Stuffed Masala Buns
What are Stuffed Masala Buns?
Stuffed Masala Buns are simply home baked buns that are filled with a mixture of mixed masala vegetables. The bread dough is stuffed with the masala vegetables and then baked.
What Stuffing you can use?
I usually add peas, carrot, potatoes, onion. If I have sweet corn, green beans, kidney beans, I add that too. Started added paneer when the use to bake the buns for them. Basically, you can use any vegetables that you like.
When the kids were growing up, going to the beach every weekend, going to Nairobi by train during the school holidays was the norm. Every weekend I would take them to the beach, they would swim in the sea, build sand castles, they would have their ‘dinner’ and during the ride back home, fall asleep in the car. Usually carried food that did not require any heating up. Stuffed Masala Buns was one of them. Sometimes it would be cheese, tomato and cucumber sandwiches, dhokra, handvo, dhebra or thepla with milk or yogurt. Train journeys from Mombasa to Nairobi and back back then were little adventures for the kids. The train would leave Mombasa exactly at 7p.m. and reach Nairobi in the morning around 8a.m. For my kids, a train journey was like a big picnic. I would have to carry a variety of snacks for them. Stuffed masala buns was one of them. Early morning as we would approach Nairobi, we would see giraffes, zebras, ostrich, baboons, buffalos, antelopes, etc.
The present day train journey now takes about 5 hours. No more overnight journeys, which I miss so much. Having said that, sometime back when hubby and I travelled to Nairobi by train, I baked these stuffed masala buns to enjoy during our journey. We did have the option of buying lunch aboard but opted for home made food. Occasionally, I bake these buns to enjoy on their own or to have them with some plain soup.
Some more Bun recipes to check out
Steamed Bao Buns – enjoy them like a sandwich with your favorite filling.
Mangalore Buns – though not baked, these fried version of the speciality from Karnataka State buns are very delicious.
Siddu/Sidku – a speciality from Himachal Pradesh, the bread dough is stuffed with poppy seed walnut mixture or vegetables, or sweet filling and steamed. Its usually enjoyed as a snack.
Turkish Kahvalti Buns – with nigella seeds these buns are usually served at breakfast.
Vegetable Masala Buns – the dough is smeared with a green chutney, vegetable stuffing is added and shaped like a scroll.
Coconut Buns/Chinese Cocktail Buns – stuffed with coconut and so so delicious.
Chocolate Orange Swirl Buns – ideal brunch or tea time treat
Cemita Buns – Mexican buns used for sandwiches
Maritozzi Con La Panna – Roman Cream buns, an Italian speciality, the sweet buns are filled with whipped cream.
Iyengar Bakery Style Khara Buns – these are so famous in Bangalore, sold in almost all the Iyengar style bakeries.
Wholemeal Cheese Bombs – Renu has stuffed bread dough with mozzarella and baked them. Perfect for cheese lovers.
Initially, I was using plain or all purpose flour but nowadays use a mixture of plain flour and wheat flour.
Ingredients required for the Stuffed Masala Buns:
Flours – plain flour, all purpose flour, bread flour and wheat flour for the bread dough and for dusting.
Oil – for adding to the bread dough, also for preparing the masala and greasing
Milk – for the bread dough
Salt – for the bread dough and the masala
Sugar – a little required for the bread dough
Dry active yeast – I use the instant variety. If you use dry active yeast, you will need to activate it by letting it ferment in warm water for 10 minutes or till the mixture becomes frothy.
Mixed Vegetables – like peas, carrots, potatoes, sweet corn, French beans, onion, garlic, etc
Spices – like cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, fresh ginger, green chillis, clove powder, cinnamon powder, coriander powder
Lemon juice – for the stuffing
Asafetida – hing. A little for the stuffing. However, this ingredient is optional.
Fresh coriander – chopped for the stuffing or filling
Paneer – cut into tiny cubes. Optional ingredient.
- For Vegan version omit milk and paneer. Replace milk with water or any vegan friendly milk.
STUFFED MASALA BUNS
FOR THE BREAD DOUGH:
- 2 cups wholewheat flour
- 1 cup plain flour or bread flour
- 2 tsp instant active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water or milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- extra oil for greasing
- extra flour for dusting
FOR THE VEGETABLE STUFFING/FILLING:
- ½ cup boiled or steamed peas
- ¼ cup sweet corn
- ¼ cup peeled and diced carrot
- ½ cup peeled and diced potatoes
- ½ cup tiny cubes of paneer
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- ½ - 1 tsp green chilli paste
- 1 tbsp oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ¼ tsp clove powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- generous pinch of asafetida if using any
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2-3 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1-2 tbsp seasame seeds
PREPARATION OF THE BREAD DOUGH:
- Mix the flours, salt, sugar, cumin seeds and yeast in a mixing bowl.
- Add oil and rub into the flour.
- Add warm water or milk and bring together the mixture into a dough.
- Dust the worktop with some flour. Transfer the dough on to the worktop.
- Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes till its smooth. If you use the dough kneading machine then allow it to knead for 5-7 minutes.
- Shape into a ball.
- Grease the bowl with some oil. Rub some oil all over the dough too.
- Place the dough in the greased bowl. Cover and put in a warm place.
- Allow the dough to ferment till its double the size. Mine took 1 hour 15 minutes.
PREPARATION OF THE VEGETABLE STUFFING/FILLING:
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add mustard and cumin seeds.
- As soon as the seeds begin to sizzle or pop, add chopped onion and asafetida.
- Stir fry the onion till its soft.
- Add chopped garlic and stir fry for a few seconds.
- Add ginger and chilli paste. Add turmeric powder and mix well.
- Add the vegetables and salt.
- Lower the heat and cover the pan with a lid.
- Allow the vegetables to cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Stir the vegetables. If the vegetables begin to stick to the pan, add about 1-2 tbsp water.
- Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat.
- Add sugar, clove, cinnamon, coriander powders, lemon juice and chopped coriander.
- Mix well. Allow the stuffing or filling to cool down completely.
PREPARATION OF STUFFED MASALA BUNS:
- Deflate the risen dough by gently knead it a bit.
- Grease a baking tray with some oil or line it with parchment paper.
- Dust the worktop with flour. Shape the dough into a ball, roll it out a bit into a 5-6 inches diameter circle.
- Cut the dough into 8 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball.
- Roll one piece of dough ball into a 4-5 inch diameter circle.
- Put about 2 tbsp filling in the middle.
- Gather up the sides, pinch and close the dough.
- Shape into a round ball.
- Place the stuffed dough ball on the prepared baking tray.
- Repeat the above steps with the remainder dough balls and stuffing.
- Cover the stuffed buns with a damp cloth and allow the dough to rise for 30-45 minutes. It depends on how warm yoru kitchen is. Colder place may take a longer time. Basically, allow it to ferment till nearly double in size.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Brush the bun tops with some milk.
- Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.
- Put the baking tray with the risen buns in the oven.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or till the tops are golden brown in colour.
- Remove the tray from the oven.
- Remove the baked buns from the tray and allow them to cool down a bit on a wire rack.
- Enjoy the buns with some sauce, with your favourite salad or soup.
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