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Afghan braised pumpkin with yoghurt dressing (Kadoo Borani)

About 15 years ago I was introduced to this dish at Kabul Restaurant in San Carlos, California. It was located in a strip amll near my house and along with this dish that I always ordered, served one of te best grilled lamb chops that i ahve ever had. Since those days I have been meaning to make this dish for my blog, here it finally is. This dish is a variation of the one in the restaurant that was a bit sweeter.

This dish highlights the flavours of the region. Ths soft, melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin is beautifully spiced with a hint of chilli, dont make it too spicy, and other spices. the broiling and steaming process infuses the pumpkin with flavour and the topping of creamy yoghurt is beautiful contrast. This is a dish that looks innocent, but will steal the show at any table.

Durkhanai Ayubi tells her story of fleeing war-torn Afghanistan through recipes and stories in this cookbook. She runs two restaurants in Adelaide, is also a freelance writer and is a Fellow of the Atlantic Institute. Through this book, she describes how new ideologies, such as Soviet-inspired communism and Islamic extremism, informed movements that challenged Afghan culture and traditions and led to the large-scale displacement of Afghans, including many members of her own family. This cookbook is filled with wonderful recipes that are delicious and they do stave my craving for great Afghan cuisine.

For more delicious recipes from this cookbook click here.


1 small yellow pumpkin or squash, about 1/2 lb, peeled and cut into wedges

Olive oil spray,

Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

4-5 garlic cloves, minced

2 long red chillies, cut into 3-4 longish pieces

1./2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 tomatoes, cut into circles

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons mint, chopped roughly

For the dressing:

1/2 cup yoghurt

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt, to taste

Heat the oven to 375° F.

Layer the pumpkin on a lined baking sheet and spray generously with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-35 minutes until the pumpkin is cooked and charred in spots.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide and deep frying pan. Add the onions and garlic and fry on low heat for 4-5 minutes until the onions are soft and not brown. Add the tomatoes on top and layer with the pumpkin. Seal with a lid and steam on low for 15 minutes till the pumpkins have absorbed the flavours of the sauce.

Serve hot drizzled with the yoghurt and garnished with fresh mint.

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