Mangalore Buns/Banana Puri
THEME: #241 FLATBREAD FIESTA
What is a Flatbread?
Generally, flatbreads are made with flour, salt or no salt and water. The dough is either rolled out and then roasted or grilled or its spread out with a ladle like as in crepes, dosa, chila or its patted onto the griddle pan or tawa using your hands like as in a thalipeeth. Mostly, they are unleavened but some like pita bread or pizza will contain a leavening agent.
This week keeping in mind that majority of us are under lockdown, Poonam suggested Flatbreads as our theme using whatever flour we have in our pantries. Though Kenya is not as yet under lockdown, we have curfews and hubby and I are trying our best to isolate ourselves as unfortunately, not many people think its important to wear face masks. However, that is soon going to change as I think the Government is going to make it mandatory. Coming back to flatbreads, while I’ve already tried out Poonam’s Gulachi Podi (which by the way is so delicious), I want to try out her Sarva Pindi recipe.
My Choice for the Theme – Mangalore Buns/Banana Puri
I’ve had Mangalore Buns recipe in my bookmarked section for ages. Not that I didn’t have overripe bananas, but just didn’t get down to making it till this theme came up. Mangalore Buns or Banana puri is a famous breakfast, tea time snack or even served with curries flatbread from Udupi Mangalore region of Karnataka, India. Serve it with just some tea or filter coffee, with coconut chutney or a curry. The name bun is misleading as actually its a puri. Fluffy, soft, ever so slightly sweet with a bit of saltiness and the flavour of cumin. Was wondering why till now I’d not tried out this recipe. Its definitely a keeper. Incidentally, it reminds me of the Swahili bread – Mahamri (Mamri) but less sweet. Before we get down to the recipe, lets talk a bit more about flatbreads.
Flatbreads are a part of many cuisines world over and the Indian Cuisine has so many varieties that one can prepare. While growing up, I learnt first how to make plain paratha and then moved on to make rotli or phulkas. My different shaped rotlis were showered with so much praises and my dad would always say that they are finger licking good. Slowly, learnt how to make them perfectly round.
Flatbreads and the Indian Cuisine
Can’t think of any state in India that does not have its signature Flatbread. Indian Cuisine and flatbreads go hand in hand, right from naans to dosa. Keeping that in mind I have a collection of A-Z Indian Flatbreads. Additionally, there are so many more, of which you may like to check out some:
- Aloo Paratha, which is my all time favorite.
- Pavani’s Vegan Sheermal looks really delicious
- Shailender’s 100% Oats Roti, which I make often and turns out awesome
- Pavani’s Sindhi Koki
- Gluten free Bajri Dhebra or Bajri Parathas
- Dhapate, a Maharashtrian Flatbread usually enjoyed with Zunka
- Masala or Tikhi Puri which is famous as breakfast in most Gujarati homes
- Get kids to enjoy Avin’s Beetroot and Cheese Paratha, colourful and tasty
Why is it called Mangalore Buns?
While hubby was in Mangalore, swotting for his Post Grad diploma in Dermatology, I had the opportunity to visit the coastal town. During my visit got to taste what is simply called as Buns in Mangalore. Wrapped in a newspaper with a blob of coconut chutney, it was a unique puri. There are a couple of stories as to why its called a bun.
One is that a mother didn’t want her kids to have bakery baked buns all the time, so she invented this sweetish fried buns.
Another belief is that cooks had to come up with a recipe to use up overripe bananas. So they added mashed bananas to the flour along with a bit of jaggery, made a dough and fried it.
Whatever the reason, these Mangalore Buns are a must to try out.
Ingredients for Mangalore Buns/Banana Puri
- Most important is ripe banana, the more ripe the better as it adds natural sweetness
- Usually plain flour is used but I used wheat flour (atta)
- Plain yogurt, which adds softness
- Soda Bicarbonate or Baking Soda
- A bit of salt
- Cumin Seeds for flavouring
- Sugar – add more or less according to your taste
- Ghee or oil to knead the dough
- Oil for deep frying
None this time except for a vegan version can replace the dairy yogurt with vegan yogurt.
MANGALORE BUNS/BANANA PURI
Makes about 10-12 depending on the size
2 cups wheat flour (atta)
1 large overripe banana
¼ cup plain yogurt
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp ghee
- Peel and mash the banana with a fork or a masher till it becomes into a smooth paste.
- Add yogurt, sugar and salt to it. Mix well.
- Sift flour with soda bicarbonate into another bowl.
- Add cumin seeds and mix.
- Add the banana mixture to the flour.
- Mix and form a rough ball.
- Rub your hands with ghee and knead the dough till it becomes smooth.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or the dough with a damp cloth.
- Let it rest for 4-5 hours.
- Heat enough oil in a work, kadai or a deep pan for frying over medium heat.
- Divide the dough into 10-12 parts.
- Roll each dough into a ball.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out one part into a circle about 4 – 5 inches in diameter. Should be a little thick and not thin.
- Check to see if the oil is ready. Drop a very tiny piece of the dough into the oil. It should sizzle and come up immediately.
- Fry the rolled puri in the oil over low to medium heat till its golden brown on both sides.
- Repeat steps 13 and 15 till you’ve rolled and fried all the pieces of dough.
- Serve immediately with some tea, coffee or a curry. We enjoyed some with a curry and the leftovers next day with some tea.
- Even when its cold, Mangalore Buns taste good.
- You can use plain flour instead of wheat flour if you wish.
- Its best to mash the banana using a fork or masher.
- Serve the puri with your favorite pickle or chutney.
- The dough should not be too hard or soft.
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