Breads/Flatbreads · Brunch

Masala Buns – Eggless,Whole Wheat Buns with a Spicy Filling

Featured on Foodbuzz Top 9 

Baking is totally sweet.Its therapeutic and always gives me a high.The same is not true when baking with yeast though. I feel that my fears of working with yeast were mostly because of inexperience. The unknown is always baffling.The acme of perfection that I wanted to achieve when handling yeast, mostly met with frustration of it acting foes. My dough would never rise, my yeast would cling to each other and turn into a lumpy mess. Dont even talk about the amount of food I wasted when I wanted to tame it in my own kitchen.The wastage was followed by days of agony. Whenever I wanted to make yeasted breads , I finished making something else. I could not overcome the thought of cups of flour & eggs making their way into the bin.I saw a recipe for a flaky pastry or loaf  in a book, I flipped the page as soon as I read yeast in there. All along my heart felt an overload of running away from the difficult.

Over a period of time, I realized that yeast is not that monstrous as I always guessed it. It needs patience to start with. Half of your battle is won there. The second half is of course practice – lots of it.I am the person who has none of the former but lot of will for the latter. Its like baby steps to learning towards perfecting the fungi. You have to give it attention and love.Even when you knead it, caress it. When it comes to yeast, in my kitchen, my motto is to try simple recipes & make them shine. I dream of baking those perfect  looking breads with visible pores and all. I will make it there someday. Right now, my moment of joy is when my mini buns and rolls fluff up in the warm weather I m blessed with these days  –  so far so good 🙂

I mentioned in my previous post that “Masala” is a generic term for anything spicy in Indian cuisine. Well, on similar lines, masala buns are buns with a spicy filling. I first tasted them in one of the bakeries near my college.I dont even remember how many books I have crammed eating these little beauties…oh boy..did I tell you that they give best(est) company to a cup of sweet masala chai. P calls the combo “double masala” …and it sure is. Spicy filling cushioned within doughy wrap along with sips of sweetish spiced up chai – yum!

I have tried to make these spicy savory buns in the healthiest way possible – using durum atta (whole wheat flour) which is the variety of flour rich is wheat bran.You can get it in indian stores and read about it here. I added Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)  & ajwain (carrom) which are super aromatic indian flavorings if you can lay your hands on them, else add some fennel or cumin seeds. By the way, Kasuri methi is something which is the secret behind those aromatic indian butter chicken and other curries- It lasts forever in the kitchen so you might wanna stock up! Fill the buns with anything you want, I filled them with a spicy potato & vegetable filling. These eggless buns are great for breakfast or casual snacking. These buns can be baked in advance & pair up with indian tomato soup to make a lazy day brunch.


Ingredients (Makes 12-14 buns)

For the buns:-

  • 1.5 cup durum atta (whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ajwain (carrom seeds)
  • 1.5 tsp kasuri methi, fine crushed between palms (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (substitute with melted unsalted butter)
  • 1.5 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup luke warm milk
  • 1/2 cup luke warm water (or as required for kneading the dough)
  • Melted unsalted butter for brushing 
  • Flour for dusting

For the filling :- (Makes 1.5  cups)

  • 2 medium boiled potatoes, slightly mashed (but with little chunks)
  • 1/2 cup colored bell peppers of choice, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • 2 scallions, white & green parts chopped separated
  • 1 fat garlic clove, grated
  • 3 – 4 Thai green chillies, finely chopped (adjust to tolerance)
  • 1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala 
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • In a bowl, add the flours along with crushed kasuri methi. Sift this flour mix once. Add ajwain (carrom seeds) to the sifted flour and set aside.
  • Dissolve sugar in luke warm milk, add yeast and set aside till frothy. Note:-If you dont see foam within 30 seconds of dissolving the yeast,discard the mix & restart.
  • While the yeast is frothing, in a large bowl (enough to hold doubled up dough after rise), tip in the salt.Top it up with sifted flour, olive and foamy yeast paste [ in this order].
  • Start mixing in lukewarm water till everything comes together. Note :- Start with 1/4 cup of water to begin with. Once a loose dough ball starts to come together, transfer the dough to a floured surface, and continue kneading for 5-8 minutes till you get a soft, elastic dough.While kneading , if you feel that the dough is on the dry side, add a tablespoon (s)of water, if you feel it sticky, add some flour to bring it together.
  • Brush some oil on all sides of the bowl, and once kneaded, transfer the dough back to the bowl.Brush some oil on the top of the dough ball, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm, dry place for 1-1.5 hours to rise.
While the Dough is rising 
Make the Masala/Spicy Filling:- 
  • In a pan, heat up the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped white parts of scallions and saute for 4-5 minutes on high.
  • Next, add the garlic along with chopped green chillies.Saute for 30 seconds or till you smell the aroma.
  • Next add all the vegetables along with salt to taste, mix well &  reduce heat to medium and let cook for 10 minutes, uncovered till the peppers and peas are tender.
  • Remove from heat and while still hot, add the chopped green scallion parts, cumin powder, garam masala and lemon juice.Mix well and set aside to cool.
Stuffing the buns & Baking:-
Line a baking/cookie sheet with parchment. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead again for 3-4 minutes on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal balls.Roll out each ball using a rolling pin into a 2″ circle. Spoon about 1.5 tbsp of Masala filling into the centre of each dough circle and pinch all sides to make a stuffed dough ball.Smear the pinched ball all over with oil and line on the baking sheet, pinched side down. Line the balls atleast 3 ” away from each other so that they do not touch each other when they rise. You may use more than 1 baking sheet (if required) to line the dough balls.Let rise in a warm place for 15 more minutes.

