Buns!!!…You mean the hamburger buns?
You mean the buns that we used to get in India…maska bun?
You mean those sweet breads that we used to get at the local baker in India?
These are Mangalore Buns.They are a sort of a spongy poori made of maida kneaded with mashed bananas ..kinda sweet from the banana and kind of a mild kick from the black pepper.
In case you are wondering,that is not a typo error. I really mean Mangalore.Mangalore is small town in Karnataka and yes, it is a completely different entity than Bangalore.As far as I am concerned,this city is the center of all things Konkani.There might be many to disagree with me. But hey, my blog, my rant. S and I stayed in Mangalore for a couple of months immediately after we were married.Though I mentally prepared myself for the change it would be for a city-bred-Mumbai-snob that I was (and still am to some extent),I just wasnt prepared for the culture shock that I was in for. Mind you, growing up with my Bapama (Paternal Grandma), I knew all the traditions, rituals etc.that is Konkani. It wasn’t the traditions or the small town, it was just the sheer number of amchigeles(as we like to call ourselves,loosely means “our people”) around.In the vast diversity of mumbai, I had never been in such close quarters with amchis that were not my relatives. Its a feeling I couldn’t shake as I left the city to head towards the new world, so to speak. But, I digress.
These buns are generally a breakfast item in Mangalore, but my bapama used to make them as an evening snack, too. Its a great way to use up an overripe banana. In fact,my mother-in-law keeps aside a banana to let overripe so that she can make these.
Now that you know what they are and whence they cometh from (I am into Shakespeare these days),you might as well know how to make them.
Maida or Regular flour 2 cups
1 overripe Banana
1/2 buttermilk or (yogurt + water beaten together)
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp Baking soda
Oil + ghee for deep frying
Peel the banana and mash them with a fork in a large vessel.Add the buttermilk. If you are using yogurt, beat it and dilute with enough water to make 1/2 a cup.Add in the sugar,salt, pepper and baking soda. Mix together. Add the flour and keep forking it till it all comes together and forms a dough. You might have to add more flour or water depending upon the consistency of the buttermilk you are using. If its thick, may require extra water or if its too watery, may require more flour. Knead for a minute or so (isn’t that great?). Apply a tbsp of oil all over the dough,cover and keep in a cool place (I keep it in my non-hot oven) for at least 4 hours.
Heat oil, add 2 tbsp of ghee to it. You don’t want to fry this in just oil, they wont taste as good.Shape ball sized dough pieces into round shapes about 3-4 inches in diameter and a little thicker than a poori.Use extra flour to help roll them. Sprinkle some on the counter and rub some on the rolling pin. Use sparingly or you will be left with a gross black sediment in your oil rendering it un-reusable.Been there , done that.You might also want to roll and fry one at a time instead of roll all pooris and then deep fry. This being a maida dough, you will be left with a 2 inch diameter thick rolled poori. Not good.
Deep fry on medium heat. As soon as you put the dough in oil,keep poking at it with the slotted spoon and pressing it into the oil till it puffs up. At this point, I would like to say that the oil is HOT, be careful and please don’t sue me if you meet with an accident. You deep fry at your own risk!! 🙂 . Now that you have read the disclaimer, we can move ahead. Once it puffs up, turn over and let the other side fry up. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. They are not going to be as crispy as a poori would be , they are not supposed to be.When you bite into them, they are going to be crispy and spongy all at the same time.If they are,you have just made a perfect Mangalore Bun!!!.