Borani Banjan (Afghan-style Eggplant in Yogurt)

Borani Banjan (Afghan-style Eggplant in Yogurt)

Borani Banjan (Afghan-style Eggplant in Yogurt)

In the traditional Afghan-style borani banjan, eggplant slices are typically soaked in salted water, drained, dried, and then simmered in spiced tomato sauce before being served with layers of garlicky yogurt.
This simplified version maintains the dish's rich flavors and textures—crispy, caramelized eggplant; creamy, garlicky yogurt; sweet and sour tomatoes; and juicy pomegranate seeds—while cutting down on preparation time. Instead of soaking and simmering, this recipe opts for quick pan-frying and layering, achieving the same delicious result in just 30 minutes. Enjoy it cold; it's even better the next day.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 cup full-fat Greek or Indian yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • Salt
  • ½ to 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 Japanese or Indian eggplants or 1 globe eggplant cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 plum tomatoes chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri or other red chile powder optional
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • 4 to 6 small mint leaves


  • Combine yogurt, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons water in a bowl. Chill in the fridge to enhance the garlicky flavor.
  • Line a tray or large plate with paper towels. Heat ⅓ cup oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Ensure the eggplant slices are submerged halfway in the oil while frying. After about 1 minute of heating the oil, add the eggplant slices in a single layer. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, working in batches to avoid overcrowding. Add more oil between batches as needed. Once the eggplant turns golden brown and caramelizes, transfer to the prepared tray or plate. Pat dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel to remove excess oil and maintain crispness. Season with salt if desired.
  • Using the same pan, add tomatoes, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons water, and optional chili powder. Cook over high heat until the tomatoes begin to soften and break down, approximately 5 minutes.
  • To serve, spread a layer of yogurt in a large shallow dish. Arrange the fried eggplant slices in a single layer on top, followed by the tomatoes. Finish by sprinkling with pomegranate seeds and mint.


  • Indian eggplants are typically smaller, rounder, and have thinner skin compared to globe eggplants. They offer a milder flavor and creamier texture when cooked.
  • For multiple layers (traditional style), use half of the yogurt, eggplant, and tomatoes for the first layer, and repeat for a second layer with the remaining ingredients.