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Afghan-Style Braised Butternut Squash with Garlic-Mint Yogurt

4 to 6 Servings

50 minutes 25 minutes active

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This is our version of the Afghan pumpkin dish called borani kadoo. We use butternut squash instead of pumpkin since it is readily available throughout the year, and swap tomato paste for the fresh tomatoes called for in many versions. The garlicky, minty yogurt is an excellent foil for the stewed squash—don’t omit it, as it really elevates and completes the dish.

4 to 6



Don’t allow the moisture to cook off as the squash braises. Add water 2 tablespoons at a time as needed to ensure the sauce remains loose, not thick and concentrated.

50 minutes

25 minutes active


  • 4

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided

  • 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1½-inch chunks


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Siri N.
January 20, 2023
Delicious alternative to the traditional dish
I have a recipe for pumpkin borani from the Afghani Helmand restaurant in Cambridge, and I love making it but carving the pumpkin is so, incredibly difficult and their recipe (which uses about a cup of sugar) doesn't work with butternut squash. This was a delicious and much easier alternative. Indeed, the yogurt is absolutely essential and makes the dish. Can't wait to serve it to my mom, who also loved the Helmand dish.
Jennifer B.
November 16, 2022
Am not a butternut squash fan, too sweet! But this was great, wonderful spices mix and great texture.
Lori T.
August 27, 2022
I love squash and this is a great recipe.
It is easy to make and the family loves it.
Bethany S.

This is SO good! My big tip here - Serve with flakey salt! Especially with the yogurt, there is not a lot of texture variation but it was so good it didn't really matter. So flakey salt doesn't give a lot of crunch, but it helped, tasted good, and worked super well. I also had no problem running out of liquid in my pot - I was actually surprised that I had quite a bit left at the end - a bit too much. I think my squash and onions may have given up a lot of moisture. I didn't want it to be soupy - and the recipe indicates that it shouldn't be as well - So once the squash was done, I pulled it and then let the sauce thicken and concentrate which turned out to be a really good move. My favorite part of this was the cinnamon flavor in there. It's still savory but there is just something about butternut squash and cinnamon!