Afghan Sweet and Savory Pumpkin or Butternut Squash (Borani Kadoo) & A Giveaway!

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on February 23, 2011

This giveaway is closed.  has picked a random winner!

Winner is comment #98 Shriya!

Please email me your mailing address!



The wonderful ladies behind the amazing Afghan food blog,, say this dish is “America’s favorite Afghan dish”. And Mousa Amiri of Bamiyan Restaurant says this is “one of the most requested” dishes at his restaurant. I can see why. This sweet and spicy pumpkin or butternut squash dish is simple to make, and the flavors are incredible.

This wonderful sweet and savory braised pumpkin or butternut squash recipe is spelled many ways – borani kadoo, borani kadu, brony kadoo, brony kadu, bouranee kadu, bouranee kado, or halwaiy kadu. Whatever you call it, this vegan, vegetarian recipe served with naan makes a great fall or winter time main dish.

Kadu or Kadoo means pumpkin. But because pumpkin is so seasonal, you can use butternut squash instead, which is what I did today.

And now for a giveaway I know you are going to love. You can win Mousa Amiri’s Classic Afghan Cookbook! See details below..

Win a Copy of Mousa Amiri’s Classic Afghan Cookbook!

Mousa Amiri of Bamiyan Afghan restaurant is giving away a copy of  his book  ’Classic Afghan Cookbook’ to one lucky Veggie Belly reader! The recipes in this book are easy, simple, and just yummy!

- To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below (make sure you enter your email address so I can contact you if you win)

- Last day to enter is March 1st 2011

- A random winner will be picked and announced on March 2nd 2011

- The book will ship to anywhere in the world. Thankyou, Mousa!


Afghan Sweet and Savory Braised Pumpkin (Bouranee Kadu or Borani Kadoo) Recipe

adapted from Katie Sullivan Morford’s Borani Kadoo recipe in the San Francisco Chronicle
serves 2-3
One 1 pound butternut squash or pie pumpkin
1 medium yellow onion
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder or according to taste
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste or 1/2 cup tomato puree
1 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
Dried or fresh mint for garnish
Peel the squash or pumpkin. Using a spoon, scoop out the inner membrane and seeds. Cut into 1 inch cubes and set aside.

Peel and place the onion in a food processor and puree.

Heat oil in a medium heavy bottom pan or wok. Carefully add the onion puree and cook on medium-low heat untill it is golden, about 10 minutes. Then add ginger, garlic, turmeric, coriander powder, and chili powder and stir for 1 minute or untill fragrant.

Now add tomato paste or puree, water, sugar and salt, bring to a boil, while stirring.

Add the chopped butternut squash or pumpkin pieces. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered till the squash is cooked, but still holding its shape, about 20 minutes. Add more water while cooking, if needed.

Garnish with mint and serve with garlic yogurt (vegans can use cashew cream instead) and naan.

Garlic Yogurt

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 clove galic minced

Whisk everything together.

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1 Maxine February 27, 2011 at 9:23 am

delicious! I’ve been looking for a similar recipe for some time, so thanks very much for sharing!

2 Elise Grønvold February 27, 2011 at 10:19 am

Would love to win the book, I have never tried anything from the Afghan kitchen:)
Love from Norway

3 Rosa February 27, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Great giveaway! Yum!

4 Huda February 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I just wandered over here from a friend’s Facebook post, your blog name intrigued me because I am always looking for more vegetarian meal ideas :-) We have some awesome Afghan restaurants in my city, but they serve mostly grilled meat and rice, so I would love to check this book out and find out more about Afghan cuisine beyond the standard restaurant fare. Off to check some of your other recipes now :-)
BTW would frozen squash work for this recipe? I find it v hard to cut fresh squash (carpal tunnel…)

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Yes, you can use frozen or pre cuts quash

Huda Reply:

Thanks :-) I’ll be giving this one a try then!

5 janet February 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm

This looks like a great way to serve butternut squash. I think I may still have one left. ;)

6 Judith Serrao February 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm

You have a beautiful food blog. Congratulations. This comment coming all the way from Abu Dhabi, UAE. Your pictures are so enticing that I just want to dig-in through the screen.

7 Ramya February 28, 2011 at 2:28 am


I made this today and it was yummy..this is a keeper..
Would love to win the book!!
Lotsa Love :)

8 Radhika February 28, 2011 at 2:28 am

Awesome! Looks so tempting and yet so simple!

9 Radhika February 28, 2011 at 2:28 am

Wonderful site!

10 Health Life Zone February 28, 2011 at 2:28 am

For me it’s a different try with the pumpkin. Looks good and willing to taste it as soon.

11 Moonlight February 28, 2011 at 2:29 am

I prepared this dishes this weekend and added some broccoli floret as well.
It was delicious! I was my first taste of afghan cuisine and I have to say, it made me want to try more.
Thank you very much for this recipe

12 Fiona February 28, 2011 at 2:29 am

Great Recipe, can’t wait to try this and others.

13 Keerthana @ LifenSpice February 28, 2011 at 8:20 am

Delicious! Would love to win the book and try something from the Afghan kitchen too..

14 Mrinalini February 28, 2011 at 3:09 pm

love your recipes! very interesting vegetarian recipe variation.. keep up the good work..

15 Divya February 28, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Looks delicious! I was just wondering what besides soup I can make with butternut squash when I was at the produce market a few hours ago. Can’t wait to try. I absolutely love your blog and your photographs!!

16 Kelly March 1, 2011 at 12:42 am

I am inspired to try the Afghan restaurant Kabul, which I have always driven by and never gone to! I just went to their website to look at their menu, and I can’t wait to open my eyes to a new culture of food! I just had Ethiopian last week, and I look forward to trying new spice combinations again! Yum!!

17 Pam March 1, 2011 at 7:50 am

This sounds delicious – and what I like is that all the ingredients are readily available. So often vegetarian recipes contain ingredients which are difficult to source, and/or outrageously expensive.

18 julia March 1, 2011 at 9:36 am

looks yummy!

19 Mallika March 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

You have a fantastic blog and love to see a blog dedicated to great multi-cuisine vegetarian food. Your photography is spectacular and a treat to the eye.

This is the first time I am coming across a good vegetarian recipe from Afghan region. I love the sweet spice combo and I am sure this will be a hit recipe for me. Borani Kadoo is such an interesting name too and I love it :)

20 Gena March 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Oooooh, this looks AMAZING!!!

21 Hb March 1, 2011 at 11:18 pm

I would love to try this with pumpkin!

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