A Healthy Vegetarian Dish

Borani is a Persian dish, usually sauteed or fried vegetable served with yogurt. Borani-e-kadoo, is a dish that it is usually cooked with zucchini squash (kadoo), onion, and tomato. In traditional recipes, all ingredients are fried separately, then simmered together. It usually takes a lot of time as well as oil!  I, However, created my own version of Borani to make it healthier with lower fat and less calories. I also added some other vegetables to make it a colorful food. I call it a Rainbow Borani.

Rainbow Vegetable Borani (serving 2 to 3 people)

Ingredients for the dish:

1 large zucchini

1 large yellow squash

6 medium fingerling potatoes

1/2 large yellow bell pepper

1/2 red yellow bell pepper

1/2 – 1 medium onion (yellow or red)

2 to 3 small tomatoes peeled and minced

2 tablespoon canola oil (or cooking spray)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric

Pinch of salt to taste

2 to 3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Optional (I didn’t add them this time)

1 medium eggplant

1/2 green or orange bell pepper

Ingredients for the yogurt garnish:

1/2 cup non-fat or light Greek yogurt (soy or coconut yogurt)

1 garlic clove minced

pinch of salt and black pepper to taste


Wash the vegetables and let it dry. Cut the zucchini and yellow squash in the middle, then cut them lengthwise into 1/2 inch (about 1 cm.) slices. Slice the fingerling potatoes in half. Cut the bell peppers and the onion in 1/2 inch wedges. Brush or spray them with 1 tablespoon canola oil and sprinkle them with some salt.

Veggies cut

Heat the grill to high temperature (I used Cuisinart Griddle Grill). Lightly grill both sides of the vegetables (5 minute each sides, do not over cook).

Veggies grilled

To peel the tomatoes, soak them in hot boiling water for a minute or until the skin softens. Peel the skin and dice it into small cubes.

Pour one tablespoon canola oil in a medium non stick pan (do not turn the stove on), spread the grilled vegetable in the pan starting with potatoes and squashes, then top with bell peppers and onion. Pour diced tomato on top.


In a small bowl or measuring cup add tomato paste, turmeric, lemon juice, and half a cup hot water. Whisk it with a fork until the paste gets smooth and it’s not lumpy. Pour it over the vegetables and put the lid on.

Veggies with paste

Turn the stove on, first on high until the juice starts boiling and it steams. Turn the heat down and let it simmer in its own juice for 45 minutes or until the potatoes and squashes are cooked (test with a fork). Mix the the vegetables once in while during cooking.

Veggie with lid

In a small bowl mix yogurt, garlic, salt, and black pepper.

Pour the Borani on a plate and garnish it with dollop of garlic yogurt. Serve it with pita or flat bread. Enjoy!


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