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Ravioli, Afghani Leek (Boulanee) (P, TNT)
Source: Afghan web site
Yield: 15 "ravioli"

450g (1 lb.) sifted white plain flour (or half white, half chapati)
225ml (a little less than 1 cup) water
450g (1 lb.) gandana or leeks (trimmed weight), washed and finely chopped
3 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper
1 tbsp. vegetable oil, plus extra for frying

Put the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt into a mixing bowl. Add slowly as much water as required and mix to form a stiff dough. Place the dough on to a clean work surface and knead for about 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is elastic, smooth and shiny. Form the dough into a ball, cover with a damp cloth and set aside for at least half an hour.

Squeeze out as much water as possible from the leeks (or gandana) and put into a colander. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons salt and half a teaspoon of red pepper. Mix and knead by hand until the leeks begin to soften and then add 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix again before setting aside.

Divide the dough into 3 or 4 balls. Roll out each ball as thinly as possible on a lightly floured surface (the thickness should be no more than 1.5mm (about 0.05")--if the dough is too thick the boulanee will be tough.

Take a round cutter of 13 to 15cm (4" to 5") (a pan lid or tin lid can be used), and cut out as many rounds as possible. The number of boulanee will depend on how thinly the dough is rolled out and the size of cutter used.

On half of each round spread about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the drained leeks. Moisten the edges of the dough, fold over and seal shut. The boulanee should be spread out on a lightly floured surface until ready to fry. Do not place one boulanee on top of another as they will stick together.

When all the boulanee are made and you are ready to serve them, heat enough vegetable oil in a frying-pan and shallow fry one or two boulanee at a time, browning on both sides. Keep warm until all are finished. Serve at once.

Poster's Notes:
These used to be a great favourite among foreigners in Afghanistan and are especially delicious when served with drinks. They should be served crisp and hot, straight from the frying-pan. However, Afghans occasionally offer them cold, especially if there are a lot of other dishes being produced at the same time.

They are made on special occasions such as birthdays and engagements, but may also be served as snacks.

Two types of boulanee are prepared in Afghanistan. The most popular is that made with gandana for which leeks make a good substitute. Boulanee are also made with a mashed-potato filling. Often, at parties or special occasions, both types of boulanee are prepared at the same time.

Posted by Viviane Barzel

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A