Healthy, Vegan Afghan Food:: Spinach Bolani






Oh my. What a discovery today! I parked my car at Westwood Village for a quick errand to Verizon for my Blackberry. I glanced out to the street and realized that Farmers Market was going on. I strolled out through the crowds of UCLA students and noticed the Middle-eastern stand with different sauces & spread which is one stop I could never miss. The friendly Afghani man handed me a sample of a small piece of bread that looked like Roti with the texture of filo-dough, topped with some basil pesto spread and a drop of yogurt.

Sexy. So damn sexy. It wasn’t one of those immediate lust-at-first-bite tastes like that of Spicy Vindaloo or Tum Yum Kha, but rather this alluring subtle taste in my mouth that was making me fiend for more. The type of stuff MSG & Umami does to us. I asked for more, and explored all the different sauces & spreads he had including: Basil Pesto, Lentil Curry, Cilantro Pesto, Garlic Mint Cheese, Sun-dried tomato pesto/Hummus, Eggplant Pesto, Hummus. I ended up buying the Basil Pesto & Lentil Curry to start off with. I discovered once I got home that the basil pesto w/pine nuts that I have in my fridge from Trader Joes contains 300 calories for 1/4 cup, while this brand’s Basil pesto is only 35 calories for 1/4 cup. That’s a huge leap for a few minor differences such as oil, cheese, processed ingredients added.

The bread is called Bolania 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 (dahri) originates strictly from Afghanistan. It is vegan and very low-calorie. It is usually served as a Hors D’oeuvres, side-dish, or main dish.

I had the Spinach Bolani – ingredients: unbleached Wheat flour, Spinach, Green Onion, Cilantro, Soybean Oil, Salt & Spices. I’ve never heard of it until now. BINGO!! As Paolo Coehlo said, “When we want something, the universe conspires in helping us achieve it”. Whether the wish minor or huge, doesn’t matter. I’ve been trying to eat healthier. And there it is, this delicious replacement for naan, tortilla, pita bread, lavash, pancakes and whatever carb bread we enjoy to snack on & a lower-calorie spread that I personally think tastes better.

East and West Gourmet Afghan Food is the story of an Afghan woman and her family’s struggle in the search for a better life. Supported by her husband and eldest son they immigrated to the US and founded East and West Gourmet Food. I’m looking forward to going back to this stand next week at the farmers market by UCLA! You can find Bolani Products at the Farmers market or Order online!

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