Bolani (Afghani-style stuffed flatbreads)

Bolani (Afghani-style stuffed flatbreads)

Bolani are stuffed Afghani flatbreads, baked or fried. Dr Rupy stuffs the simple dough with sweet potato and spinach for a flavourful vegetarian meal or party food that costs under £1 per portion.

Each serving provides 827kcal, 27g protein, 129g carbohydrate (of which 16g sugars), 19g fat (of which 8g saturates), 15g fibre and 1.9g salt.


For the dough

For the filling

For the sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 and place a sheet of kitchen foil on the middle shelf.

  2. To make the filling, rub the sweet potato all over with half a teaspoon of olive oil. Pierce the skin several times with a sharp knife and place directly onto the top shelf of the oven and bake for 1 hour.

  3. Mix the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl, adding a splash of water if it’s a little thick. Season to taste and set aside (the further in advance you do this, the better, as it allows the flavours to develop).

  4. Meanwhile, to make the dough, tip the flour into a large bowl, stir in the salt and make a well in the middle. Gradually pour in 160-180ml/5½-6fl oz water, mixing together to form a rough dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until you have a smooth, elastic ball of dough. Cover with an upturned bowl or a clean tea towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

  5. To finish making the filling, heat a splash of the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the leek and garlic gently for 5 minutes until soft. Tip into a large bowl. Scoop the cooked sweet potato from its skin and place into the bowl with the spinach and a pinch of chilli flakes. Season to taste.

  6. Divide the dough into four equal pieces and roll each into a thin round, roughly 20cm/8in in diameter. Spoon a quarter of the sweet potato mixture onto one side of a piece dough, brush the edge with water and fold the opposite edge over to enclose the filling – it should be a semicircle. Press the edges together to seal, making sure there’s no air trapped inside. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

  7. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the bolani for 2 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the sauce for dipping.

Recipe Tips

Some Greek yoghurt is particularly thick, so you may need to loosen the sauce with a splash of cold water. You can use fresh mint if you have it.

Flours vary, so the amount of water is approximate – just keep adding a little at a time to bring the mixture into a dough.

If you have leftover herbs, such as parsley, coriander or chives, they make a delicious addition to the filling.