So What's This All About?

My family is traveling the world one forkful, or kuĂ izi ful, or handful at a time. Follow our blog to see what interesting facts we learn, which country's food becomes our favorite, and which cuisine makes us feel healthiest. There will also be postings of some projects/arts and crafts/activities for preschoolers that we do in our home preschool. Grab your appetite and let's go!

Friday, March 12, 2010

discovering borani

I've always liked yogurt, plain yogurt that is. Many people I know detest it unless it's vanilla flavored or sweetened with lots of sugar. If you fall into that category, consider using it in a savory way, instead of trying to stomach it alone. You can use yogurt just as you would use sour cream. It's a great (and healthier) substitute for some recipes that call for heavy cream; it's great on top of rice, burritos, tacos, and squash or sweet potato soups. The active live cultures in yogurt are incredibly important as I'm sure you've been hearing lately in health/food news - or at least you've heard the term "probiotics". If you haven't heard, check out these sites:
Surprising Uses and Benefits of Yogurt - this one is an answer to a question on one problem, but the author discusses the numerous problems yogurt can help lessen, cure, or prevent

In many parts of the Mideast, Mediterranean, and Africa, yogurt is a staple on or mixed in food. One common Middle Eastern dish is called borani, which is, as Faye Levy describes, "a simple, refreshing medley of vegetables and yogurt". Remember my post a while ago about shopping at the Afghan market? Rahim referred to one of his favorite dishes of roasted eggplant and yogurt, a type of borani.

An often looked-over vegetable that I love is the beet. My kids absolutely love it as well, though it stains their hands, we make them wear bibs, there is the after effect of slightly reddish, um, well, pee! They have such wonderful, almost sweet, flavor on their own that I simply boil them whole, peel the skin, and then slice it. You could add salt or butter if you like, but it's truly not necessary.

So, of course, let's combine those two loves of mine - beets and yogurt - to make a Beet Borani!

Trim the bottom of and cut off the greens of 4 medium beets. (Save the greens to chop and saute with garlic and butter!) Don't fork the beet as you might a potato. Simply rinse off any dirt gently then place in a steamer over water or directly into water, covering completely. Cover tightly and steam for 40 to 60 minutes, adding more water as necessary. (The age of the beet will determine how long it takes to soften; fresher takes less time.)

Cool the beets by running them under cold water and resting for a few minutes. The skin will easily slip off when you gently rub the beet. Cut into wedges, and let cool completely.

In a bowl, mix 2 cups plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons fresh mint (or 2 teaspoons dried), a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Add beets to the yogurt and fold in gently. Serve chilled.

1 comment:

  1. I just made a batch of fresh yogurt today -- I add milk powder to whole milk, heat it, cool it, add the starter, and let it sit in a warm place for about 6 hours. The extra milk solids (in the powder) make it nice and thick, almost like sour cream. (Runny yogurt on burritos is a hard sell at our house.)

    Love reading your posts! You are so creative. : )