Beetroot Borani

Beetroot​ ​borani​ ​is​ ​a​ ​lovely​ ​Iranian​ ​yogurt​ ​based​ ​vegetable​ ​dish. We’ve​ ​married​ ​our​ ​beets​ ​with​ ​a​ ​little​ ​hit​ ​of​ ​orange​ ​and​ ​a​ ​smattering​ ​of​ ​caraway​ ​seeds,​ ​which really​ ​lifts​ ​the​ ​earthy​ ​flavour​ ​of​ ​this​ ​deep​ ​and​ ​vibrant​ ​dish.​ ​The​ ​salty​ ​feta​ ​and​ ​squeeze​ ​of​ ​lemon cuts​ ​through​ ​the​ ​rich​ ​smoky​ ​and​ ​sweet​ ​flavour​ ​of​ ​the​ ​beets.


Borani​ ​is​ ​a​ ​great​ ​addition​ ​to​ ​a​ ​summer’s​ BBQ alongside​ ​grilled​ ​meat​ ​and​ ​flatbreads,​ ​or​ ​can​ ​be​ ​served as​ ​a​ ​delightful​ ​autumnal​ ​starter​ ​paired​ ​with​ ​smoked​ ​duck,​ ​pickles​ ​and​ ​homemade​ ​crackers. ​ ​For​ ​a​ ​lighter​ ​version​ ​of​ ​borani, try using​ ​golden​ ​beetroot instead.

Beetroot Borani
Beetroot Borani
Beetroot Borani


Small bunch of beetroot (approx 4 medium)

1 piece of orange peel

2 cloves garlic, 1 minced and 1 thinly sliced

3 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra tbsp

1 tbsp pumpkin seed oil

4 tbsp natural yoghurt

2 tbsp chopped fennel fronds

2 tbsp cider vinegar

Squeeze of lemon

Small block of feta

1 tbsp chopped hazelnuts

A good pinch of onion seeds



Preparing and Cooking the Beetroot


Wash the beetroots (but do not peel).


Coal bake for 45 minutes, turning regularly – or alternatively, boil in a saucepan with the orange peel for 30-40 minutes.


Allow to cool slightly, then peel the beetroot and cut into chunks.


Blitz in a blender into a coarse purée.


Making the Borani


Add the minced garlic, oils, yoghurt, half of the fennel fronds, vinegar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Blitz again gently, but do not completely purée – you need to leave some texture to the mix.


Warm the last tablespoon of oil with the sliced garlic in a small pan, until the garlic just starts to brown, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.


Serving Up


Place the borani in a shallow bowl and sprinkle with feta, nuts, the last of the fennel fronds and onion seeds. Drizzle with the cooled garlic oil.


Serve with smoked duck, pumpkin seed crackers and pickled gooseberries.


Photos by Joe Allen-Preston.

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