Borani Laboo (Persian Yoghurt with Beetroot Recipe)

Borani Laboo is a dreamy, creamy Persian recipe of beetroot in yoghurt. It can be eaten as a dip or a condiment in a meal, much like raita.
pink yoghurt with beetroot in white bowl with blue paisley tablecloth
pink yoghurt with beetroot in white bowl with blue paisley tablecloth
Borani Laboo

Borani Laboo is a beautiful and bright pink Persian yoghurt dip that doubles as both a side dish and a dip that is at home on any mezze table.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

What’s in a Name?

Borani Laboo is also traditionally called Boorani-yeh Laboo.

In Farsi (the Persian language, also the lingua franca in Afghanistan):

  • Boorani (commonly spelt borani) = refers to yoghurt based dishes
  • Laboo = beetroot
  • yeh = an ezāfe, like an article, a short vowel sound that connects words in Farsi, to indicate a relationship, like modifying a noun or joining two nouns together.

Boorani-yeh Laboo = Yoghurt and Beetroot (could even be taken as just Beetroot Yoghurt, with beetroot being used as an adjective).

Incredibly striking!

Origin of Borani Recipes

Legend has it that the word borani traces its origin to the mid 7th century during the Sassanid Empire, the last Persian Dynasty before the advent of Islam.

Its creation is attributed to Purandokht (629-632), the first of only two female rulers in Iran’s history. This empress was apparently very fond of the cold, strained yoghurt dishes that her royal chef used to prepare especially for her. So much so, the dishes were named poorani, after Her Royal Highness.

After the Muslim conquest, this word naturally became boorani because the Arabic alphabet doesn’t have the soft sounding “p”. There are many types of boorani, or borani, as it is more commonly spelt in English, and today’s boorani-yeh laboo is one of my favourite of the lot.

I mean, just look at that colour!

Borani Laboo, pink yoghurt with beetroot in white bowl with blue paisley tablecloth
Seriously, tell me you’re not in love!

Borani Laboo Recipe

Borani Laboo, like all the other Persian yoghurt based dishes, is very easy to prepare. This is how it’s done:

  • Cook the beetroot by simmering it.
  • Peel and grate the beetroot.
  • Mix it with yoghurt and season.

That’s it.

However, on very hot summer days, I skip the cooking of the beetroot altogether. I know, I know, many of you traditionalists are probably going “noooo”, but hey, don’t knock it until you try it!

I rather like the sweet, crunchy nature of the grated beetroot contrasting with the creamy yoghurt. Almost like the walnuts in Mast-o Khiar, the other borani dish I have on this site.

So I’m giving you both versions in the recipe card below. Cook your beets if you prefer, for an all around soft and creamy experience, or leave them raw and crunchy. Just don’t tell your Persian مامان بزرگ (grandmother)!

the topping completes the picture

How to Serve Boorani-ye Laboo

Traditionally, borani dishes were served as part of a meal as side dishes. Their creamy nature is the perfect complement to savoury rice and stews. This is still the case, especially during the colder months. So you can serve it with any of the rice dishes found in Persian and Afghan culture, and also alongside stews. See the gallery below.

But today’s borani laboo, like other borani recipes, can also be served as part of a mezze meal or appetiser table. It can be eaten as a dip with the usual suspects, be they crudités, dry finger foods or crackers and chips.

This beautiful pink yoghurt dish will also make an extremely attractive starter, served with any form of flatbread. The Levantine Manoushe comes to mind immediately. And you know what would also be good with this Persian yoghurt dip? Focaccia!

So many ways to enjoy it!

And now, shall we get our aprons on?

Recipes to Serve with Borani Laboo

Persian Roast Lamb Recipe and Video
Persian Roast Lamb recipe. Super easy and extremely delicious with pomegranate molasses. Perfect for Nowruz, Easter and Christmas!
Check out this recipe
Khoresh Bademjan (Persian Eggplant Stew, خورش بادمجان)
Khoresh Bademjan is a Persian Eggplant Stew with meltingly tender meat, and perfect served with some rice. You'll also find suggestions for a vegetarian version.
Check out this recipe
Khoresh Bademjan (Persian Eggplant Stew, خورش بادمجان)
Kabab Koobideh (lightly flavoured Persian Kebabs)
Kabab Koobideh, a beautiful, lightly spiced, herby (if you want it to be), Persian kebab. Traditionally, these are fashioned as long, cylindrical kebabs wrapped around flat, sword like skewers, which can be barbecued, grilled or even cooked in an oven.
Check out this recipe
long kebabs on rice

If you like the recipe and article, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood.

Noushe jan | نوش جان

Lin xx

pink yoghurt with beetroot in white bowl with blue paisley tablecloth

Borani Laboo (Persian Yoghurt and Beetroot Dip)

Borani Laboo is a dreamy, creamy Persian recipe of beetroot in yoghurt. It can be eaten as a dip or a condiment in a meal, much like raita.
5 from 8 votes
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Course: Appetiser, Condiments
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: borani, iranian, persian recipe, yoghurt
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 86kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • saucepan (if you're cooking the beetroot)
  • bowl
  • grater
  • utensils as needed

Ingredients

  • 500 g beetroot unpeeled weight (about 2-3, depending on size)
  • 500 g thick yoghurt Greek style yoghurt
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice to taste, see recipe
  • pinch salt
  • 1 sprig fresh mint leaves or ¼ tsp dried
  • black pepper

Instructions

If Cooking the Beetroot

  • If you are cooking the beetroot, place a small saucepan of water on the stove, to boil.
  • Top and tail the beets.
    500 g beetroot
  • Cut in half, then carefully drop them into the boiling water. Cook for 20 minutes or so, until a knife glides through smoothly.
  • Drain, then leave them to cool completely.
  • Peel the beetroot using a vegetable peeler, then grate them using a medium grater. I always use gloves for this as I hate stained fingers and nails!

If not Cooking the Beetroot

  • Top and tail the beets, then peel them using a vegetable peeler.
    500 g beetroot
  • Grate using a medium grater.

Putting the Borani Laboo Together

  • Tip the yoghurt into a roomy bowl.
    500 g thick yoghurt
  • Save 1 tablespoon of the beetroot, and add the rest of it, along with the lemon juice, pinch of salt and some pepper. Stir well and taste. Add more lemon juice and/or salt if you think it needs it.
    500 g beetroot, 1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, pinch salt, black pepper
  • Transfer the whole thing into a serving bowl and top with the leftover grated beetroot.
  • Thinly cut the mint leaves, scatter all over the borani laboo and serve. Can be made up to 6 hours ahead and kept, covered, in the fridge.
    1 sprig fresh mint leaves

Fancy Mast-o Khiar?

Nutrition

Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 392mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 38IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!
Made it? Upload your photosMention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!

6 thoughts on “Borani Laboo (Persian Yoghurt with Beetroot Recipe)”

  1. 5 stars
    I made this last night when we had guests coming over and everyone loved it! It’s so easy to make and the colour is stunning! Thank you for posting the recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Perfect timing! I have three beetroot that I just bought and I was trying to decide what to do with them. This is the perfect answer!

  3. 5 stars
    Love this and are beautiful colour it imparts. I like the addition of mint here, will add a unique taste.

  4. 5 stars
    This reminds me of beetroot pachadi (raita) that we make. Slightly different but essentially beetroot and yogurt. Yours looks very appealing. Next time I will do it as per your recipe.

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