Main image of Kichaloo Banjan - Afghan Potato Eggplant Dish

Kichaloo Banjan - Afghan Potato Eggplant Dish

3 hr + 10 min

Side

10 ingredients or less

"Kichaloo" is potato, and "Banjan" is eggplant in Dari, one of the languages spoken in Afghanistan. Traditionally, Banjan is a dish consisting of fried eggplant, tomato, and a yogurt sauce. Growing up, my mum made her own version of the dish, which included potatoes and used much less oil than the traditional Afghan banjan recipe. It's a comforting dish that immediately transports me back to Mum's kitchen. Serve this dish with some toasted bread and enjoy a taste of my childhood.

Servings

Total

3 hr + 10 min

Prep

10 min

Cook

1 hr

Rest

2 hr

Contains

Soy symbol

soy

Free from

Peanut symbol

peanut

Treenut symbol

tree nut

Sesame symbol

sesame

Gluten symbol

gluten

Ingredients

Banjan (eggplant)

  • 3
    small eggplants
  • 1 tsp (6 g)
    salt
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL)
    vegetable oil, for frying eggplants
  • 3
    medium potatoes, peeled, cut into ½ cm thick rounds
  • 3
    medium tomatoes, sliced into 1 cm thick rounds
  • 2 tsp (10 mL)
    vegetable oil, for frying garlic
  • 3
    cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp (2 g)
    ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp (2 g)
    salt
  • ¾ cup (180 mL)
    boiling water

Garlic yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup (240 mL)
    unsweetened soy yogurt
  • 1
    clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp (3 g)
    salt

Serves well with

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Directions

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  1. Trim the tops off the eggplants. Using a potato peeler, create a decorative pattern in the skin of the eggplant by peeling alternating stripes in the eggplant lengthwise.
  2. Then slice the eggplant into rounds, just over ½ inch (1½ cm) thick.
  3. Transfer the eggplants to a large bowl, and sprinkle the salt overtop. Then using your hands, massage the salt onto both sides of each piece of eggplant. Let the eggplants sit in the bowl for at least 2 hours, and up to 4 hours. This helps to draw water out of the eggplant and allows for less oil to be used later. You should notice by the end the eggplant is "sweating" and there is a pool of dark water in the bowl that has leached from the eggplants.
  4. Using a clean kitchen cloth, squeeze as much water out of each eggplant piece as possible.
  5. To a saute pan on high heat, add half of the oil. When hot, drop the heat to medium and add half of the eggplant in a single layer. Let fry until golden, then flip. When both sides are golden, set aside on a plate. Then repeat with the other half of the oil and eggplants.
  6. When the last of the eggplant is cooked on both sides, drop the heat to low and layer on top the sliced potatoes, tomatoes, and previously cooked eggplants.
  7. Meanwhile, to a small pan on medium-high heat, add the oil and garlic. Cook until the garlic becomes golden, about 3 minutes.
  8. Then add the turmeric and salt, stirring for 20 seconds, and then add the boiling water. Stir so that the turmeric dissolves in the water. Pour this liquid over the veggies in the large pan.
  9. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for about 35 - 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and cooked through. Careful NOT to stir at any point throughout cooking, otherwise the individual pieces of eggplant, potato, and tomato will turn into "mush" if it's cooked, and we want veggie to remain intact.
  10. Serve with the garlic yogurt sauce drizzled over top, and with toasted bread and salata on the side. Enjoy!

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • The garlic yogurt is best enjoyed immediately, or in a container in the fridge for up to 1 day.

Let us know what you think

Nutrition info

We believe that focusing on numbers can harm our relationship with food. Instead, our philosophy is to Nourish the Cells & the Soul. If you require specific nutrition information due to a medical condition, please consult with a dietitian or physician. The nutritional information provided is composed with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed values, see also our disclaimer.

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Discussion & Rating

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Janelle - Sept. 21, 2021, 2:07 a.m.

