucchini slices, cover and simmer
Slice a shallot and fry it to a crispy golden brown for garnish
Enjoy Borani Kadoo as a main meal or a side dish with a drizzle of yogurt and Sangak (Persian flat bread) or wedges of pita bread.
- 4 medium zucchini, unpeeled
- 2 TBSP vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin and fried (or 3 ounces fried onions)
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 TBSP chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup boiling water
- ¼ cup thin shallot slices (about 1 medium shallot)
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- ½ cup plain low fat yogurt, or non-fat Greek yogurt.
- 1-2 sweet peppers such as Japanese Shishito peppers, sliced thin
- Cut zucchini into quarters lengthwise.
- Add 2 TBSP vegetable oil and the zucchini slices to a large nonstick skillet.
- Cover the skillet and place it over medium low heat and brown for 20 minutes.
- Turn the other side and brown for another 15 minutes. Keep the skillet covered throughout this step. Remove the fried zucchini slices from the pan and set aside.
- In the same skillet heat 3 TBSP vegetable oil. Add the onion slices and fry until golden brown.
- Add 2 TBSP tomato paste to the onions, sauté for 5 minutes over medium low heat.
- Add the chopped garlic and sauté for one more minute until aromatic.
- Add 1 cup boiling water, kosher salt and black pepper to the skillet. Stir and bring to a boil.
- Add the browned zucchini slices and arrange them in a single layer in the sauce. Cover and simmer over medium low heat for 30 minutes. Move the zucchini around in the sauce occasionally.
- Meanwhile slice a medium shallot very thin and sauté in 1 TBSP olive oil until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the heat and add a pinch each of cayenne pepper and cinnamon and stir.
- Add plain or Greek yogurt to a small bowl. Use a whisk or a fork to beat it until it is smooth and has a thinner consistency. You may add 1-2 tsp milk to thin it if needed.
- Drizzle some yogurt on the Borani, sprinkle golden fried shallots over the yogurt. Garnish with sliced sweet peppers.
- This Borani is served hot as a meal, or served at room temperature as an appetizer.
- Serve with your favorite flat bread. Pictured is Sangak that is a traditional Persian flat bread sold in some Middle Eastern supermarkets. Wedges of toasted pita bread is another option.