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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mangalore Buns

Event: BM #47
Theme: One State - Different Cuisines
My Choice: Karnataka - Mangalorean Cuisine 
Course: Snack

From Kodagu, we are moving towards the neighboring district of Dakshina Kannada to taste one of the popular cuisines of Karnataka. Mangalorean cuisine to be precise. 'Dakshina Kannada' was formerly known as South Canara and Mangalore is the headquarters of this coastal district. Udupi district was carved out of 'Dakshina Kannada' a few years ago. And so basically, Mangalorean cuisine consists of 'Udupi' cuisine and cuisines of 'Mangalorean' communities for an easy reference. However Mangalorean cuisine collectively reflects the cuisine of 'Tulunadu' region. (Tulunadu consists of the above mentioned Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka and the northern parts of Kasargod district in Kerala.) I think it is quite confusing enough for the uninitiated.
Udupi cuisine has gone global and this vegetarian cuisine needs no introduction. The famed 'masala dose' has it's origin in Udupi. The cuisine takes it name from the temple town of Udupi, situated on the southwestern coast of India. It has it's origin in the Astha mathas of Udupi founded by Sri Madhvacharya.Whereas Mangalore / Mangalooru is an important port city situated between Arabian sea and the Western Ghats.
One of my close friends happens to be from Udupi and my parents' neighbors for 25 years had been Mangaloreans. I therefore have a fair idea about their food. Though Wikipedia says that Mangaloreans eat spicy food, I beg to differ. They prepare mildly spicy food and coconut is a must in their cooking. They use a variety of red chillies which gives a beautiful orange-red hue to sambhar but is very mildly spicy. Jackfruit, breadfruit, bamboo shoots, yellow cucumber, malabar spinach, colocasia leaves are commonly used. Rice is a staple food and fish is widely used in the non-vegetarian cooking because of the proximity to the coast.

I chose to go with Mangalore buns for today's post. They are unique to the Mangalore-Udupi region and are not served anywhere else outside, in the state. The 'bun' in the title is quite misleading, considering the fact that these are not baked. In fact these golden brown beauties are deep fried. I guess they are called so because of their soft, chewy texture. Though these buns are also referred to as banana pooris, they have no relation with pooris whatsoever. The texture is close to a bun and they are mildy sweet. These yummy buns can be served plain with a cup of coffee or with some coconut chutney if you prefer.
 Do you see now why they are called buns?

Ingredients: (Yield about 9 buns)
1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour + extra for dusting 
1 big sized banana
2 - 3 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. yogurt 
1 tbsp. ghee
Oil to fry

* Peel and mash the banana finely making sure that there are no lumps. Add sugar, mix well and keep it aside.
* Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Next add banana mixture, yogurt and ghee and knead it into a firm dough. If the dough is sticky to touch, add a few tbsp. of flour to make it firm. Usually water is not needed to prepare this dough. However if the dough is too hard, wet your hands and try to fix the dough or add water in tsp. increments and work with the dough.
* Cover and rest the dough for 4 - 8 hours depending upon your convenience.
* When ready to fry the buns, heat about 2 cups of oil in a small kadai or a frying pan. Drop a small pinch of the dough into the pan. If it floats immediately to the surface then the oil is ready to fry. If the dough does not rise to the surface then heat the oil for a couple of minutes more and fry.
* Divide the dough into 9 portions and roll them into balls and keep them covered. 
* Work with one ball at each time and roll it into about 4 cm. circle. Roll it a little thicker than pooris and dust with floor if needed.
* Set the heat of the stove somewhere between low and medium. Slowly slide the rolled disc into the hot oil and fry for few seconds. Gently press the disc with the back of the spatula so that it puffs up nicely. Flip it and fry for few more seconds and remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent towels.
* Repeat the procedure with the remaining dough.
* Serve warm with coconut chutney or plain.
* They can be stored up to a couple of days.

* The authentic version uses plain flour. For a healthy alternative, half or full quantity of the flour can be substituted with atta / whole wheat flour. However substituting flour with wheat flour would not retain the puffiness of the buns longer.
* Use overripe bananas to make these buns.
* 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds can be added too while preparing the dough but I usually skip it.
* These buns are subtly sweet and so add sugar accordingly.
* Usually these buns puff up nicely while frying. However if they don't, no need to panic since that would alter only the looks and not the flavor / taste of the buns.

Check what other marathoners are cooking during this marathon.



Varadas Kitchen said...

So many variations of quick bread! They look so nice and puffy

Supriya S said...

one of my favorite dish from mangalore. Perfectly made

kitchen queen said...

yummy tempting buns.

Priya Suresh said...

Been ages i had mangalore buns, they came out simply fabulous.

Harini-Jaya R said...

Wow! Another variation of the banana fried bread!

Jayanthi Sindhiya said...

Delicious buns

sneha datar said...

Yummy buns and lovely texture.

Pavani N said...

What a fluffy and delicious looking Mangalore buns.

Srivalli said...

Suma, I have read so much about this dish and even bookmarked one to make it myself..good that you got us a good recipe..looks amazing!

Kalyani said...

Super quick puffy bread .i hv eaten this once with real spicy coconut chutney.. But otherwise I prefer savoury ones any day to sweet !

Sreevalli E said...

They look puffed & yum.. Very tempting buns.

veena krishnakumar said...

Amma regularly makes this and we all love it. Looks delicious and I have one post of this for the next week:-)

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

That is one lovely Indian bread. I have never tasted these, but looking at yours I am tempted to make them.