Potato Bolani

1 hour
20 minutes
1 hour 20 minutes
8
This stuffed flatbread from Afghanistan called Bolani is crispy, fluffy, and packed with so much flavor! The inside is filled with creamy potatoes, tons of green onion, fresh herbs, and warm spices. Nothing beats this with some yogurt and spicy chutney!
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Potato Bolani

This stuffed flatbread from Afghanistan called Bolani is crispy, fluffy, and packed with so much flavor! The inside is filled with creamy potatoes, tons of green onion, fresh herbs, and warm spices. Nothing beats this with some yogurt and spicy chutney!

My husband grew up in Fremont, CA which is where the largest population of Afghans live outside of Afghanistan. There are so many amazing Afghan restaurants everywhere and it being one of my favorite cuisines, I love having it for dinner all the time. Whenever we go with family, we get a big tray of Potato Bolani to share. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make it at home but I’m definitely not a pro so I wanted to come up with an easy hack anyone can do that still captures the flavors and textures of this incredible dish. This is not traditional at all but it is still so so good and I hope you enjoy it!

BOILING THE POTATOES

The first step to this recipe is boiling the potatoes. Whenever I eat bolani at the Afghani restaurant, I notice that I get very smooth creamy bites of potatoes and sometimes a chunk of potato in another bite and that’s what makes it so good – all the textures! We are going to replicate that exactly.

Start out by peeling the potatoes and cutting them into about 4 to 5 smaller sections. Add them to a large pot and fill it with water and add salt. Place the pot over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Once boiling, allow the potatoes to keep cooking until fork tender – about 15 minutes. Drain the water and then add the potatoes back to the pot so the residual heat can dry out any excess water on the surface.

Now the key is not to mash the potatoes TOO much! You want it be 80% broken up and then have very small chunks dispersed throughout. Once the potatoes are ready, it’s time to spice it up.

MAKING THE FILLING

Although there are a few versions of bolani, the potato and leek filling is my favorite. You can also do a savory pumpkin filling or even meat!

HERE ARE THE INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED:

  • cream cheese
  • jalapeños
  • cilantro
  • green onion or leeks
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • coriander
  • cumin
  • garlic

Traditionally, leeks are used in Bolani but I just swapped it for green onions since the taste is similar and I already had it in the fridge. For the jalapeños and red pepper flakes, add to your taste depending how spicy you like it. The Afghan restaurant I go to always asks what spice level we’d like the bolani to be.

Cream cheese is obviously not traditional at all but I like the slight tanginess and creaminess it adds!

Once the jalapeños are diced, onions and cilantro are chopped, and garlic is minced, add all the ingredients to the mashed potatoes and mix them together. Taste and adjust anything to your liking before moving forward.

THE HACK

Now for the hack! Bolani is made with a really thin flatbread almost like a paratha but since that can be difficult to make and I want this recipe to be as accessible as possible, we are going to use raw uncooked flour tortillas. You can find these at most large supermarkets and if not, you can visit a Hispanic store and it’s guaranteed to be there!

Take the raw tortilla, add the potato filling on one side. Add as much or as little as you’d like. Fold over so it is the shape of half a circle now. Repeat with the rest of the filling and tortillas.

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add a small drizzle of oil. It can be olive, vegetable, or avocado oil.

Add the bolani in, as many as you can fit in your pan, and let it crisp up on one side for about 2 minutes before flipping over and repeating on the other side. If you are in a rush and have a long skillet, that will allow you to cook more at the same time rather than doing one or two at a time.

Fry the rest of them so they are golden brown and crispy. Chop into small pieces and enjoy with yogurt and chutney!

Watch How to Make It

Craving More Potatoes? Try These Recipes!

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Potato Bolani – Afghan Stuffed Bread

This stuffed flatbread from Afghanistan called Bolani is crispy, fluffy, and packed with so much flavor! The inside is filled with creamy potatoes, tons of green onion, fresh herbs, and warm spices. Nothing beats this with some yogurt and spicy chutney!

This stuffed flatbread from Afghanistan called Bolani is crispy, fluffy, and packed with so much flavor! The inside is filled with creamy potatoes, tons of green onion, fresh herbs, and warm spices. Nothing beats this with some yogurt and spicy chutney!

1 hour
20 minutes
1 hour 20 minutes
8

Ingredients

  • 8 raw tortillas
  • 1.5 pounds russet potatoes (about 2 large potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed & finely diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onion or leeks, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander 
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into four to five equal sections.
  2. Add them to a large pot and fill it with water just about 1 inch above the potatoes. Salt the water as well.
  3. Place the pot over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Once boiling, allow the potatoes to keep cooking until fork tender - about 15 minutes.
  4. Drain the water and then add the potatoes and back to the pot so the residual heat can dry out any excess water on the surface. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl after.
  5. While the potatoes are still hot, mash them with a fork until most of the potato is broken down. You want to still have some small chunks of potato!
  6. To the same bowl with the potatoes, add the cream cheese, jalapeños, cilantro, green onion, salt, coriander, garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and cumin. Mix together with a spoon until evenly combined.
  7. On one side of the raw tortilla, add the potato filling all across pressing it down into one layer. Fold over and repeat with the rest.
  8. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add a small drizzle of oil.
  9. Add the bolani in, as many as can fit in your pan, and let it crisp up on one side for about 2 minutes before flipping over and repeating on the other side.
  10. Fry the rest of them so they are golden brown and crispy.
  11. Chop into small pieces and enjoy with yogurt and chutney!
Tips & Notes
  • Feel free to customize the spice level to your taste by adding more red pepper flakes. The Afghan restaurant I go to always asks what spice level we'd like the bolani to be.
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