Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Afghan Bolanis--Turnovers Stuffed with Spring Onions
I was sitting with my Afghan friend at Paul in Tysons Galleria talking about foods we usually eat during the holidays. She mentioned that the day before at her mother's she had bolanis, afghan flat breads stuffed with vegetables, fried and served with yogurt. This sounded so good that I asked her right away for the recipe. And, surprisingly, they could not be easier to make.
Bolanis are traditionally made with home-made flat breads, but for a huge shortcut, modern Afghans use fresh egg roll wrappers. Then they stuff them with chopped spring onions and fresh cilantro leaves. The dish although fried is rather light as the stuffing is made basically from the two herbs. Sometimes a cooked potato is also added to the green filling. Bolanis are usually served as appetizers or starters.
I got so attracted to that dish that the next day I came home with all the ingredients. In almost no time 12 large bolanis were made. And they became the hit of the holidays. No one could resist them. My younger son who likes spring onion very much, had them for dinner, then he had them for supper and the next day also for breakfast. Ever since that first bolani experience I made them already four times and today again my refrigerator is full of spring onions and cilantro ready to be chopped again for my next bolani batch.
3-4 bunches of spring onion, chopped,
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped,
a pinch of cayenne pepper,
9-12 large sheets of fresh egg roll wrappers (available at Asian food markets),
1-1 and 1/2 cup natural yogurt, European style.
vegetable oil for frying.
1. Place chopped spring onion and cilantro in a medium bowl. Add about a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Mix well, gently squeeze with hand, and let macerate for about 20 minutes.
2. Place a single sheet of wrapper on a working surface. Spread about 2-3 tbsp of the filling and using cold water and fingers close the wall to form a triangle.
3. To make a sauce, mix yogurt with salt and pepper.
4. In a large frying pan (large enough to fit 2-3 triangles) heat 2-3 tbsp of oil. Put bolanis on the hot oil and fry until dark gold on each side.
Serve hot with yogurt sauce on top.