Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stuffed Buns / Aloo Buns / Potato Buns

Bakeries seem to be something very unique to Bangalore, or perhaps to the states in the South of India. I don't mean the fancy ones with croissants, macarons, cheesecakes, etc...I am talking about the ones with khara biscuits, masala bread, puffs, egg rolls and buns with different stuffing !
Anyone from Bangalore would know exactly what I mean. The residential localities are dotted by such bakeries, dishing out these goodies at a really reasonable price, all through the day...

Potato Buns

Here, in Gujarat, you get a lot of snacky food, made mainly of chickpea flour / besan like ghantiya, fafda, sev in various flavours, but I haven't come across any bakery that sells buns with filling, masala bread and those lovely puffs...
For me, the bakeries in Bangalore really rock !!

open bun

There is this 'Iyengar bakery' right down the road from my Ma's place..When I was working back in Bangalore, during the monsoons, I would go straight to the bakery and pick up these aloo buns / potato stuffed buns and then call Ma and tell her I am on my way and she would keep the tea ready. Savouring these buns with the hot chai and a nice conversation with my Ma was just the perfect thing to do on a rainy evening.
Its quite obvious that these buns mean so much more to me than just a snack, and I never miss a chance to go pick them up every time I visit Bangalore

aloo buns

I have been raving about these Iyengar bakery special aloo buns to my friend here for a while now. I've been wanting to try these from this recipe on Champa's blog, but have been postponing it. Finally got down to making these yesterday, when my friend was here. They turned out really well and I was pretty happy with the browning too, which has been a big challenge in my convection microwave oven.

stuffed buns

I am leaving for Bangalore in a couple of hours, and will get to eat these there again, but for all of you who love the aloo buns of Bangalore, give this recipe a try, its almost like the real deal !

Sending this to Susan's weekly YeastSpotting

Aloo Buns
Recipe source - Champa's Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen

Here's my slightly modified one

What you need -

For the stuffing

3-4 medium size potatoes
6-7 green chillies
1" piece ginger
1 tbsp oil
a handful of chopped coriander leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of turmeric powder
salt to taste

For the dough

1 cup APF / maida
2 cups wheat flour (or use any other combination of flours to make 3 cups)
1.5 tsp instant yeast
1 cup warm milk
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp melted butter

What you do with it -

For the stuffing -
Boil the potatoes, peel and mash coarsely
In a pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds, allow to splutter
Add the green chillies, chopped ginger and the turmeric powder
Add the mashed potatoes and sprinkle some water over it
Add salt and allow to cook for 3-4 mins
Add the chopped coriander leaves
Turn off the heat and keep it aside

For the dough

Add the salt and sugar to the warm milk
Stir in the flours, oil and yeast and knead well
If using dry yeast granules, add it to the warm milk with the sugar. Allow it to proof. Once the water gets bubbly, add the flours
After kneading for about 5 mins, add the melted butter and knead again for 3-4 mins
The dough turns a little springy at this stage
Cover with a damp cloth or a cling film and allow it to rise in a warm place for about 45 mins to an hour
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead for 2-3 mins
Then make equal size balls. I got about 14 such balls
Grease a pan with some oil
Flatten each ball and roll it out with your palm
Add a ball of the stuffing and then cover the dough from all sides and seal it
Repeat with all the dough and place the stuffed dough with the seam side down in the greased pan
Allow it to rise for another 30-45 mins
Keep the dough balls spaced apart, so that they don't stick to each other as they rise
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and place the pan in the oven
Before you pop them into the oven, brush the dough with some melted butter and milk
Bake for about 20 mins
Brush with butter again if you'd like and enjoy it with a hot cup of tea !

