I am going through a phase…a bread-baking phase!
It appears like I am taking a break from all the crazy cake and cookie baking I’ve been doing for months now, only to substitute it with… you guessed it, bread! I recently chanced upon some stunning pictures of the Afghani Bolani on one of the blogs I am following, and the golden hue of the fried-bread (which is almost like our Alu-Paratha but made with maida instead of wheat flour and deep-fried) caused a disturbance in my mind. The kind that made me just get up and make that stuff in the hope of creating something similar-looking. The taste wasn’t something I was overly concerned about, you couldn’t possibly go wrong with a mildly flavored mashed-potato filling. Right?
Anyways, last friday, our months of working on the branding and interiors of a Bengali restaurant project was going to be put to test, the restaurant was opened for some trial runs. And although officially, we didn’t have any role to play in that day’s event, we wanted to see how our months of hard work was going to look that night. Dave wanted us to go out after that to celebrate with drinks and dinner. I convinced him that the one at home would be a lot more fun and tastier! I made Bolanis for dinner and instead of deep-frying them, just shallow-fried them on a non-stick pan with a few teaspoons of oil. I served these for dinner when Dave got home. After which we drove to the restaurant to see what it looked like. We were happy at how cozy, it looked in the night light. We got back home and had our own quiet-celebration as we opened our beers and clinked our bottles and drank to the success of our latest project.
I made the Bolanis again with some paneer-burji stuffing, they were divine and very filling.
You could either follow the recipe here for the deep-fried version or follow my slightly-modified one to make a shallow-fried Bolani.
What You Will Need
For the dough:
- All-purpose flour – 3 and 1/2 cups
- Salt – 1 teaspoon
- Oil – 1 teaspoon
- Water – 1 cup
Mix all the dry ingredients and adding small amounts of water, knead the dough into a ball. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes. Cover and set aside for an hour.
For the Potato Filling:
- Potatoes (boiled and mashed)- 6-8 small ones
- 1/2 of a small Onion – Chopped fine
- Green-chillies – 2-3 (based on how much heat you can take) chopped fine
- Salt to taste
- Oil- 1 teaspoon
- Some chopped mint and coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon – Coriander seeds
Mix all the ingredients to make the potato filling.
For the Paneer Burji filling:
- Paneer – 250 gms
- Peas – 1/2 cup
- Onion – 1 small one
- Green chillies 1-2 chopped fine
- Oil – 2 teaspoons
- Tomatoes – 2 small ones chopped
- Coriander – a handful
- Garlic – A few pods
- Ginger – a 1 inch piece
- Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Salt to taste
- Lime – 1/2
- Red chilli powder – 1/2 – 1 teaspoon
- Cumin and Coriander Powder – 1/2 teaspoon each
- Garam Masala Powder – 1 teaspoon
To make the Paneer Burji:
- Soak the paneer and peas separately in warm water for 10 minutes and drain.
- Crumble the paneer.
- Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and let them crackle.
- Add the chopped onions and chopped green chillies.
- Grate the small piece of ginger and add to the pan, add some crushed garlic and let the onion mix saute.
- After the onions are sauteed, add the chopped tomatoes.
- Add cumin and coriander powder, red chilli powder and let the tomatoes cook for 2-5 minutes.
- Add the peas and let them cook for a 5 minutes.
- Add the paneer, salt, garam masala and salt and mix well.
- Turn off the stove in 3 minutes and add the lime juice and coriander leaves.
To make the Bolanis:
- Sprinkle your cooking surface with some flour
- Take a small amount of dough and roll it out into a thin small circle
- Add some of the filling (either potato or paneer) on to half of the circle, leaving a 1-2 cm border on the outside.
- Fold the other side of the circle over the filled one and press together the borders to seal the Bolani
- Transfer to a hot non-stick pan or griddle and adding a few teaspoons of oil, cook till the both sides are sufficiently browned.
- You can serve the potato ones with tomato sauce or mint chutney, the paneer ones do not need any accompaniments