On Saturday, Husband and I walked over to a nearby Farmer’s Market in our new neighborhood. I came across a stand that was selling products from East and West Gourmet Afghan Food – bolani and various sauces.
Not familiar with Afghan cuisine and having never heard of “bolani” before, a quick visit to Wikipedia turned up the following:
Bolani (Persian : “بولانی”) Bolani is a vegan flat-bread from Afghanistan baked or fried with a vegetable filling. It has a thin crust and can be stuffed with a variety of ingredients, such as potatoes, spinach, lentils, pumpkin, or leeks.
Bolani originates strictly from Afghanistan. It is vegan and very low-calorie. It is usually served as an appetizer, side-dish, or main dish.
It is similar to Paratha which comes from India, but it has different spices and ingredients.
East & West Gourmet Afghan Food is the only trademarked producer and retailer of Bolani in the US. Their products can be found in Farmers’ Markets all over California as well as Whole Foods Markets, Mollie Stone’s, Andronico’s, Corti Brothers, and various Food Co-Ops.
To me, they looked like quesadillas without the cheese. I like quesadillas so I should like bolani, right? Okay, so my logic may be flawed but whatever gets me to eat new things…
The stand carried pumpkin and spinach bolani. After sampling both of them topped with various sauces like cilantro pesto, I raided Husband’s wallet for cash. I ended up walking away with one of each type of bolani (4 servings in each bag) and containers of garlic mint cheese (more like a yogurt), cilantro pesto and eggplant pesto which cost us $24 total (we got one product free). A little pricey… On the website, it said that their products were also available at Whole Foods so I’m going to see if my local branch carries their products and if so, what the prices are. There’s always direct ordering from the website but I haven’t checked out what shipping costs are like.
The guy at the stand suggested heating up a skillet with a little bit of oil and frying the bolani or just microwaving it as it’s best served warm. I brought some of the pumpkin bolani to work for lunch today and popped it in the toaster oven which gave the bread a little bit of crispiness on the edges. Topped with the garlic mint cheese, it was yummy! The yogurt-y sauce, while garlic-y, is not overly so and the mint gives it a nice refreshing quality. This would work great as a vegetable dip or as salad dressing.
The thing I like most about these products is the fact that they are low calorie, low fat and packed full of nutritious stuff like vitamins and anti-oxidants n’ all the other things those guys in white coats say to eat else you’ll keel over and die. Jamie Oliver would be proud…
I could see myself visiting this stand every week for bolani but I think my wallet may have a say about that. Maybe every other week?
***Pictures yoinked off East and West Gourmet Afghan Food’s website.
Filed under: afghan, farmer's market, food review | Tagged: afghan, bolani, Del Aire, East and West Gourmet Afghan Food, farmer's market, flatbread, food review, garlic mint cheese, Hawthorne, Holly Glen, lentils, Los Angeles, pumpkin, spinach, vegan, vegetarian, yogurt |