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Raw Mango Rice / Mangai Ogaray - Southern Flavours by Chandra Padmanabhan

I had got 'Southern Flavours', a book by Chandra Padmanabhan as part of the book review program by blogadda in the last week of January.
I would have loved to cook from the book and then write the review, but since the review had to come up in a week's time, and I was going to have a lot of my relatives coming over in two days time, I decided to write the review just based on what I read

Raw Mango Rice

I was honestly not very happy with writing a review of a cookbook, without cooking anything from it, so I got down to making quite a few things from the book - Pandigai Mor Kolambu, Kancheepuram idli, Thenga thuvyal and Masala vade, which turned out really good. As it usually happens, either the pictures didn't come out alright in the evening light, or the family was too hungry to make them wait before I took pictures, so it didn't make its way here

I made this mangai ogaray or raw mango rice, which according to the author, is from the Hebbar Iyengar community of Karnataka, a recipe she learnt from her sister-in-law.
The mustard seeds ground with the coconut and raw mango gave it a sharp, tangy flavour, which worked really well, a different taste from I've had so far\

I will post more of what I make from the book, but in the meanwhile, do give this a try...


Mangai Ogaray
Recipe Source - Southern Flavours by Chandra Padmanabhan

What you need -

1 cup long grained rice (I used basmati)
1.5 cups grated raw mango - I used 2 medium sized ones and grated with the skin on
4 tbsp raw peanuts
salt to taste
1 sprig curry leaves

Spice paste -
1.5 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder / hing
4-6 red chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric
4 tbsp grated fresh coconut

Tempering -
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp split Bengal gram / chana dal
1 red chilli, halved

What you do with it -

Cook the rice and spread on a platter to cool (I added 1/2 tsp salt while cooking the rice)
Combine all the ingredients for the spice paste. Add half the grated mango and grind to a fine paste. Set aside
Heat oil for tempering in a pan. Add the ingredients for tempering in the order given
Fry over moderate heat. Add peanuts and fry for 2-3 mins
Add the remaining grated raw mango and cook till its tender
Stir in the spice paste and cook for 3-4 mins, till its fragrant
Remove from heat
Add salt and curry leaves to the rice and stir in the spiced mango masala, gently, till it blends well
Serve at room temperature
I served it with a raita and masala vadas

Monday, April 2, 2012

Puran poli / Sweet stuffed Indian flatbread

Here's the recipe for the puran poli we had for Ugadi this year. This was my first successful attempt at making it. It turned out soft and the sweetness was just right. TH and my son, the ones with the sweet tooth at home, really enjoyed it.


I made this again for lunch at a friend's place. She called us over for a scrumptious Maharashtrian meal. I took this along to go with the Maharashtrian theme. Puran polis are popular in Gujarat too, but tur dal (pigeon peas) is used instead of chana dal.
This time around, I made the size of the stuffing the same as the size of the dough, which helped in getting the stuffing spread all through the dough and they were more tasty this way...

Puran poli
Adapted from Rasachandrika, the Saraswat cookery book

Makes about 20 puranpolis

What you need -

1.5 cups bengal gram dal / chana dal (soaked in water for 3-4 hours)
4 cardamoms
1.5 cups grated jaggery
1/2 cup water
5-6 tsp oil
1.5 cup maida / APF
1 tsp turmeric powder

What you do with it -

Wash the soaked dal, add enough water to cover the dal. Cook in a pressure till it turns very soft
Drain out all the water
Add the grated jaggery and the cooked dal in a thick bottom pan and stir continuously on a low flame
Cook until all the water is absorbed and it becomes soft
Ensure that you do this on a low flame - this should take about 10-12 mins
Allow it to cool and grind to a smooth paste, without using any water
(The dal was cooked really well and I didn't need to grind it - it was smooth enough)
Powder the cardamoms and add to the this mixture
It is better if you can allow this to cool completely, its much easier to handle it that way
I made this a day in advance and refrigerated it
When you are ready to use this, divide it into small balls
Make a dough with the maida, water and turmeric powder, adding oil to knead well till it is a pliable, smooth dough
Grease your palm with a little oil. Take a small ball of dough and flatten it on your palm
I made the ball of dough the same size as the ball of stuffing. Since the dough is really elastic, the filling gets spread almost all thru, and tastes way better
Place a small ball of the sweet mixture in the centre, and fold the sides of the dough to cover it completely
Dust it with a little flour and roll it into a round shape of about 6"
Heat a tava / griddle and then transfer it onto the tava
Don't use oil or ghee at this step
Allow it to roast till you see some brown specks on it
Flip it over and allow it to roast on that side too
Serve hot with a spoonful of ghee smeared on it


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