The star of the Mangalore buns recipe? Not bananas. It’s cumin.
As bizarre as that might sound, the combo works. It more than works. Each morsel is a revelation, with flavors leaping into your mouth. Where one bite is sweet, another is enlivened by spice.
Suffice to say, the sweet banana buns were hugely popular in my house and one for the books!
What are Mangalore buns or banana puris?
Mangalore buns are part of Mangalorean cuisine originating from the Udupi-Mangalore region. They look nothing like typical buns. Their appearance is similar to puris. It is the texture that’s similar to a bun or to be more accurate like doughnuts or beignets because they are fried.
Mildly sweet and extremely aromatic, Mangalore buns are best enjoyed hot and make ingenious and a very different use of overripe bananas. That’s why they have two more monikers: sweet banana buns and banana puri.
There is nothing tricky about making these puris that feel like buns when you break them apart. They’re rather easy to make. For others. For me, rolling a round shape has always been a challenge. That’s why I love baking galettes. They’re so forgiving, it doesn’t matter if they have an oval, oblong, or nebulous form.
Mangalore buns are supposed to be round. That’s the part I got stuck a little bit. My puris mostly don't come out in exquisite discs, as is evident from the photos. Yet, I went ahead and snapped pictures for the blog for one reason and one reason only. They are so wonderfully flavorful and delicious that the imperfection of shape fades away.
So dear reader, while I hope you do a better job than me in making more proportionate puris, don’t let it bother you if they are not round, puffy, and Instagram-worthy.
Prep the banana buns dough
- Pick up two of your ripest bananas and, with a fork, mash them really well, along with raw sugar.
- Combine the mashed banana and sugar mixture with yogurt, salt, baking soda, and cumin seeds.
- Now add all-purpose flour and knead the dough for four to five minutes. The dough will feel soft and pliable, but it will be sticky, unlike your usual puri dough.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl.
- Grease the top of the dough and then cover.
- Let it rest for about four hours or, better yet, overnight, in the refrigerator. That’s what I did.
Frying the Mangalore buns
- The next morning, take out the fermented dough and knead it for a minute.
- Divide the dough into equal-sized small balls.
- Then, with a rolling pin, roll them into a circle. As I said before, if you fail, don’t worry. The lack of shape doesn’t mar the taste in the slightest.
- Heat oil in a kadhai, and when it reaches the right temperature, gently slide the rolled dough into it.
- Fry till the buns take on a golden-brown hue on both sides – about two minutes.
- Serve warm.
A quick tip on the Mangalore buns recipe
When you are rolling the buns, keep them a bit thick and not thin like regular puris. That’s the trick to perfect Mangalore buns.
These sweet banana buns are very lightly sweetened, so they’re not meant as desserts. Though, you can eat them to satisfy your sweet tooth! Traditionally they’re served with spicy coconut chutney, but puris are great:
- Accompanied by sweet and spicy mango chutney as an evening snack.
- With coffee or tea for breakfast.
- For lunch or dinner with a curry of your choice.
My recommendation? Try them plain. The natural sweetness of the bananas plays off the warm, earthy, slightly peppery flavor of cumin like a maestro.
Flour: You can easily switch all-purpose with whole wheat flour. The buns taste just as good. Or you can mix half of both. Do note, the color of the puris will be dark with whole wheat flour.
Sugar: Ripe bananas are already sweet. That’s why I didn’t use much raw sugar. You can add more if you have a sweeter tooth, or sub it with regular sugar. I even tried them with jaggery powder and coconut sugar, and they came out just as delicious.
All the reasons you should dive into this Mangalore buns recipe:
Excellent traditional recipe
Endless ways to serve them
Store well in an airtight box
Ideal for entertaining friends and family
Nice addition to the festive table as they pair well with rich curries and desserts
More traditional recipes:
Mangalore Buns Recipe
- 2 Bananas
- 2 tbsp Raw sugar
- 2 tbsp Yogurt
- 1/4 tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds/Jeera
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- Mash the bananas well in a large bowl. They should be smooth and lump-free.
- Mix in the yogurt, sugar, salt, cumin seeds, and baking soda.
- Add in the flour and knead well until the dough is smooth.It will be a bit sticky. If its too dry, add a tablespoon of yogurt. If its too wet, add some flour.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Apply some oil on top of the dough. Cover and rest the dough in the refrigerator for 7-8 hours or overnight.Alternatively, you can keep it at room temperature for 3-4 hours.
- Next morning, knead the dough for a minute or two.
- Divide the dough into equal-sized small balls. Roll each dough ball into a small circle. It should not be thinly rolled out.
- Heat oil in a kadai or a wide-bottomed pan.
- When the oil is hot, carefully slide in the rolled-out poori. Flip it over when it becomes golden brown on one side. Continue cooking until the bun is evenly cooked on both sides.
- Remove from the oil and drain on a paper-towel lined plate.
- Repeat until all the dough is used up.
- Serve these buns warm with any chutney you like and hot tea. Enjoy!