I love yogurt. Until relatively recently, though, aside from Tzatziki, it was a sweet food, usually for breakfast. Even plain yogurt, which is more sour than sweet, I considered a food to be had with oats and raisins, or with syrup on a crêpe. For lunch though? Maybe muesli, but even then, I consider that more sweet than savoury, loaded up as it is with fruit. Imagine my delight, therefore, when I discovered borani, a savoury Persian yogurt dish. The yogurt is flavoured with herbs and spices, salt and pepper and served with vegetables.
I started out following recipes for it, but have since gone my own way. I've enjoyed playing around with different veggie toppings and herb or spice combos too. It is no longer what you might call "authentic" but it is tasty! I also love that it is tasty eaten at room temperature, and within reason, it doesn't need to be refrigerated. I found that it worked well as a packed lunch when working in a refugee camp, for example, where we had no microwave and no fridge. Here's our most recent one.
3 c yogurt
1 tsp sumac
1 tsp herbes de Provence
1 tsp Thyme
2 c spinach
1 tbsp butter
2 onions, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Salt and pepper
1) Strain yogurt through a cheese cloth until thickened to the desired consistency. Mix with herbes de Provence, thyme and sumac, salt and pepper to taste.
2) Wilt spinach and sauté briefly with butter.
3) Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry onions over medium high heat until crispy.
4) Assemble bowls, first a dollop of yogurt, then some spinach, some onions and a sprinkling of pine nuts.
Incredibly quick to assemble and at once refreshing and filling without being heavy, this was the perfect lunch last week after a morning bike ride with Little Bit. It was a lot of steep uphill (and then a much quicker descent) so I was happy to be able to plate up something quick when we got home. I made this using home-made yogurt which we'd left out a little too long, so the flavour had ripened a little. For breakfast, the flavour was a bit much, but mixed with herbs and spices for a lunch borani, it was perfect.