Hot Stuffed Buns! Hot Stuffed Buns! One a penny, two a penny, hot stuffed Buns! Errr… Maybe I ought to factor inflation into the poem and say, one a dollar? High time, don’t you think? Well, All I can say is, these stuffed buns are so warm, soft and the balance of flavors you get with every bite, it almost feels like a hug, a hug from an angel. And, who can put a price on that, eh? Then again, I am biased because, as you know, I made these stuffed buns from scratch and all. Why don’t you try them and tell me about it? 🙂
“Imitation is the best form of flattery”, they say. Although, it is annoying as heck to have your style copied to the T, I tell ya! But, that is not the point here. My rant can wait for another day.
What I was trying to tell you is this: When something is successful, especially a business model, you find a lot of copy cats out there. Like the numerous Pizza joints that popped up after a successful one, or the numerous drive through cafes. It is quite a common phenomenon you find all around the world. It happens in India too. Except, the new imitation businesses copies the name of the business too!
That’s right! So, while in India, if you find numerous Café ABCs and one of them is this amazing artsy place and another is a rat infested hole-in-the-wall, don’t be surprised. They are exclusive of one another:D Long story short, there is a bakery in Bangalore called the Iyengar Bakery (A small family run business). They make the most amazing stuffed buns called palya buns; palya meaning a stir fry.
The baked goods from this place became so popular with time that you will find one such bakery with the very same name in every other street in town. While you never know which of them was started by a distant cousin of the family and which one just copied the name, you can easily know the best ones when you walk past them.
A fragrance of fresh baked goods spreading upto a mile away every evening. Sigh! I miss the walks along the pavements of the shopping complex that my mom used to take us on. With no particular itinerary, we used to stroll along buying trinkets until a whiff would just pull us to the doors of the bakery. Stuffed buns was just one among our favorites there. While the list of goodies we loved there is quite long and I cannot provide you with recipes for all of them today, I can surely give you the recipe for:
PS: Traditionally, the stuffed buns come with a semi-mashed potato stir fry but I have used diced paneer (Indian cottage cheese) as a filling. What can I say? You know me, such a rebel I am! 😀
If you are looking for more, good-old vegetarian snack recipes, I recommend you check these too:
Mini Vada Pav Bites
Stuffed Buns with Paneer Masala
STUFFED BUNS WITH PANEER MASALA
For the Buns
- 1 & 1/2 cup All purpose flour (Maida)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Milk
- Upto 1/3 cup water
- 3/4 tbsp Active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds (Optional)
For the stuffing
- 1/2 cup diced paneer (Small cubes)
- 1/8 cup green peas
- 1/8 cup diced onion
- 1/8 cup tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 1/4 tsp Garam masala
- 1/4 tsp Red chilli powder
- 1/8 tsp Turmeric powder
- Salt to season
- Cilantro to garnish
- 1 tbsp Oil
- Warm up the milk, add sugar and mix well. Ensure that the milk is now, only lukewarm. If it is hot, they yeast added in the next step could be rendered useless.
- Add the yeast to it and mix well. Set aside for about 5 mins. The yeast dissolves into a smooth mixture and foams up. This is the indication of live and kicking yeast.
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the salt and mix well.
- Now, add 2 tbsp of oil and the yeast-milk mixture. Add water in small quantities while kneading simultaneously. Make a soft dough but not too sticky.
- Take a tsp of oil and use it smoothen the dough before you cover it and set it aside to rest for an hour.
- It is now time to make the filling. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to crackle.
- Add the diced onions and once they turn translucent, add the tomatoes and peas and diced paneer and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
- Now, add the turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, and salt and mix well. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes or until the spices have blended well. Garnish with cilantro.
- Set aside to cool.
- Getting back to the dough. it almost doubles in size at the end of an hour.
- Beat the dough and knead again with a gentle hand. Make approximately equal sized balls out of the dough (about 6) and keep covered.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and grease it with a tbsp of oil.
- Use a smooth surface or your hands to make a cup ut of the dough to hold the filling.
- Make sure that the centre is thicker than the sides to avoid tearing of the dough while stuffing it.
- Add a spoon or two of the filling. Do not over fill but make sure that there is enough filling to enjoy the bun.
- Bring the edges of the dough together and seal it off by pinching the dough shut.
- Use your hands to smoothen the surface of the dough.
- Place the sealed side down onto the baking tray.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough balls and place on baking tray with ample distance between one another.
- Cover and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes to help raise the buns again.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- After 10 min, brush the surface of the buns with milk, sprinkle sesame seeds (if using), on top.
- Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until the surface of the buns turn golden brown.
- Once done, take them out of the oven and let them cool before serving.
In place of the paneer, you can use tofu or mushroom or diced potatoes for a vegan version.
Instead of the Indian turmeric, and garam masala, you can also use jalapenos and some Mexican seasoning.