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.
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.
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.