My Bolani Has a Face

Bolani is a flat bread stuffed with a vegetable filling. It is sold by street vendors in Afghanistan or served at parties as an appetizer. The fillings can vary from sweet to savory. The filling for the recipe I have is with potato, cilantro, and green onion. I’m excited to take Smurfette (my kitchen aid mixer) out for another spin. It feels like money well spent. The recipe I have is in cups, so I don’t have to do a conversion and dough comes out correctly the first time. SpinngingI did figure out where I went wrong on the Achma recipe as I was using the ounce conversion for liquid instead of dry. I have both liquid and dry measuring cups and it never dawned on me that they are actually different quantities. Looking at it now it is fairly obvious and I feel silly. So, I’m starting to debate if I should get a scale, but I’m running out of space in the kitchen for all this new stuff. While the dough rests I cook the potato. The recipe calls for russet potatoes, but I prefer Yukon gold potatoes as it has a natural butter flavor. The mashed potato is combined with olive oil, cilantro, and green onions. I like all those things but never thought putting it together and it tastes good. The cilantro is surprisingly subtle, and the green onions stand out. It is a bit too salty for my taste. IMG_3647 When rolling out the dough I don’t quite stay in a circle I’m sure there is a trick, but I can’t figure it out, so just go with the awkward shape. IMG_3649   I add 1/4 cup of the potato and spread. IMG_3653   I fold over the dough and it doesn’t look good.   IMG_3655 With the most important tool in the kitchen, a knife, I cut off some extra dough and voila!  It’s pretty! I already had the knife by the way, so thankfully I didn’t have to buy it, but I do need to get them sharpened. IMG_3656 Fry up the Bolani and I’m ready to try it. Is that a face on it? It looks like a happy face, but I ponder if it can resemble someone like Jesus and I can sell this Bolani and make a fortune! IMG_3659 But I’m hungry, so I eat instead. With a yogurt sauce. It is delicious. Reminds me of a  grilled cheese or quesadilla. Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. The tanginess of the yogurt pairs perfectly with the potatoes. I ate the happy face and my tummy smiled.   IMG_3661



Original recipe can be found here

Dough Ingredients:
  • 3 ½ c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c water room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
Filling Ingredients:
  • 3 medium potatoes (Yukon gold)
  • 1/2 c chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 c chopped green onions
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
For frying:
  • olive oil
Yogurt Sauce:
  • 1 c plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt


1. Mix flour and salt together. Gradually (while mixing) add in water and oil until dough forms a ball. If the dough is too dry, add more water one tablespoon at a time.

2. Knead dough with dough hook for 10 minutes.

3. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, cover with a cloth, and let rest for one hour.


1. Scrub potatoes clean, place in a pot, cover by 2 inches with cold water; add a good pinch of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.

2. After boiling for 30 minutes, check to see if the potatoes are done by poking them with a skewer. The skewer should easily pierce through the center of the potato. Try not to check the potatoes too much, as the holes allow water to seep into the potatoes as they cook. Smaller potatoes may get done sooner than larger ones.

3. Once the potatoes are done, drain them and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

4. Peel and quarter the potatoes. Mash with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Try to get this as smooth as possible, but keep in mind having some lumps is ok.

5. Add in cilantro and scallions, continue mashing to combine.

Yogurt Sauce:

1. Just stir everything together!

Assembling and cooking the bolani:

1. Separate the dough into 8 parts and roll each into a ball.

2. Spread some flour onto your surface, and roll the ball with a rolling pin. The dough should be as thin as a tortilla and have a 10-12 inch diameter. The thinner, the better!

3. Spread a little more than 1/4 c of the filling on one half of the dough, leaving about 1/4 inch border around the rim.

4. Fold the dough in half over the filling and press to seal. If necessary, continue pressing and flattening the bolani to remove any excess air inside the pocket.

5. Heat a tablespoon of  olive oil in a pan. The oil should be hot enough that the bolani sizzles when placed in the pan. Brown the bolani, two at a time, until golden and crispy on both sides, about 4 minutes on each side.

6. Place cooked bolani on a paper towel or plate as they finish. Add more oil to your pan as needed while you cook the rest.

7. Serve warm with yogurt sauce.


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