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Yaaammmiiii Potato Bolanee

October 24, 2010

This is my favorite Afghan dish in the world. It’s a total comfort food for me and just so filling  and comforting. Must be cos of all the carbs. So much carbs. Mmm. This is also a dish that appeals to everyone, I mean everyone. I remember as a kid giving some to my teacher for some reason and she loved it! Because it is just downright yaaaaammiii!!!! It has no spices in it, unless you want to add it. It’s a totally vegetarian dish that’s a stand alone main. It needs nothing but a very important bowl of thick natural yogurt.  It’s incomplete without this this so if my mum makes it and there’s no yogurt in the house, I will moan and complain.


  • 500 grams of plain flour
  • 1 sachet of dry yeast (7 grams)
  • A mug full of warm water
  • Salt
  • Any oil to use for the potatoes
  • 8 medium sized potatoes suitable for mash/boiling
  • Couple of spring onions or one medium sized white onion cut into small cubes.
  • Small bunch of coriander
  • Natural or Greek yogurt


I have to say, this is a very easy dough! But then again it’s not exactly french bread we’re aiming for in Afghanistan!

  • First things first, get a large mixing boil and add 1 tbsp of salt, the whole contents of the yeast packet and half of the warm water in the mug. Give it a stir.
  • Add all of the flour and give it a mix with your hands!
  • Now the thing with this dough is that it has to be sticky, NOT SOPPING WET. So the remainder of that water is to make it a little wet if its too dry and if it’s too wet to then add a little bit of flour. Okay?

  • Mold it in a smooth ball of dough and cover the top of that ball with cling film and then cover the bowl with a tea towel. The dough should be warm cos of the water but put it in a warm place although my mum just put it on the table in the kitchen to rise.
  • Leave it for an hour.

Directions for the potato filling – Do this while the dough is rising.

  • We all know how to boil potatoes so I don’t think I need to write much :p. Just add the potatoes to salted boiling water and wait until they are cooked. Shouldn’t take too long depending on the size of your potatoes.
  • Once they are cooked, wait for them to cool down so you can peel them.
  • The peeled potatoes should be mashed and salted.
  • If you’re using spring onions, just cut them thinly. If you’re using an onion, cut in half and dice them semi-finely. It ‘s meant to be rustic. Add the onion or spring onions to the mashed potatoes and give it a stir. There should be flecks of onions that you can see through the mash.
  • Pick off the coriander leaves and add them to the mash.
  • Add a small glug of oil just to emulsify it. It should be a mash that is not chunky but it’s a little rough, if you know what I mean 😉
  • Leave that to the side while the dough rises.


After the dough has risen divide it into 8 balls. There should be enough filling for 8 so don’t have a heavy hand unless you want loads of filling if so then I suggest you boil some more potatoes 😛

  • On a lightly floured surface, get a ball of dough and flatten it with your hand. You should spoon and flatten enough filling for one half of the circle.
  • Fold it over and you should push along the edge of the semi circle to ‘glue’ it together.
  • So all my family in Holland have this contraption. It’s basically like an catering tool! We use it when we need to make a dish in large quantity! The size is great cos you can fit two bolanees in it!

  • Add a small dollop of oil in the middle and put the bolanee on one half of the pan. Use your fingertips to push the dough around the edge of the pan. That way you get a nice segment shape.
  • Cook it until the side is golden brown. Then flip it over and do the same.
  • Keep adding a little drop of oil to the pan every bolanees that you cook.
  • Soon, you’ll have a massive pile of them! Stack them neatly on a nicely decorated plate with a nice big dollop of yogurt on the side.

P.S I love leftover bolanee.  The only trouble is that there never are any leftovers! These are ideal to eat hot or cold. I blitz it in the microwave cos I like the soft, pillowy texture. This is great veggie lunch fare to take to work! They will keep for a good couple of days in the fridge for you to take to work or have as lunch 🙂

3 Comments leave one →
  1. tracey permalink
    October 25, 2010 13:13

    Maz, this looks delicious! And I was thrilled to see a new entry. Keep the recipes coming!

  2. Christina permalink
    December 13, 2010 16:10

    This does look super yummy.

    But if Thing A needs to be done before Thing B, you should probably list them in that order. 🙂

    • Maz permalink*
      December 13, 2010 17:33

      Thanks Christina, fixed it now! One of the perils of posting a blog when utterly ravenous 😉

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