What do you think kept me alive on all those nights when it was chickpea and eggplant sambhar for dinner? Or worse yet bottle gourd chutney? The matron feels compelled to make chutney out of anything that grows on a plant. I said feels because she s still that way. I lived on food from sandwich joints and iyengar bakeries that dot the landscape of Bangalore. When i had company, it was a ballyhoo of a dinner. But when i was alone, it was always a sandwich from Oven Fresh or stuffed buns from Iyengar Bakery.
I can still remember the fragrance of freshly baked goodies wafting through the lane as i walked by towards the bus stand. I ve been found standing undecided in front of the bakery. The potpourri of baked goodies always muddled me. I was always thinking whether to buy that crunchy paneer puffs or some soft and spicy stuffed buns. The buns always won hands down. No matter what i picked up, my packet always had 2 of these. They would last me the next morning in case they decided to make concrete for breakfast. Oh.. concrete is upma which you have to pry with a spoon before you put some into your mouth.
Then things changed. Mr. P my knight in shining armor arrived and whisked me off to Baroda. I began baking. And from the time i began baking, there has been this incessant itch to recreate those sinfully soft and spicy buns. Stuffed with boiled potatoes and roasted peanuts. They had varieties too. Paneer and capsicum. Mixed veggies. All of them were favorites. Finally, i got around to baking them yesterday and i must say, it was an incredible experience baking them. The aroma of those buns lingered long after i stored them.
Prep Time: 20 mins to mix and knead the dough
10 mins for preparing the stuffing
1 to 1.5 hours for the first rise
20 mins for the second rise
Cook Time: Under 20 mins for the stuffing
15 mins to bake the buns
Yields 8 buns
( These buns make a great starter. They taste amazing with a bowl of soup. Or makes a good snack after school too. You can make the whole thing with only wheat flour. But then, you will need a lil more fluid. May be 1/4 cup more of either milk or water. Or make the whole thing with maida. But reduce the fluid accordingly. Feel free to make any kind of stuffing. Maybe some chickpeas and other lentils. Or even cottage cheese and onions. Or even spiced up scrambled eggs and cheese.It s ok if the veggies for the stuffing s under cooked. They ll get cooked during the baking.I baked 4 at a time because of a small baking tray. You can bake all of them at once too.In case you eat eggs, you can coat the buns before baking with beaten egg white.)
What You Need?
For The Dough:
Maida 1 cup
Whole wheat flour 1/2 cup
Yeast 1.5 tbsp
Sugar 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Milk 1/4 cup
Warm water 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Chili powder 1/2 tsp
Oil 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves chopped finely 1/2 cup
For The Filling:
Potato 1 large peeled and cubed
Capsicum 1 chopped finely
Beans chopped finely 2 tbsp
Carrot grated 2 tbsp
Onion 1 large chopped finely
Oil 2 tbsp
Red chili powder 3/4 tsp
Coriander cumin powder 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Flour for dusting
Milk for milk wash
Sesame seeds for topping 3 to 4 tbsp
How To Make It?
In a bowl, mix together the yeast, water and sugar. Keep aside for 10 mins until frothy.
Now, in a mixing bowl, add the flours, turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander leaves and salt. Combine well with a whisk.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the oil.
Once the yeast is proofed, add the milk to the yeast mixture and add this to the flour.
Combine until well incorporated.
Transfer to a floured surface and start kneading until you get a smooth supple dough.
Coat the dough with some oil on all the sides and place in a greased bowl in which you can make out if the dough has doubled.
Cover with a damp and clean kitchen towel and set aside until doubled.
In the meanwhile, lets make the filling.
In a pan, heat the oil. Add the onions and saute till pink.
Now add all the spice powders and mix well.
Saute on a low flame for 30 secs.
Add all the veggies, combine well and cook for 10 mins.
Add salt and mix well.
Once the dough has doubled, remove the bowl and punch the dough to flatten. Now, knead the dough for 2 mins.
Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and shape them into small balls.
Transfer each ball into a floured surface and flatten a little using a rolling pin just like how you would do for rotis. But no thinly. Make a thick round.
Place 1.5 tbsp of filling in the middle of the flattened dough ball.
Bring together the sides, seal and pinch the dough.
Repeat for the entire dough.
Now brush the top with milk.
Spread the sesame seeds on a tray and roll the top of the stuffed balls gently on the sesame seeds.
Line a tray with tin foil and grease it generously.
Place the dough balls on the tray 4 at a time.
Cover with a dampl kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled.Takes about 30 to 45 mins.
Towards the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 200 c.
Once the dough has risen the second time, bake in the oven for about 12 to 15 mins.
Keep an eye after 12 mins or you will get a burnt bottom on all the buns.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack.