Afghani Pumpkin with Garlic Yogurt Sauce (Borani Kadoo)

The main ingredients in this Afghan dish are chunks of pumpkin or squash that are slowly braised in a flavorful combination of onions, sugar, garlic, coriander, ginger, turmeric, chili peppers, and tomatoes. Borani kadoo can be served as the main course or a side dish. It is usually served garnished with garlic-spiked yogurt and naan bread on the side. The dish is usually eaten by scooping it up with an Afghani flatbread, or it can be poured over white rice.

This is one of those dishes no one really notices on the table until the first bite, after which it becomes all anybody can talk about. It’s that good.

Borani Karoo baked butternut squash w garlic yogurt

Borani Kadoo – Baked Butternut Squash with Garlic Yogurt

This recipe takes a long and indulgent route to nirvana. Cubes of butternut squash are covered in sugar and baked for hours. The semi-sweet squash is then covered in a cool yogurt-mint sauce. The resulting dish is truly special and like nothing you've ever tasted before. Serve it alongside some rice and naan bread.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Brunch, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Afganistan, Middle Eastern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large baking pan
  • Large bowl


  • 5 lb Butternut squash cubes, peeled, insides cleaned, chopped into 1½-inch cubes
  • 6 tbsp Corn or canola oil
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 cups Plain yogurt (whole fat)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Dried mint
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • tsp Black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Find the largest baking pan that can fit in your oven.
    Put cleaned squash cubes in a large bowl and pour in oil, mixing to ensure they're all covered. Arrange cubes on baking pan in single layer, hollow side-up. Pour sugar over cubes pieces and then cover pan with aluminum foil.
    Bake untouched for 2½ hours. Uncover and baste cubes with pan juices. Cover again and return to oven for another 45 minutes.
  • Make yogurt sauce by mixing mint, garlic, salt, and pepper into yogurt. Refrigerate.
  • Serve dish hot topped by the creamy cold yogurt sauce.


  • Borani Kadoo is often served with a ground meat sauce.
  • The traditional dish calls for pumpkin (kadoo). Butternut squash is interchangeable and easier for most to find.
  • If you can find already cleaned and cubed butternut squash cubes, get them. It will reduce prep time to under 5 minutes.  


Calories: 593kcal | Carbohydrates: 113g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 234mg | Potassium: 1432mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 77g | Vitamin A: 40193IU | Vitamin C: 80mg | Calcium: 259mg | Iron: 3mg

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