Learn how to make Mangalore Buns ~ Mildly sweet deep fried whole wheat banana poori from Udupi-Mangalore
I am 80’s Indian child and feel extremely blessed and fortunate to have one of the best and memorable childhoods! My younger sister was my best friend and my partner in crime and we grew up with bunch of same aged children in the neighbourhood whose only mantra was fultu masti! While leafing through old photographs on weekend, I saw myself going back in time and walking down the memory lane… All that fun, adventure, mischief, break ups, make ups, bonding, arguing, laughter, tears, in brief my childhood flashed before my eyes in a techni colour film…
Deep fried goodness ~ Mangalore Buns
If you too were 80’s child and my peers, you will remember some or all of these memories that comes flooding back to mind whenever I think of my childhood. We the 80’s children grew up listening to Akashavanai and watching Doordarshan, a single and only radio and television station respectively. There was very limited telly time as there was just one channel telecasting Government controlled contents playing mostly on black and white television! There was no fight for the ownership of remote control as it never existed and there was never an argument over which program to view as there was just one channel! For the first 5 minutes before the broadcast we would stare at colourful vertical stripes with the most irritating buzzing noise in the background followed by the famous animation of Doordarshan logo and the background score sounded more like music from tragedy film!
Mildly sweet banana poori ~ Mangalore Buns
But the programs played were anything but boring. Most of well directed programs which whole family could watch together were entertaining and also had social message to say. There were just 3 movies showed every week, the pride of Indian cinema playing the national award winners and a commercial one. The regional movies played on Sunday afternoon were watched with great delight in spite of not understanding even single word the characters uttered! The frequent notice of ‘Sorry for Interruption” making appearance would get a collective sign from everyone in the room! While Malgudi Days, Surabhi and Animations were our favourite, my mom enjoyed Chitrahaar, Rangoli along with Dad’s favourite serials comedy and family dramas! Even with the limited telecast time, Doordarshan proved quite entertaining and educating like a dignified elderly compared to today’s hundreds of channels running in a rat race for high TRP’s and throwing trashy programs at unassuming public! I can see some of you, kids of my generation, nodding your head in agreement when I say we grew up watching some of the best things that an idiot box can offer these days!
Use that extra overripe banana you always end up having!
Kids of my generation will remember coming back home from school and finishing all school related work, sometimes while waiting for the school bus. A quick snack of freshly homemade food by Amma followed by hour and half of outdoor playtime with friends where we created new games every single day with anything we found lying on the ground or fluttering in the trees or shrubs. We didn’t grow up with boxful of toys but nature offered us plenty to be creative and imaginative with whatever we found on our way. Sometimes it was a metal lid of soda bottles and other times it was the pebbles or pieces of broken tiles. Some days it was a piece of colourful glass and other day the feathers of birds became our object of fascination.
We rolled on sand and climbed the hills,
Lost our teeth and scrapped our knees.
We got bruises in arms and cuts on the body
And dabbed the wounds with Dettol before running to join others.
We drank water from the roadside hand pumps and ate everything on sight
And yet remained simply fit and fine.
The nature was our playground and our true teacher
And in her lap we learnt things so dear!
Mangalore Buns ~ A treat from my home town
Ah… The nostalgia strikes again! I can go on and on talking about my childhood but I have to come back to the main topic of this blog, food! Today’s recipe of Mangalore Buns is something that is very close to my heart. It is like a cherished friend of my childhood as well as adulthood. Don’t get confused by the name bun as they are not baked version of buns, but a deep fried Poori made with banana, probably the only way I ate bananas when I was young ;) Mangalore Buns are sweet to taste and are usually served for breakfast. Since I am notorious for having sudden hunger attacks and also have the bad reputation for throwing tantrums when food is not served at that time, my Amma always made them for evening snack as the dough needs to rest for atleast 3-4 hours before rolling and deep frying. Golden brown and perfectly puffed up sweet Mangalore Buns with a chewy and spongy texture and sweet flavour is something that is loved by people of all ages. Little sprinkling of cumin seeds and sometimes a generous spoonful of crushed black pepper seeds gave a nice twist to these sweet tasting buns. This is one of the kind recipes that you won’t find in any restaurants outside Udupi-Mangalore districts and don’t miss the chance of sampling of the delights of my native place if by any chance you get to taste them in small Udupi hotels.
But why wait until you plan your trip to Udupi-Mangalore? Mangalore Buns are not only simple and easy to make at home, but also the ingredients used in this recipe can be easily sourced in any part of the world. The hot beautifully puffed golden brown Mangalore Buns are treat on its own! You don’t even need any side dish to enjoy them and hence they were the best things to pack for any picnic lunch or long train travels. Traditionally they are served with just a piping hot Filter Kaapi (Filter Coffee), but I like mine dunked in hot and sweet Maggi Tomato Ketchup. You can also serve it with any spicy coconut chutney or even a spicy Indian curry if you want to make a meal out of it.
Mangalore Buns ~ Not baked, but deep fried!
