There are baked variations on borani banjan, a classic that reveals Indian influences on Afghan cooking, but Fauzia Garner prefers to start with sauteed eggplants. Garner’s recipe doesn’t call for any spices beyond black pepper, but the interplay of hot eggplant and cool yogurt will win over most eaters: Salt and mint is all that’s required to flatter the flavors.

— Hanna Raskin 

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

Food editor and chief critic

Eating all of the chicken livers just as fast as I can.