Borani is an Iranian appetiser, which is basically a dip made with yoghurt. The most well-know of these dips are Borani Esfenaj (spinach borani) and Borani Laboo (beetroot borani). But you can make borani with any vegetable you want including roasted aubergines and courgettes.
The recipe for Borani Laboo below is an add-on recipe to my Kuku Sabzi post (hence the same photo). You can, of course, make and eat this dip without Kuku Sabzi. It is delicious with crisps or flatbread and makes a great addition to a mezze-style meal. The colour of the borani is stunning and has an eye-catching presence on your table of appetisers and other Persian delights.
Beetroot is of exceptional nutritional value with it being an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium. But it can taste too earthy to some or as my husband puts it – ‘It’s like eating soil.’ In fact, beetroot isn’t the most loved vegetable in my family unless I make it into this dip and then it gets devoured at a rate of knots with me barely getting a look in! This dip uses Greek yoghurt, garlic, nigella seeds, dried mint, feta, toasted argan oil and red wine vinegar to complement the beetroot and bring out its sweetness.
I recommend buying raw beetroot and boiling them yourself. But if you do want to use pre-boiled ones then avoid the ones cooked in vinegar, otherwise your borani will be too tart. You can make a vegan version by substituting the yoghurt and feta below with a plant-based alternative.
- 4 small raw beetroot
- 5 tbsp Greek yoghurt (heaped tablespoon)
- 1 clove garlic (crushed)
- 50 g feta crumbled
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp toasted argan oil or olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
- 1 tbsp nigella seeds (plus extra for sprinkling on top)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Wash the beetroot, put in a pan (unpeeled), cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook until tender (approx. 40 mins), topping up the water, if necessary. The beetroot is ready when a sharp knife goes through easily.
- Drain and leave to cool. Peel the beetroot and grate using the coarse side of a grater.
- Transfer to a bowl, add the yoghurt, garlic, oil, mint, vinegar, feta, nigella seeds, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Top with a sprinkling of nigella seeds and a drizzle of oil. Serve with Flatbread.