Borani kachalu

Afghan spiced potato salad with minted yoghurt

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

Recipes like this one are hard to come by, and I have to credit this recipe to writer and cook Shayma Saadat, who has wonderful stories and memories of her father and the beauty of Afghan food.

Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking 30 minutes


  • 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 125 g ( oz/½ cup) crushed tinned tomatoes
  • teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ⅛–¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 2 Indian green chillies, chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) kipfler (fingerling) potatoes, peeled and sliced into discs 3 cm (1¼ inches) thick
  • mint leaves, to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

Minted Yoghurt

  • 200 g (7 oz/¾ cup) plain yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped mint
  • a pinch of salt, or to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan; choose one that has a lid. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and stir for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

Add the tomatoes, ground spices and chilli and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Now add the potato discs and gently stir for 2–3 minutes, ensuring that each disc is thoroughly coated with the sauce.

Pour 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) water over the potatoes, cover the pan and turn the heat down to low. Cook the potatoes in their own steam for 15 minutes, or until a knife slides through one freely; the tomato sauce should look thick, coating the potato discs. Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, prepare the minted yoghurt. Put the yoghurt in a small bowl and whisk in 2 tablespoons water. Stir in the mint and salt.

Arrange the potato discs in a serving dish and drizzle with the minted yoghurt. Garnish with extra mint.

For a final hit of flavour, heat the coconut oil in a small pan until it starts to smoke, then spoon it over the finished dish. Serve warm.