No matter what, in our house we always end up having one or two over ripe bananas that no one wants to eat! I grew up in a family where wasting food was considered crime and my food philosophy is not to trash any food as long as it is edible. So usually one or two over ripe bananas in hand end up in a loaf of bread or enjoyed in a chilled banana smoothie or milkshake. Since the temperature outside is still in sub zeros and we crave for hot food, I decided to make some deep fried sins, Mangalore Buns. I have used whole wheat in place of plain flour which is traditionally used in making Mangalore Buns as I didn’t want to over indulge. Anything made with whole wheat flour gets my approval as I feel less guilty of indulging, especially deep fried goodies! All though the buns made using whole wheat flour puffed up perfectly, they didn’t remain fully puffed up all the time as the ones made using Maida or plain flour. I think it’s mainly due to the elasticity and the high gluten that plain flour has as compared to whole wheat flour. But on positive side, the Mangalore Buns made using whole wheat flour is not very chewy as the ones made using plain flour and also I find the taste of whole wheat buns way superior to the traditional one. You can also mix equal quantity of whole wheat flour and plain flour to keep it all puffed up as well as less chewy. So what are you waiting for? Go on make some deep fried goodness Mangalore Buns today and do let me know what you think of them :) I am certainly making another batch as the temperature in my neck of the world has dropped to sub zeros and the best way to keep ourselves warm and cheerful is indulging in some deep fried goodies!
Ingredients for Mangalore Buns
Sticky dough for making Mangalore Buns
Mangalore Buns (Sweet deep fried banana and whole wheat puri from Udupi-Mangalore)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Resting Time: Minimum 3 hours
Cooking Time: 15-20 mins
Makes: Around 10 buns
Serves: 3-4 people
Shelf Life: Best served fresh but can be refrigerated for up to 4 days
Serving Suggestion: As a breakfast or evening snack on their own or with any Chutney, Sambar or with Tomato Ketchup
1½ cups Whole Wheat Flour (Traditionally Maida/Plain Flour is used)
1 long over ripe Banana or 2-3 small Bananas
3 tbsp Yogurt
2-3 tbsp Sugar (Adjust as per taste)
¾ tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1/8 tsp Baking Soda
¾-1 tsp Salt (Adjust as per taste)
Oil for Deep Frying (Coconut oil is the best one to use here for fantastic flavour)
2 tbsp Ghee (Optional)
- Peel the banana and mash it with your hands or fork. Make sure that there are no lumps left. I simply puree the banana in a food processor or mixer grinder. Set aside until needed.
- Sift whole wheat flour or plain flour, if you like the authentic Mangalore Buns, in a large mixing bowl along with baking soda. Mix in sugar, cumin seeds and salt.
- Next add mashed banana and yogurt and start to knead the whole mixture to form soft dough by adding little water at time. The dough will be sticky and will stick to your palms. Apply a tbsp of oil all over the dough, cover and keep in a cool place for minimum 3 hours. I usually make dough at night and keep it in a refrigerator overnight if I am making these Mangalore Buns for breakfast.
- After resting for 3-4 hours, take out the dough and roll small balls of about 2 inch rounds.
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan and add about 2 tbsp of ghee for the flavour. Addition of ghee is optional and vegans can skip using it.
- Test if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small piece of the dough and see if the dough floats to surface. If the dough sinks to the bottom then wait for another 3-4 minutes for the oil to get heated. Once the oil is heated enough, reduce the heat to medium to low.
- Dust the dough balls lightly with wheat flour and roll them into 3-4 inch circles/poories of ½ cm thickness. Dust the excess flour before gently dropping them into the hot oil.
- As soon as you drop the poories into hot oil, press it on the surface with a slotted spoon and until it puffs up beautifully.
- Once it puffs up, gently flip the poori and let it cook on the other side. Be careful while dropping the poori into hot oil and then frying as the oil is very hot and can burn your hands if you are not cautious.
- Once cooked on both sides and the colour changes to deep golden brown, gently remove the poori from the hot oil and place in a bowl line with paper towel.
- Serve these delicious Mangalore Buns on their own or with tomato ketchup, kurma, curry or any chutney of your choice and enjoy!
Mangalore Buns ~ Perfect for cold and rainy weather
- I have used whole wheat in place of plain flour which is traditionally used in making Mangalore Buns. All though the buns made using whole wheat flour puffs up perfectly, they will not remain fully puffed up all the time as the buns made using Maida or plain flour. This is mainly due to the elasticity and the high gluten that plain flour has as compared to whole wheat flour. But on positive side, the Mangalore Buns made using whole wheat flour is not very chewy as the ones made using plain flour and also I find the taste of whole wheat buns way superior to the traditional one.
- You can also mix equal quantity of whole wheat flour and plain flour to keep it all puffed up as well as less chewy.
- Traditionally they are served with just a piping hot Filter Kaapi (Filter Coffee), but I like mine dunked in hot and sweet Maggi Tomato Ketchup. You can also serve it with any spicy coconut chutney or even a spicy Indian curry if you want to make a meal out of it.
- You can also add ½-1 tsp of crushed black peppercorns for little kick of heat.
- Adding 2 tbsp of Ghee along with oil while deep frying gives the Mangalore Buns a nice flavour.