Afghan Bolani Recipe: This stuffed pita bread with potato-leek mixture is served with yogurt-garlic sauce and is a true classic in Afghan cuisine.
The first time I tried Bolani was at my parents-in-law. From the first bite, I liked this simple, delicious flatbread. At that time, I got to know a quite classic version with potato & minced meat filling. But now I only make it with a vegan potato & leek filling.
The beauty of this recipe is that it can be prepared in so many ways and is quite simple. You just need a little patience to let the dough rise.
I hope you guys enjoy the recipe! Have fun cooking it!
WHAT IS BOLANI?
Bolani, also spelled boulanee, means “stuffed bread” in Farsi and is a type of flatbread from Afghanistan. Traditionally, the flatbread is filled with potatoes, vegetables or even minced meat. Bolani is a typical “street food” in Afghanistan, but is also very popular to prepare at home. The flatbread is usually semi-circular in shape and is fried in a pan.
The stuffed flatbread is great as an appetizer or side dish, but can also be served as a whole meal. In traditional recipes, the dish is served with yogurt sauce. In this case, the yogurt is mixed with garlic and mint.
For my vegan version, I prepare the bolani with a potato and leek filling. In addition, I use vegan soy yogurt as a dip.
HOW TO MAKE BOLANI
- PREPARE THE DOUGH: In a large bowl, mix the flour with salt, dry yeast, and oil. Now add the water gradually until a soft dough is formed. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes and then let it rest, covered, for at least 60 minutes.
- PREPARE THE FILLING: Cook the potatoes in boiling water until they are cooked through. In the meantime, chop the leeks and the spring onions and sauté them with the spices in some oil. Now drain the potatoes and let them cool briefly. Then mash the soft potatoes and add them to the leek mixture and mix well.
- FILL BOLANI: Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Dust the work surface, rolling pin and dough balls with flour and roll out the dough balls piece by piece into a thin circle. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the filling on one half of the dough. Leave some room around the edge to seal the pita. Fold the dough over the filling and seal the edges well. Be sure to remove any excess air in the pocket before you seal it. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.
- FRY: Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan. Place the shaped flatbread in and bake on both sides until golden brown. Add more oil if needed. Place the baked bolani between a kitchen towel to keep them warm and let excess oil drip off. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and serve warm with yogurt dip.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BOLANI RECIPE
CAN I USE DIFFERENT FILLINGS FOR BOLANI?
Yes! You can fill your bolani as you please. In addition to potatoes, spring onions and leeks are also suitable, for example:
- Spinach or kale
- Mushrooms and onions
Just try your hand and see what you like.
WHICH OIL SHOULD I USE FOR FRYING?
For frying, I would usually recommend only vegetable oil. You can also use olive oil. However, it tends to smoke and burn far too easily. Therefore, I recommend a simple vegetable oil for this recipe.
DO I HAVE TO SERVE IT WITH A DIP?
Bolani tastes best with a yogurt dip made of yogurt, garlic and mint. This gives it a fresh, creamy component. You can also mix the dip with other herbs like cilantro or parsley. If you don’t like garlic, feel free to leave it out. You can also add some lemon juice for a fresh, tangy twist. You can also use sour cream or Greek yogurt (vegan) if you prefer.
MORE AFGHAN & ORIENTAL RECIPES
- 450g flour
- 1.5 tsp dry yeast
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil (sunflower oil)
- 300 ml water
- 6 small potatoes (440g)
- 1 small bunch of spring onions
- 1 leek
- 2 tsp coriander seeds (ground)
- 1.5 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp turmeric (ground)
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp. oil
- 200g soy yogurt (unsweetened)
- 1 small bunch of mint (or parsley, coriander)
- 2 garlic cloves
- salt & pepper
- For the dough, mix the flour, salt, and dry yeast in a bowl. Now add the oil and gradually pour the water. The dough should be nice and soft and not too sticky. Depending on the consistency, add a little more flour or water. The dough should be kneaded for 3-4 minutes to activate the yeast. Then let rest covered with a cloth for about 1 hour. The dough should double in volume.
- Peel the potatoes, cut them into quarters, and boil them in salted water for about 15 minutes until soft.
Wash, clean, and chop the leeks and the spring onions.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. Now add ground coriander seeds, chili, turmeric, and salt and fry briefly.
- Add the leeks and the spring onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until the leeks are nice and soft.
- Drain the soft potatoes and mash them. Now add the leek mixture and mix and season with salt and pepper.
- For the yogurt dip, put the yogurt in a small bowl. Peel the garlic and press it through your garlic press. Wash and chop the parsley. Now mix the yogurt with parsley and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
- For the bolani, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and shape them into 8 balls. Cover the balls and let them rise for another 10 minutes.
- Now roll out the 8 balls with a rolling pin on a floured work surface. Spread the filling on one half of each dough and spread half of it, leaving 1 cm free margin. Fold over the free half of the dough, making sure there are no air bubbles. Now press the edges firmly.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan. Now fry the bolani on each side for 1-2 min until they are nice and golden brown. Lay out the finished bolani on paper towels and let them drain.
Serve bolani with the yogurt dip and serve warm (or cold).