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 jamie hayworth-chin February 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm

This looks SO SO SO delicious!!!

2 Rosa February 23, 2011 at 2:42 pm

A delightful dish and a great giveaway!



3 Laura February 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm

This looks yummy!

4 Molly Parr February 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm

I am a big fan of Afghani food. A new place opened up near my home, but the reviews are so good that it’s impossible to get a table.

5 ntiveheart aka jayedee February 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm

oh! PLEASE throw my name in the hat for this great giveaway!

6 Rachel February 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm

One of my favorite restaurants, The Helmand, serves an amazing version of this. Yum!

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

I used to work very close to the Helmand in Baltimore! LOVE that place!

7 Brian February 23, 2011 at 3:05 pm

We actually just had an awesome black beans in ranchero sauce over roasted butternut squash last night. Its one of our favorite recipes so I can’t wait to try this one out!

8 Salim Patel February 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Hmmm. Tried very few veg Afghan dishes. This is a must try.
Wonder what other dishes are in the book.
I hope I can find out soon !

9 anu menon February 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm

The last time you baked this butternut squash and I looowed it! This time its the spicy version :)

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

if you loved my chipotle baked butternut squash, you will defenitely love this one!

10 Megan February 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Always looking for new and creative ways to make squash. Thanks for the yummy recipe!

11 Cate February 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I’ve never had Afghan food before but this dish looks fantastic!

12 Sonia@7spice February 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Oh my! this dish looks so scrumptious! Very similar with our Indian ingredients. Thanks for introduction with Afghan food. A great giveaway from you, Sala! Thank you! :)

13 Sabera of OneLifeToEat February 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I simply love Butternut squash and pumpkin. Indian food uses pumpkin in so many yummy ways so when I moved to the US, I was delighted to find an easy substitute in Butternut squash, that is available year round. This dish looks delicious! Needless to say your photographs are drool-worthy :)

14 archana February 23, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I love sweet and savory dishes with pumpkin, must try this one. Lovely photos as usual.

15 el February 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm

sounds delicious. i’m salivating

16 Manasi February 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Sala, I have a spaghetti squash.. can I use that instead of b’nut squash?
I love all things pumpkin/ squash! I must try this.

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Yes, but it wont be the same texture are butternut. Also, cooking times will vary, im going to guess that spaghetti squash will cook sooner. It may also require less sugar than the reipe calls for.

Manasi Reply:

Thanks! will try this and keep an eye on the cooking time :)

17 Debbra Edwards February 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm

This recipe looks so good. Please enter my name in the drawing for the book! My birthday is coming at the end of the month and it would make a great addition to my cookbooks. :-)

Thanks, Debbra

18 Sruti February 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Tried this dish in AfghanHouse Resturant CA, Looks good…

19 nags February 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm

what are the odds of me winning 2 giveaways on your site? :D that dish does look to-die-for, though.

20 Linda February 23, 2011 at 8:29 pm

sounds wonderful! I think I will make this soon!

21 Cindy Myers February 23, 2011 at 8:30 pm

I just discovered middle east cuisine about a year ago and am really enjoying it. I’m flexitarian and my kids are vegetarian so I need as many recipes and ideas I can find. Your web site is beautifully done and inspiring! Thanks for the info!

22 Shobana February 23, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I haven’t tasted Afghan food ever before…it really is great to see u post some really random treats on this page :)

23 radioactivegan February 23, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Oooh, that looks so, so good! I’ve got it bookmarked for the next time I have a squash

24 Katherine February 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Love the Blog, Website and Facebook Page!! I have tired a number of recipes and they have become favourites. Thanks!!

25 Usha Iyer February 23, 2011 at 8:55 pm

looks delicious! going to try it out soon as i buy some squash, as well as the okra dish you posted today.

26 Pavani February 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Never tried Afghan dish before. Loved the pictures.

27 Latha February 23, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Looks absolutely delish.

28 Tasha February 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I’ve never tried Afghan cuisine before, but I love how this wonderful sounding dish is comprised of everyday items I already have in my kitchen.

29 Jenna February 23, 2011 at 10:51 pm

mm yummy! Here it is 11pm and I am hungry and its all your fault!! :) Tomorrow seitan tacos are on tap!

