HOW TO EAT BOOLAWNEE
Afghanistan has a wide varying terrain allowing for many different crops. Afghan cuisine is largely based upon the nation's chief crops: cereals like wheat, maize, barley and rice. Afghanistan's culinary specialties reflect its ethnic and geographic diversity and has similarities with neighboring Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.
A Boolawnee, or Bolawnee is a flatbread dish from Afghanistan, which is traditionally filled with leeks, or sometimes ingredients like potatoes, lentils, spinach, etc. It is generally a vegan dish, and is served as a main dish. Similar to its Indian counterpart called ‘Paratha’, a
Boolawnee has, however, different flavors and spices in its ingredients.
A Boolawnee basically consists of a plain dough, and spiced, raw, diced leeks. The dough is made into shapes of nuts, and stuff with leeks and sealed. It is then rolled out until thin, round and even, and fried until crisp.
In Afghan cuisine, the floor spread, the ‘dastarkhan’ or ‘sofrah’ is of great importance, and breads are traditionally served to guests with Torshi (sometimes also called Tursu), a regional name for pickled fruits or vegetables, or Chutney.
During a Dastarkhan, a large cloth will most likely be spread over a traditional rug in the living area or on a formal dining table. Most likely a young member of the family will present a "aftabah wa lagan", a copper basin and elaborate pot filled with water for the household to wash their hands in. He or she will go around the destarkhan to each member, pour water over the hands. Soap is provided, as is a drying cloth.
The destarkhan is then dutifully filled with breads, accompaniments, relishes, appetizers, main courses, salads, rice, and fruits.
For the recipe of a Boolawnee, you can click here.
(Pic courtesy: kabobcorner.com)