Two months ago, I share my easy Afghan spinach bolani recipe. Since then, I have remade them at least twice in as many months because they are so good and so addictive. I am pretty sure I get better and better and definitely much faster at shaping them along the way, haha. Anyway, today instead of spinach, I am going to use sweet potato to make the bolani. If you ask me which one I prefer, I think I actually like sweet potato one better, but if we are to compare nutrition, pretty sure the spinach one wins hands down.
How to prepare Afghan bolani dough
Bolani dough is a simple mixture of all purpose flour, salt, olive oil, and water. Simply knead with hands (I am guessing you can also do this with machine, but I use my hands) until the dough is soft, smooth, and elastic. If your dough feels too dry, add a couple more tablespoon of water. And if your dough feels too wet, add a couple more tablespoon of flour. The measurements given in the recipe is not super exact, and also, different brands of flour behave differently, so please adjust as needed.
How to prepare Afghan bolani filling
It is super easy to prepare the filling and here is how to do it:
- Boil one sweet potato (500 gram) until soft enough to be mashed with a fork.
- Then mix together mashed sweet potato with 1/2 cup of cilantro, 1/2 cup of scallions, and 1-2 diced jalapeno (green chilies).
- For seasoning, you will need 1.5 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper, and also 2 tablespoon olive oil.
- Just mix everything together, and divide into 8-12 portions. If your frying pan is 8", go with 12 portions. For 10" pan, go with 10 portions. And finally, for 12" pan, go with 8 portions. Of course, you will need to divide the dough accordingly.
How to fill and shape Afghan bolani
Once everything is ready, I usually start heating my oil in the frying pan. Also, I prepare a baking tray with a wire rack placed inside the tray. I place my just-out-from-the-frying-pan bolani onto this setup to let excess oil drips away, it makes the bolani so much crispier this way. Next, just roll out the dough into a flat circle (again, remember to make the diameter just slightly smaller than your frying pan so it fits perfectly). Spread a portion of the filling generously on half of the rolled out dough, leaving 1/2 inch margin near the edge. Wet the edges of the bread with your finger tips, fold the other half of the bread over the filling half. Seal the edges by pressing slightly. Once it is shaped, you can start frying the bolani.
How to cook (deep fry) Afghan bolani
Okay, this may or may not be the best way to go, but here is what I do since my kitchen is rather tiny and I simply cannot find enough space to shape all the bolani, and then fry one by one. Instead, I shape one (let’s call this bolani A), then fry bolani A in hot oil. While bolani A is in the frying pan, I start rolling out dough for bolani B. Then I flip bolani A to fry the other side, fill bolani B and seal it. Bolani A should be done, so I take bolani A out from hot oil and place it into my baking tray and wire rack set up. Then I start frying bolani B. While bolani B is in frying pan, I start rolling out dough for bolani C, … You get the idea. Of course, if this is too hectic for you, just shape all your bolani first, and fry them one by one at your leisure :)
Afghan Sweet Potato Bolani
- 3 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup water
- 500 gram sweet potato, cut into wedges
- 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped scallion
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Combine all dough ingredients in a mixing bowl. Knead into a non-sticky, soft, and smooth dough, about 10 minutes. Add a bit of flour if it is too sticky, or add a bit of water if it is too dry.
- Place the dough in an oiled mixing bowl. Cover with wet kitchen towel/saran. Let it proof for 1 hour.
- Divide dough into 8 equal portions (for 12" frying pan), 10 portions (for 10" frying pan), or 12 portions (for 8" frying pan).
- Boil sweet potato until soft enough to be mashed. Drain, transfer to a mixing bowl, and mash the sweet potato. Add the rest of filling ingredients. Mix well.
- Divide into 8-12 equal portions (depending on how many portions of dough).
- Take a piece of dough, roll with a rolling pin into a circle (either slightly less than 8", or slightly less than 10", or slightly less than 12").
- Spread a portion of the filling generously on half of the rolled out dough, leaving 1/2 inch margin near the edge.
- Wet the edges of the bread with your finger tips, fold the other half of the bread over the filling half. Seal the edges by pressing slightly.
- Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Fry bolani, one piece at a time, until both sides are crispy and golden brown.
- Cut each bolani into 2-4 pieces and serve with plain yogurt.