30 Preethi February 23, 2011 at 10:54 pm


31 preveenab February 23, 2011 at 11:03 pm

The dish looks delicious, cant wait to try it.

32 Plateful February 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Each time I visit your space I’m blow away by the beautiful pictures, Sala! I’ve never tried Afghan cuisine before. This butternut squash dish sounds and looks delicious!

33 Mariela February 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm

This looks really good! One more thing to make with the squashes from my overproductive garden!

34 sangeeta February 23, 2011 at 11:42 pm

I have not tried many Afghani recipes and i love kaddu . So the next time i am making a kaddu it will be this way . I am so praying to win this give away , i never win anything and that is not fair :)

35 sally February 24, 2011 at 12:16 am

I love pumpkin and butternut squash! This looks like a great new recipe to try.

36 DK February 24, 2011 at 12:24 am

I remember going to this Afghan place (God! Cant remember its name) with colleagues. One of my friends ordering something like this (it was pumpkin for sure) and it was slightly tangy and sweet…I just LOVED it so much! But both of us cant remember the name of that dish…but I am hoping this is that…cant wait to make it :)

37 Priti February 24, 2011 at 1:08 am

Wow this looks so yum ….I’m going to try this …thanks for sharing

38 Meredyth February 24, 2011 at 1:16 am

I am always looking for great new butternut squash recipes – this one sounds amazing! Maybe over quinoa?

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

yes! i often serve this with quinoa! you could toss some raisins and toasted almonds or cashews into the quinoa.

39 FoodieAnn February 24, 2011 at 1:20 am

I recently had a beautiful food experience in an afghan restaurant…since then I have been on the lookout for some afghan recipes…The recipe sounds awesome….

40 Nishi February 24, 2011 at 1:24 am

Ohhhh the curry looks fabulous. i have never tried afghan cuisine. Would love to have the book. :)

41 notyet100 February 24, 2011 at 1:50 am

wow wish i could taste this now,..;-)
my id is

42 Shilpa Kamath February 24, 2011 at 2:17 am

Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

43 nadia February 24, 2011 at 4:52 am

I love Afghan food but attempted to cook it myself. I think it’s high time I try. Thanks for the yummy-looking recipe!

44 Happy Cook February 24, 2011 at 4:59 am

Didnt know about this blog, will check out about the recipes as I dont know nothing about Afghan cooking. I hav eonly used butternut squash in soup, the dish looks yumm.
Love the way how the sauce is coating over the vegg.

45 Katrina (gluten free gidget) February 24, 2011 at 6:29 am

That sounds amazing! I’ve never eaten Afghan cuisine, but if it’s all as awesome as this recipe I will have to try some!

46 Page February 24, 2011 at 6:47 am

This sounds like it would also be good with some jasmine rice. Trying to figure out what to substitute for the yogurt to make it vegan. Any ideas?

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Cashew cream or tahini would be nice here, instead of the yogurt for vegans

47 Gloria Kersh February 24, 2011 at 8:28 am

This looks delicious and your photos are awesome! I may have to make this tonight with and serve with roasted cauliflower (it’s in the frig waiting for something to be done with it.) Thanks for the recipe.

48 Gyrofrog February 24, 2011 at 11:52 am

Thanks, looks good!

49 malini February 24, 2011 at 12:52 pm

This looks amazing! Am going to try this soon.

50 Chocolatechipotle February 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Can I win the cook instead of the cookbook?! :)
Butternut squash is a newfound love. It seems so versatile in absorbing flavors. I am intrigued by the garlic yogurt. I think I am going to make it tonight.

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

My dear chocolate chipotle, you dont need to win me, because im always yours <3 hehehe. see you tomorrow!

51 Samantha February 24, 2011 at 2:17 pm

This looks so good!!! I’ve never had Afgan food before. I can’t wait to try it!

52 Monica Bhide February 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Lovely! I would love to win this. Let me know if you ever want to do a Modern Spice giveaway :-)

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

You read my mind Monica! Ive been thinking of emailing you about a modern spice giveaway :)

53 Nivedita February 24, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Never had Afghan food , but this recipe sounds too tempting !!!! Will try this and let you know :)

54 Diana February 24, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I had a most delicious pumpkin topped with yogurt at our local Afghan restaurant. It was amazing! I’m hoping this is the same and can’t wait to try making this. thanks.