While the stuffed balls are rising, preheat oven to 375 F/190 C.Bake the risen balls for 13-15 minutes or till they are light brown in color and you smell the aroma of baked dough & kasuri methi.Mine took 15 minutes. Once light brown, brush melted butter on the balls and bake for another 3-4 minutes till the tops turn golden brown.Pull out the baking sheet and using a pair of tongs, transfer the baked buns to the cooling rack. Cool slightly and serve warm with tomato ketchup. mango mint chutney, green chutney & masala chai.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!

82 thoughts on “Masala Buns – Eggless,Whole Wheat Buns with a Spicy Filling

  1. I can’t believe this – I made something exactly similar few weeks back. Except I used pav bhaji as inspiration and filling had pav bhaji masala etc Wow we do think alike 🙂 Looking great Tanvi. Thanks for sending your entry for mingle!

  2. I’m glad you’ve gotten over your initial fears of baking and yeast! These buns look so appetising especially in Ramdhan when you can just keep popping them into your mouth!

  3. Love your buns. Teehee. And I totally agree about baking being therapeutic. I spent the entire day cooking today. Was soooo much fun. Love your recipes, they are always so adventurous. 🙂

  4. yum, tanvi! i can totally relate to how your mom didn’t bake – my mom wasn’t much of one either. i have the same fears of baking that you had – especially with bread! these looks so good, like i said in my tweet with garam garam chai and plenty of chili garlic sauce for dipping. 🙂

  5. Wow, that’s soooo delicious. I have never seen eggless masala buns or tried them before in my life, but will try to make them!

    xxx from vienna

  6. I love these eggless wheat buns. I just love wheat bread or buns. and the filling just sounds amazing. I love colorful bell peppers.. just makes a dish come alive with color and flavor

  7. What a fabulous recipe! I thought it was about the masala-paav we get in Mumbai..but this recipe totally surprised me.

  8. It is the opposite for me, my mom can bake up a storm…me almost nothing. Though she does not really cook, my chef dad took care of that 🙂
    These are simply wonderful, I love the filling and encased in these buns is a pure delight!

  9. I think everyone fears yeast when they start baking with it…but after a few attempts, you barely even remember to be afraid! I love the looks of these…it must be so much fun for your taste buds to bite into that delicious filling!

  10. I love it when food looks both tasty AND adorable…what gorgeous little buns 😉 I love that the dough is healthy, and that it seems very versatile so that you can add just about anything (I’m a fan of the double-chai thing too I think). Gorgeous post!

  11. Love these little buns, savory and a touch of spice…great pictures as always Tanvi.
    Hope you have a fantastic week 🙂

  12. Wow, the pictures are amazing and the buns look incredible. I make something similar using chicken and veggies but I am thinking next time I need to try it your way! Awesome. So glad you found my site so I could find yours. I will be a regular for sure

  13. These look totally delicious. I am not much of a baker myself but I would love to try these. Love the spicy filling. Thanks

  14. Oh Man! Looks so great! I spotted an Indian store around the train stop where I park to go to work. I am going to have to write down these ingredients and definitely try this one. Sounds healthier than samosas!

  15. Great to find these! I’ve always made a veg masala and stuffed a bread, but baking it right in the bread is a simpler idea, especially when you want to take it to a picnic or when traveling.

  16. OMG Tanvi! These remind me so much of the masala potato buns from Bangalore bakeries.. Those were my staple during college days. Still love them, only difference is I’ll have to bake them if I wanna eat 😉
    I can totally relate to your fear of the yeast, the big difference is that I am yet to conquer my fears.. The masala buns look wicked awesome! You’ve inspired me to bake some now.. 🙂

  17. Tanvi, congrats on Top 9! Sorry for my super late congrats… Oh these little round buns are so cute. I feel really attached to round objects such as buns. The dough part is even cuter! But I would eat them….heheh. the potato filling looks delicious as always. Thanks for sharing the story about your fear of yeast – same here. I’ve tried making bread once before having my 2nd kid (and had more time) but I left with fear…. one day I need to re-try my attempt of making homemade bread!

  18. Baking sure is fantastic in every way u look at it and so are these buns!
    I love how u used wheat flour and well i dont have too many memories of my mom baking either 🙂
    The filling sounds fantastic too and ur pics are pretty as always !

  19. Yup, pretty sure I’m drooling over these. They sound amazing, Tanvi! Gorgeous photos, and I love all the colors of the veggies inside the bread. CONGRATS on top 9, by the way! 🙂

  20. Gosh, I am sometimes amazed at the consistently beautiful things you post. These are darling and I can tell that they would be absolutely scrumptious. I’d inhale these!
    *kisses* HH

  21. its same at our home too, i still remember baking cake in cooker, today she was telling me should buy a oven when you are here? and masala bun is my mum’s fav, papa gets them from bakery shop, now i can’t wait to bake one for her. These are darn adorable! Cuteness on top and pictures can’t wait to have you at my space to show off ur pictures he he 😀 happy weekend darling!

  22. Ur recipe is very tempting…also mouthwatering. as i don’t have conventional oven can i bake them in microwave? Will it turnout the same as in the picture?

  23. lovely. looks yummy. wanna try it. i don’t have conventional oven. can i bake it microwave?

    1. I guess it should work but the texture would be different. All I can say is that you will need to increase yeast, oil and water content in the recipe for the right output. I am sorry but I can’t help you much here.

  24. Lovely recipe! It would be great if you could also add step by step pictures to the recipes for the yeast novices 🙂

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