Friday, October 1, 2010

Afghan Eggplant (Buranee Banjan) with Mint and Garlic Yogurt Sauce

I know so many people who just won't share their recipes. While they won't admit to this crime, the email they promised with the prized recipe simply never reaches your inbox. Well, enough about these people.

I wanted to share something today about the opposite kind of people, those who are always happy to share a good recipe. I've never understood why someone wouldn't want to share such a thing unless of course they were making a living off of it. After all, it is always interesting to try a friend’s take on your recipe as often the dish never tastes quite the same as yours and it's both fun and interesting to note the differences. With that said, at times I have a hard time sharing recipes but not because I don’t want to (or I wouldn’t have a recipe blog), but because many times I simply don’t have an actual recipe to share - a lot of what I cook is simply in my head and not on paper. In fact, one of the hardest things for me with this blog is trying to slow down my cooking to measure stuff so that I can post here. At the end of the day, I'm a full-time Halal Mama of four kiddos and don't cook exclusively for the blog but rather include in the blog what I am feeding my family and friends.

All this jibber-jabber today brings me to two different recipes for the same dish given to me by two good friends and fellow Halal mamas who never hold back their recipes. They are always happy to share and email them promptly. So, to you, Nina and Jill, many thanks. I'm sure those who try out these recipes will fall in love with them and will thank these ladies as well.

Afghan Eggplant

I believe this dish is usually served with bread as an appetizer but to tell you the truth I call it meal when served with fresh steamed rice. I've also served this with plain yogurt on top; or with yogurt and minced garlic; or with yogurt, minced garlic and fresh minced mint from my garden with a dash of salt. I like it any way so go ahead and top with whichever combination you think you will enjoy the most.

For serving for both recipes
Plain yogurt
Crushed garlic (optional)
Minced mint (optional)

Spread eggplant onto serving dish, top with plain yogurt or garlic yogurt sauce with mint.

Garlic Yogurt Sauce With Mint
This sauce also goes well served with lamb dishes or combined to diced cucumber making a delicious summer salad.

(Print this Recipe)

About 1/2 cup plain yogurt
Minced fresh mint to taste
About 1 garlic clove crushed or to taste
A dash of salt

Pour the yogurt into a small bowl. Mix in the crushed the garlic, mint and salt. Cover and chill.

Nina’s Buranee Banjan

(Print this recipe)

2 eggplants
1 large onion, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced
Cayenne pepper (optional)

Trim stem off from the eggplant. Do not peel. Quarter eggplant lengthwise (half and then in half again lengthwise). Sprinkle with a little salt and leave in a colander to drain for about 15 minutes. Rinse the eggplant and then pat dry with paper towel.

Add oil to large frying pan and fry eggplant on both sides until they begin to turn brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from frying pan and set aside.

Using the oil that stayed in the frying pan and adding more if needed, sauté onions until they start to wilt, 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Place fried eggplant on top of the cooking onions and tomatoes, add 1 cup of hot water, salt and cayenne pepper (optional) to taste. Let cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until water has dried out and eggplant is falling apart.

Transfer eggplant to serving plate. Top with plain yogurt or garlic yogurt sauce with mint.

Jill’s Buranee Banjan

(Print this recipe)

2 eggplants
2 large onions, sliced thin
1 green pepper, sliced thin
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Cayenne pepper (optional)

Slice eggplant, salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Then, places slices between two sheets of paper towel and squeeze out the water. Place slices on broiler pan (spray pan with non-stick spray), broil on top rack nearest flame, turn when close to burnt and broil other side similarly. (Broiling the eggplant before adding to the onion mixture helps cook the eggplant and adds a smoked type of flavor to the dish.)

Meanwhile, while broiling the eggplant, sauté the onion along with one green pepper, 3 cloves of garlic and a sprinkle of cayenne. Saute until it begins to turn dark brown, about 20 minutes. Once the onion mixture is finished and the eggplant is broiled, add the eggplant to the onion mixture. Push onion to one side of saute pan, add first layer of eggplant, place half of onion mixture on top, add another layer of eggplant and top with rest of onion mixture.

Bring the mixture back up to boiling, cover and turn down to a med-low simmer, stirring a few times for 15 minutes.

Transfer eggplant to serving plate. Top with plain yogurt or garlic yogurt sauce with mint.


  1. That looks delicious masha Allah. We got a whole bunch of eggplant last Friday, now I can try this idea instead of za3look!

  2. made this today! my husband refused to put the yogurt on top, but it was very good!


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