55 Siri February 24, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Pick ME ME ME! :-) . <3 the book cover and the sweet and savory pumpkin dish.


56 Priya Srinivasan February 24, 2011 at 3:14 pm

What a clever way to use the squash! I wonder if butternut could be substituted for Acorn!

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Yes, I think Acorn squash will work here, but you may need to adjust cooking time.

57 Joy Lintelman February 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Very excited to try this…always looking for great vegan dishes. Would sweet potatoes also be a possibility?

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

I guess you could use sweet potatoes (but it wont be borani kadoo anymore!), you may want to adjust the cooking and the amount of sugar accordingly.

58 domestic diva February 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Thanks for the chance.

59 Sylvia February 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm

looks tasty – love the spices that are used to flavor the squash!

60 Kat February 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I just was wondering what to do with my butternut squash!

61 Valerie February 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I love Afgan food! I’ve made naan before and would love to try some new recipes!

62 Sharon February 24, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I am drooling. That looks soooo beyond good! I think I will put this on the menu very soon.

I’d love to win the cookbook – Afgan food is on our list of new cuisines to master and enjoy! Crossing my fingers!

63 Megan Campbell February 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I would love to win this cookbook. I lately have been interested in trying new cuisines and different recipes ;)

64 Katie February 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm

I love Afghani food and would love to win this cookbook! Thanks!

65 formanella February 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm

first afghan cuisine, and later afghanistan?

66 Erin February 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I came to your site looking for a vegetarian Khao Soi recipe, and now I want to make all of them! Thanks for posting, keep up the great work!

67 Tawny February 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Afghan cuisine is actually my favorite, but I never mastered cooking it at home. There is a great restaurant in Pasadena, CA called Azeem’s that I love…..sadly, now I live in Hawaii and there is nothing in the way of Afghan culture or cuisine. Thanks for the recipe and please post many many more…….like mantu, my favorite!

68 Krista February 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm

What a great giveaway! I love trying new recipes, and I just happen to have some butternut squash in my freezer.

69 payal February 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm

looks delicious.

70 Shaina February 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Beautiful photos! They are making me hungry!

71 Ashlie February 24, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I love butternut squash and I love the spices in this recipe – I will be making this very very soon! Thank you for another great recipe and a great giveaway!

72 s February 24, 2011 at 8:32 pm

love the recipe!

73 seema February 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm

This looks so delish! I usually make this simple gravy dish with pumpkins and tomatoes :

74 Brian @ A Thought For Food February 24, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I have been DYING to try this pumpkin since I tried it at this wonderful Afghan restaurant here in Boston. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I win this book!

75 Soma February 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Sala I love the vibrant photographs and of course the recipe. The light green background brings out the vibrant color so well. Did you paint that board?

I love butternut squash and like to use it better than pumpkin as it holds it shape better during cooking. I want to give this a try. I have never cooked pumpkin with tomatoes or mint.

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

thanks Soma, yes I painted the board. I buy cheap wood boards at Lowes and paint them different colors.

76 Jenny Holm February 24, 2011 at 9:21 pm

ohmygosh, I just has this dish at an Afghani restaurant in Baltimore (Helmand’s). My mouth still waters for it! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! My Sundays have been bizarrely busy these past few weeks, but I have Karma Kitchen on my calendar and hope to make it next weekend! Hope you’re doing well :-)

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

I love Helmand! I used to work very close to the restaurant!!

77 Gayathri February 24, 2011 at 9:43 pm

I love your blog….being a vegetarian I find it hard to find vegetarian recipes from all over the world, your blog helps me out in that regard. Could you put my hat in the mix for your giveaway ?? Thanks for the recipes.

78 tovie February 24, 2011 at 9:51 pm

I saw a picture of kadu bourani in a magazine a long time ago and was so intrigued that I had to hunt down a recipe for it. And I loved it! But since pumpkin is only available for a limited time in the fall sadly I don’t make it very often… but butternut squash is available most of the year! So thanks for the idea :) :)

79 Ria February 24, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I am so hooked onto Afghani food these days…it all started when I made Ruz Bhukari a few days ago. It was DEELICIOUS!

