Migrateful: Habib’s Afghani dish
We’re huge fans of the charity Migrateful, who help refugee and migrant chefs integrate in the UK. Their mission is simple – empower and celebrate migrant chefs on their journey to employment and independence. During lockdown Migrateful started hosting online cookery classes run by inspiring chefs, including Habib, who arrived in the UK in 2016.
Habib’s story is a brilliant example of the impact Migrateful has on the lives of migrant chefs. In 2018 Habib joined Migrateful and trained one day a week for a number of months, learning English, public speaking and new cheffing techniques. After graduating from the training program, Habib started teaching his wonderful Afghani recipes and sharing his story in cooking classes across London, Bristol and Womad Festival. After a three-year wait, Habib was granted his refugee status on 4th October, 2019.
Thanks to Migrateful, Habib says he has gained confidence, developed his English and increased his social and professional networks. Habib was able to integrate into British society quickly, finding employment and becoming a trustee with Migrateful. Now he’s setting up his own restaurant in West London, congratulations Habib!
Below is Habib’s traditional recipe for Bolani, a popular Afghani dish. Tuck into this flatbread with a herby potato filling, doughy middle and crispy golden shell. Don’t forget the zingy tomato dip and refreshing doogh drink, too.
Serves 8 Total Time 1 hr 10 mins.
Bolani – Flatbread with Herby Potato Filling
• 3 cups plain flour
• 2 tbsp softened butter
• 1 egg
• 4 medium potatoes
• Bunch of chives
• Bunch of parsley
• Bunch of coriander
• 2 tsp thyme
• Black pepper
- Start with the dough. In a large bowl, pour in the flour and add just enough water to bring the flour together and make a soft dough.
- Knead for about 5-7 minutes, cover and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Time to prepare the filling. Peel and chop up the potatoes into small chunks and boil until cooked through.
- Drain the potatoes and mash them.
- Finely chop your chives, parsley, coriander and crush the garlic. Mix into the potatoes along with a pinch of salt, pepper and thyme. Set aside.
- Back to the dough. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll into balls. Dust your rolling pin, surface and dough balls over with flour and roll each ball into a thin 10-12 inch long circle.
- Whisk your eggs together and brush the mixture onto the edges to help seal the dough together at a later point.
- Take you filling and spread about 3 tbsp of filling on one half of the dough, leaving a little space at the edge to help seal the flatbread. Fold the dough over the filling and seal the edges using the back of a fork. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Time to fry. Fill the base of your pan with oil and get it boiling. Drop in your flatbreads individually and cook on both sides until golden brown. Alternatively, you can place in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 180°C (this is a healthier option).
Bolani Zingy Tomato Dip
• 1/2 kg tomatoes
• 3 green hot chillies
• Small handful of fresh parsley
• Small handful of fresh Coriander
• Small handful of fresh Mint Leaves
• Few drops of tabasco
• 1 lemon
• 3 cloves of garlic
• 1 tsp dried mint
• 1 tsp oregano
• 1 tsp thyme
1. Blend together garlic, 1/2 lemon juice and tomatoes (saving one for garnish). It will look pale brown in colour. Set aside.
2. Blend together the chillies, parsley, coriander, mint (saving a few leaves for garnish), 1/2 lemon juice, oregano, thyme and a few drops of tabasco. Then, pour into a dipping bowl.
3. Spoon over the pale brown sauce and garnish with a leftover tomato and mint leaves.
Doogh Yoghurt Drink
• 1 cup whole Goat’s Milk yoghurt (or normal if you prefer)
• 1 lemon
• 1 tsp dried mint
• 1 tsp oregano
• 2 garlic cloves, mashed
• 1/2 tsp salt
• Ice cubes
• 1 1/2 cup chilled water
• Mint leaves and slice of lemon to garnish
1. Crush your garlic and mix together the yoghurt, lemon juice, dry mint, oregano and salt in a large bowl.
2. Add ice cubes and stir together.
3. Add 1 1/2 cups of chilled water slowly and stir well to avoid it becoming grainy.
4. Pour into individual glasses over a few ice cubes, garnish with fresh mint leaves and a slice of lemon.