Place of origin Iran (Persia)
Turkish borani with spinach
Turkish borani with spinach

Borani is a salad dish from Iranian cuisine. It is also found in Turkish cuisine where it is associated with certain provinces like Isparta, Urfa and Van.[1] Some versions are made with spinach and yogurt, while the Ancient Persian borani was made with eggplant, and a regional version from Urfa is made with lamb and vegetarian meatballs. Borani is also popular in the Caucasus and Afghanistan.


Borani was the name of an eggplant dish in Ancient Persian cuisine. In the cuisine of Urfa province borani is a lamb and bulgur kofta dish made with chard and chickpeas, sometimes called "Urfa borani". There is also a form of the dish made with spinach and yogurt, and other versions made with different ingredients combined with yogurt.[2] In southern Albania the term describes a baked egg and spinach dish. In Gaziantep there is version without any yogurt, called borani, and made with black-eyed peas and ground lamb.[3]

In a study on the 'Foods and Breads of the Selçuk Period', Mehmet Zeki Oral defined borani as follows:[3]

"Dishes in which the vegetables are boiled, then sautéed, are caled borani. Herbs such as spinach, amaranth, dock, mallow and sorrel are simmered in water and then drained. They are then sautéed in oil/butter and topped with yoghurt flavored with garlic. These are called borani in Anatolia, while in Senirken, only the variety made with spinach is called borani. Borani also refers to dishes where vegetables are cooked with rice or bulgur and then topped with yoghurt."

In the Pindus region of Greece the dish carries the influence of the Romanian-speaking Vlach minority, made with locally gathered nettles into a soup thickened with flour.[3]


Borani-e Esfanaj is a cold Persian salad made with spinach and yogurt, and other types of borani salad dishes are found in Turkish cuisine and other Middle Eastern cuisines.[3]

Borani-e Khiar is an Iranian salad with yogurt, cucumber and walnut. The spinach yogurt salad is known as Sabzi Boranee in Afghanistan. Borani-e Bademjan is a Persian version made with eggplant, also with yogurt.[3]


  1. ^ Kristbergsson, Kristberg; Oliveira, Jorge (2016-03-09). Traditional Foods: General and Consumer Aspects. Springer. ISBN 978-1-4899-7648-2.
  2. ^ Akin, Engin (2015). Essential Turkish Cuisine. Abrams. ISBN 9781613128718.
  3. ^ a b c d e Hosking, Richard (2010). Food and Language: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cooking 2009. ISBN 9781903018798.

See also