80 Ashwini February 24, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Wow! The dish looks amazing! Lovely clicks, would love to win the book!

81 annemarie February 24, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I love kadu bourani!! Many years ago I spent time in Peshawar, Pakistan and in parts of Afghanistan. My one wish before I returned to the U.S. was that my friends there would teach me to make this dish and I am so glad they did.

82 Hannah February 25, 2011 at 4:45 am

This is a great recipe. Thanks so much!

83 Shari Sitron February 25, 2011 at 8:24 am

Just ate this delciousness at Bamian this past Monday night for my Bday dinner!

84 Sarah February 25, 2011 at 9:16 am

Just found tonight’s dinner…thanks! And I’m sure I’ll find even more *when* I win that book :)

85 shalini February 25, 2011 at 10:17 am

I have never tried afghani food.Would definetly try this dish.
thank you

86 TC February 25, 2011 at 10:22 am

That looks really yummy! I’ll have to try the recipe for myself sometime. :)

87 Sarah R February 25, 2011 at 11:23 am

Sounds intriguing! I roasted a squash for the first time a few weekends ago. Some friends had rented a cabin and had gone grocery shopping before I arrived. They were proud of themselves for picking up vegetarian food since I was going to be there (it was really sweet since I was the only vegetarian). When it came time to cook dinner, they handed me a couple gigantic squashes expectantly. I had never cooked squash before, since as a child my only experience with it was frozen boxes of pureed squash my mother loved to use and I hated it. I got to work with a knife and some olive oil though and I surprised myself when it turned out pretty good! I think I might have to try this for another take on a vegetable I no longer hate.

88 Sandhya@vegetarianirvana February 25, 2011 at 11:23 am

Hi Sala
As always great pictures and great recipes. While living in Delhi, I’ve have had Afghan dishes and they have many things in common with Punjabi food. Infact this dish reminds me a lot of
Aloo Kumda.

89 Vijitha February 26, 2011 at 6:07 am

Hi Sala
I have been to a Afghan restaurant in Chennai and it was called “KABUL”. But I never tasted this dish. Sounds interesting. Would try it sometime.

Also I couldn’t join the Karma Kitchen this month as the baby needs fulltime attention. May be when he grows a little old, I will volunteer. I didn’t know about this a yr ago, otherwise I would have gone by then :-)

90 Connie Patty February 26, 2011 at 11:21 am

I just found your blog today and am loving reading! I am an American living in the Czech Republic, we’re gluten and lactose intolerant at our house so love trying new food…yours is so inspiring! Thanks!

91 Bonnie February 26, 2011 at 11:21 am

This is one of my favorite dishes at Kabul House in Chicago/Skokie. Thanks for the recipe!

92 Karen February 26, 2011 at 11:22 am

There’s an Afgan restaurant near us in Skokie IL that serves this dish as an appetizer, although we often get it as a main dish. It’s truly delicious and I’ve been looking for a recipe for a while. Thanks for posting it.

93 bharathi February 26, 2011 at 11:22 am

I tried this recipe. It was great.. Thanks for sharing it.

94 Tina February 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I just brought home a butternut squash and was wondering what to do with it. This looks perfect! I would love to win the cookbook. Thanks.

95 Jaime February 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm

mmmmm – I want to make this NOW!

96 David Sturdevant February 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I haven’t been to Afghanistan since living in Pakistan as a kid during the late 60′s/early 70′s. Love Indian and Pakistani foods, looking forward to making this dish. Will be returning to your site for more recipes!

97 Ayesha Jameel February 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Your dishes look yum … loved the presentation of the food ! good work
you can view some of my dishes on ! i would be really happy if you follow it :)

98 Shriya February 26, 2011 at 6:37 pm

We go to a afghan restaurant just for this curry. Thanks for the recipe. The giveaway looks very interesting too.

99 Ashly February 27, 2011 at 4:10 am

Looks so good! Here is my email for the drawing…… chaosgoddess326 (at) gmail (dot) com

100 Heidi February 27, 2011 at 5:54 am

Greetings from Finland! I have just found your blog and I’m loving it. I love that you share recipes from all over the world and can’t wait to try this one! :)

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