Baingan ki Borani or Borani Banjan is a vegetarian recipe comprising of fried eggplant in a spicy gravy, topped with yogurt, coriander and onions.
One of my favourite vegetarian dishes growing up was what my mother called "Baingan ki Borani" - a dish that consisted of fried eggplant that was coated in a spicy onion paste, topped with yoghurt, onions and coriander.
What is the origin of baingan ki borani (or eggplant with yoghurt)
I later found out that the recipe is also known as "Borani Banjan" and it originated from Persia and borani basically refers to a dish of vegetables (cooked or raw) served with yoghurt. The origin of this recipe dates back to Sassanide (224-651 AD), at the time of Queen Pourandokht, who used to get her chef Corte to prepare simple dishes based on yogurt and vegetables. Inspired by her name, these dishes were called Pourani, which over time became Borani. This particular recipe is also popular in Afghanistan and can be found in menus of Afghani restaurants in Pakistan and elsewhere.
How is baingan ki borani or borani banjan made?
There are three components to making baingan ki borani - the components can be made in advance, and the dish assembled before serving.
- First is sliced eggplant that is fried and then set aside. Eggplant is one of those vegetables that absorb a lot of oil, so it's best to shallow fry it off in a non-stick pan. I use a sandwich press (with flat hot plates) instead which saves time and uses less oil.
- Then a thick gravy is made using onions and spices, which is mixed through with the fried eggplant.
- The third component is the mildly spiced yogurt that is slathered on top of the fried eggplant and spice mixture. A garnish of coriander and onions adds color and freshness to the dish.
The combination of yoghurt and vegetables makes it a refreshing dish for the summers. It can be served on its own with roti or as a side with rice (for e.g. with matar pulao or sabzi pulao or aloo ki tahari).
If you are looking for other vegetarian recipes, do try out the following:
- Aloo Baighan (Potato with Eggplant Curry)
- Aloo Hari Piyaaz (Potato curry with Spring Onions)
- Kaali daal or khari masoor ki daal (Black gram lentils)
- Black eyed peas curry or Lobia ka salan (Stovetop and Pressure Cooker method)
Would love it if you could try out and rate the recipe, and let me know how it was in the comments below!
Baingan ki Borani or Borani Banjan (Eggplant with Yoghurt)
For Eggplant Gravy
- ½ kg eggplants preferably big round egg plants with less seeds
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- salt to taste
- 4 - 6 tablespoon oil
For Yoghurt Mixture
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 garlic cloves sliced and minced
- sliced onions for garnish
- coriander For garnish
Gravy Mixture and Fried Eggplants
- Heat 2 tablespoon oil. Fry onion till golden brown.
- Turn off the heat, and take out the fried onions using a strainer. Place the fried onions in a blender, and process to make a chunky paste. Keep aside.
- Heat the same oil used for the onions, and add ginger and garlic paste. Saute for a minute and then add the dry spices (coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt to paste). Mix for a minute and then add the fried onion paste.
- Add a little water and cook this mixture for 2-3 minutes more. It should be a thick gravy. In case gravy is too dry, add a splash of water. Set aside.
- Slice egg plants thinly and put in salted water so that they don't turn brown after exposure to the air. Once ready to fry, dry the eggplants with paper towel.
- Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan, and fry the eggplants on both side till golden brown. Once the first batch is done, add the second batch and more till all eggplants are fried. Set aside.
Yoghurt Mixture and Borani Assembly
- Place the yoghurt in a bowl. Add spices along with minced garlic. Whisk it all together, and adjust seasonings if required. Set aside the yoghurt.
- Take a large glass dish or serve ware. Layer the eggplants in the bottom of the dish, then add the spice mixture on top of the eggplants. You can make multiple layers depending on the size of the dish. Make sure that the eggplants are coated properly. Then add the yogurt mixture on top. Garnish with sliced onions and coriander leaves. Leave for a few minutes so that the oil in the spice mixture can come on top and also add a bit more color to the dish.