Borani are Persian dips or side dishes of thick yogurt combined with vegetables and herbs. I’ve come across aubergine, spinach, and courgette before, but beet borani was a new one.
Beets are so often paired with sharp flavours like vinegar or lemon, which masks their flavour, but that’s not happening here. Just the mild tang of the yogurt, and woodsy dried mint to play against the earthiness of the beets.
Beet borani is most startlingly gorgeous fuschia colour – the girls adored it on sight. Having made it with both raw and cooked beetroot, I’m surprised at how little difference cooking makes to the taste or texture of the finished dish.
And it’s even tastier the next day when the beet has had longer to marinate.
The recipe comes from the latest addition to my cookbook shelf, Louisa Shafia’s New Persian Kitchen – which offers a contemporary take on classic Iranian dishes.
Yogurt with beets (Borani chogondar)
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- 1 Tb dried mint
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 1 small beet, peeled and grated (about 1 cup)
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups (500ml) Greek yogurt
- In a bowl, whisk together the garlic mint, olive oil and a teaspoon of salt.
- Toss the grated beet with the dressing. Leave to marinate for five minutes.
- Stir in the yogurt and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and let rest in the fridge for at least an hour (or up to 24 hours).
- Transfer to a serving dish, and scatter with additional mint and a drizzle of olive oil.