Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Some time ago I was taken for a quick bite to eat in Angel, North London at the tiny gem that is the Afghan kitchen. Despite its limited menu and even more limited elbow room I enjoyed this cheap and cheerful fare immensely. One dish however really made an impact on me; the Afghan spiced Pumpkin with yoghurt (Borani Kadu). The pumpkin was perfectly cooked with a sweet, slightly spicy tomato sauce and served on a bed of tangy garlic yoghurt. YUM! I recently bought a lovely organic pumpkin from the farmers market, and was a bit bored of making soup so I decided to branch out a little and recreate the Afghan dish. I did a bit of searching and came across this rather interesting set of Afghan recipes including one for "Kadu Bouranee". Different english spelling but essentially the same. I adapted it slightly for my own use (in particular using the oven instead of the stove top) and adding a hint of cayenne to give it more bite. But here is my adapted version, it was dead easy to make and I thought it turned out really well.


For the Pumpkin
  • 1 medium pumpkin or squash (1kg or approx 2lb)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt / pepper for seasoning
Sweet Tomato Sauce
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tins chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of Sugar
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, chopped fine / grated
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground coriander Seeds
  • 1/4 tea spoon Black pepper
  • 1/4 tea spoon Cayenne pepper (Optional)
Yogurt Sauce
  • 1 tea spoon Crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 cup Plain yogurt
  • Garnish: Fresh mint leaves / Dry mint crushed
Preheat your oven to medium heat (180 degrees / Gas mark 4). Peel the pumpkin and cut into 4cm (1 1/2") thick wedges. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Season each wedge with salt and pepper and fry the pumpkins on both sides for a couple of minutes until lightly browned. Arrange in a roasting pan and set aside.

Fry off garlic and ginger in the pan for 30 seconds then add the tomatos, water, coriander seeds, salt and sugar and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the pumkin pieces and cook in a medium oven for 30 minutes or until sauce has reduced and pumpkin is cooked and slightly soft.

Mix together the ingredients for the yogurt sauce.

To serve:

Spread yoghurt sauce and some of the reduced tomato sauce in yin & yang style dollops on the plate. Lay two or three slices of the pumpkin on top. Drizzle with some of remaining yogurt if desired and garnish with chopped and whole leaves of Mint.

Lovely served with basmati rice and a naan or pita bread.

Final comments :
Tomato Sauce
  • Don’t be too worried about quantities / measurement - its the flavour combo that works. Make a garlicy / sweet / coriander seed tomato sauce that you like the flavour of then bake the pumpkin in it. Don’t be shy with the salt and sugar :)
  • Make sure you properly grind up the coriander seeds (I crushed with knife - and kept getting them stuck in my teeth while eating)
  • Don’t worry if the coriander seeds taste over powering - the yoghurt is there to balance it out!
  • I seasoned mine with salt and pepper before frying
  • Can add some cayenne pepper as well for some bite - or keep it mild.
  • When frying pumpkin - use really hot pan and try and get some colour (edges a tiny bit burnt) - really looks good when coming out of the oven after a good simmer
  • I baked mine in an oven as stove top was cooking them unevenly.


Em. x. said...

What a great and tasty looking recipe. The picture is from your own kitchen right? Looks amazing. x.

Nick / Bex said...

It is our kitchen :) delicious and pretty healthy I reckon.

Post a Comment