This is really good! Thanks for sharing. I’m not the biggest fan of eggplants, but they taste great in this recipe! Added a little black pepper to activate the curcumin in the turmeric. I’m going to write this recipe down tomorrow.

PUL Team - Sept. 21, 2021, 2:56 a.m.

So happy to hear the recipe was enjoyed, Janelle! In case you're interested and haven't already seen it, our new website has the ability to print recipes with the green "print" button below the directions. If "print" is clicked, it'll take you to a print page where you can uncheck the image from printing on the left side of the screen and adjust the printing font size if desired 🙂


Kerrie Challinor - Sept. 13, 2021, 11:25 p.m.

Love these recipes thankyou to you and your lovely family for sharing. I'm planning on creating an Afghan banquet for my family to celebrate my daughter 18th Birthday at the beginning of next month ! they all look so lovely and full of flavour. My thoughts are with the Afghan people xx

PUL Team - Sept. 14, 2021, 5 a.m.

Oh this is so lovely to hear, Kerrie! Happy early birthday to your daughter as well 🥳


Charlotte - Sept. 9, 2021, 8:52 p.m.

We loved this recipe!! The eggplants were cooked to perfection and the flavours in this dish were exceptional. We are already planning to make this again next week with a different accompaniment (we enjoyed it with salata this evening). Thank you to your mother for passing it on! 🙏🏻🌍

PUL Team - Sept. 12, 2021, 2:51 a.m.

Aww Charlotte, thank you for trying the recipes and sharing the glowing review. It means so much more than we can express 💚


Ditte - Sept. 5, 2021, 9:46 p.m.

Hi, i'm wondering what the green lentil/chickpea/pasta soup is in the background? It looks super delicious, so i'm hoping for a recipe! I really really loved your video on afghan food, and i would love if you did more of those. I tried two of the recipes already, and shared it with my boyfriend and his dad. His dad would tell how amazing it tasted between every bite, so thank you very much.

PUL Team - Sept. 6, 2021, 5:53 p.m.

Hey Ditte - it's a Persian dish called "aushak". A recipe we've tested but haven't posted just yet - we hope to soon! 🤓 And so happy to hear you're enjoying the Afghan recipes, Ditte, thanks so much for sharing it with your loved ones ♥️


Lorraine - Sept. 5, 2021, 2:49 p.m.

We loved it ! The smell is amazing and the taste ... with some rice, it was perfect !


Meagan - Sept. 3, 2021, 12:15 a.m.

Trying this today! Quick question.... Do I let the eggplants sit out on the counter while they sweat, or should I stick them in the fridge? Thank you!

PUL Team - Sept. 3, 2021, 4:37 a.m.

Hey Meagan, we left ours at room temperature, but fridge would be fine too if you'd prefer it 😊 I hope this helps!


Anna - Sept. 1, 2021, 4:13 p.m.

Hi, I cook a lot of Palestinian dishes that require vegetables deep frying. What I like to do is to air fry the veggies in the oven with tiny bit of oil. It gives similar taste and is little faster than a pan as you can put a lot of vegetables at once and leave it for 10-15 min.

Alica - Sept. 1, 2021, 6:18 p.m.

Very good tip that I'm always following.
I wonder if we're supposed to have crunchy or soft eggplants soaking up the rest of the stew/sauce/vegetables? Since I believe air frying make eggplants slightly more crunchier than deep frying (or is it just me?)

Anna - Sept. 1, 2021, 9:15 p.m.

I think even after you air fry them they are little crunchy, but rest of the sauce will soak into them. I think of eggplant as sponges - which is why deep frying them is like having cup of oil.

PUL Team - Sept. 2, 2021, 2:54 a.m.

Hey Anna and Alica, the air fryer trick sounds cool! Indeed, the aim is for the eggplants to become melt-in-your-mouth soft. But I'm sure they'd still be delicious if you choose to prepare it another way 😊