Bonjan salat

Spicy eggplant salad

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

When most people think of Afghanistan, good food may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But there is plenty to be found, including this beautiful dish, which can be enjoyed cold or hot, just simply with bread.

This salad will also keep well in the fridge for a few days — if it makes it to the fridge!

Preparation 15 minutes + 15 minutes infusing
Cooking 30 minutes


  • 3 eggplants (aubergines)
  • teaspoons sea salt flakes
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) rice bran oil
  • 375 ml (13 fl oz/ cups) Velvet tomato catsup
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes or finely chopped fresh red chilli
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint


Slice the eggplants crossways into pieces about 4 cm (1½ inches) thick. Sprinkle with the sea salt flakes and let stand for 15 minutes.

Rinse the eggplant slices under cold water, then pat dry with a clean tea towel.

Heat the rice bran oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches, lightly brown the eggplant slices for 3 minutes on each side, or until soft and golden brown. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside to cool.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan, mixing well, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, to integrate the flavours. Pour the dressing over the eggplant.

Serve at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This salad will keep in the fridge for several days.