Afghan Bulanee

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup water room temperature
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. russet potatoes (about 2 medium-size potatoes)
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions white and green parts
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Slowly add the water and the teaspoon of oil and mix the dough together, kneading it a little until it forms a ball. If the dough is too dry to come together, add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Once the dough is formed, knead it for 10 minutes on a lightly floured cutting board. If you are impatient like us, set the timer so you won’t reduce the kneading time. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a cloth and let it rest for one hour.

In the meantime , boil the potatoes until soft in the center when pierced with a small knife. Remove from the water and when cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the potatoes. Put the potatoes, cilantro, scallions, 2 tbsp. of the olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and mash together with your hands or a potato masher until thoroughly combined. Some lumps are ok. You can also make this the night before and keep it refrigerated until ready to use.

Take a small amount of dough the size of a small apple and roll into a smooth ball. Spread some flour on the wood board and roll out the dough using a rolling pin. Continue to flatten the dough until it takes a round shape, is as thin as a tortilla, and about 10-12 inches across. The thinner the dough the better. If you have trouble rolling the dough to the shape you want, use a lid from a pot to trace a perfect round shape.

Spread ¼ cup of potato mixture on one side of the dough, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the rim. Fold the other half over and press the dough together with your finger to form a seal.

Heat the remaining ¼ cup of oil in a medium-size sauté pan over medium-high heat. Brown the bolani, two at a time, until golden on both sides. The bolani should sizzle when they hit the pan. Lay cooked bolani on a paper towel. Add more oil to your pan if your oil starts to reduce. These are best served warm but are tasty at room temperature.

Serve with plain yogurt

Short Cut:
If you don’t want to make the dough use flour tortillas instead, it always turns out well and saves time.
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. water
6 6-inch flour tortillas

In a small dish, mix together the flour and water to make a paste. Set a tortilla on your work surface and spread ¼ cup of the potato mixture on the tortilla, leaving a half-inch border around the rim. Using your finger spread a small amount of the paste around the edge of half of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla over, encasing the potatoes into a half circle. Press the two sides of the tortillas together firmly to form a tight seal. Brown the bolani following the instructions in the recipe above.

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