These vegetarian spicy potato curry buns are super soft and filled with a delicious and fiery potato curry filling. They are perfect for a savory breakfast or as a snack.
I only use potatoes and some leek to make the filling this time. But I sometimes use carrots too. I dice them up small and stirfry them with onions till they get tender. Carrots can give a nice subtle sweetness to the dish. If you’re not a vegetarian, a can of tuna goes really well with the filling.
The dough is super easy to make. But there are some key points in making the dough that you should consider.
I use my mixer with the dough attachment to knead the dough. But you can definitely hand knead this, just double the kneading time and knead until you get a soft, cohesive and stretchy dough.
Use a fresh packet of yeast. And check if the yeast is expired.
Use warm milk. You can check if the yeast is active this way. And it increases the yeast activity in the dough which makes the dough rise faster. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the milk and let it sit there for about two mins. If the yeast becomes frothy, that means your yeast is good to use, proceed to the next step. If the yeast is not active, then there is no point in continuing. Throw it out and start over with freshly opened yeast pack.
The dough has to rise twice. Once when you make the dough ball. and then once when you make the buns.
Do not rely on time when you let the dough rise. Focus on the size of the dough. The time it takes for the dough to double in size varies with many factors like temperature, yeast activity, sugar content, etc. With this recipe, it can take approximately 45mins – 75mins.
Always keep your dough covered with a plastic wrap. don’t let the dough dry out and form a skin that gets cracked and hardened in the oven.
Measure all the ingredients in grams as it is more accurate than measuring with cups.
I used an egg wash to make them shiny but you can definitely just use milk or melted butter to brush them with. They would still be brown and pretty.
These vegetarian spicy potato curry buns are amazingly soft on the outside and spicy and delicious inside. I hope you’d give this recipe a try. You can even use this same dough recipe for Sri Lankan fish buns too.
Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a nonstick pan. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds start to splatter, add finely chopped curry leaves, finely chopped onions, thinly sliced green chilies, and salt. Mix well and let it cook until the onions get sweaty.
Lower the heat. Add chili powder, chili flakes, and turmeric powder. Mix well. This filling is quite hot so reduce the amount of chilies if you cannot handle the heat.
Add the roughly mashed potatoes. Mix well until everything combines together.
Add your sliced leeks. Mix on high heat. Do a taste test. Sprinkle and mix salt if needed. Turn off the heat.
Change it to another dish and let it cool down before you use it in the filing.
Make the dough and first rise
Warm your milk just a little bit. you should be able to dip your finger comfortably in the milk. Too hot, you can kill your yeast. Add the milk mixture to the mixer bowl. Add sugar and sprinkle instant dry yeast on to the surface of the milk. mix a little bit. If you're 100% sure your instant dry yeast is new and good, you can skip this test and mix all the dough ingredients together. If you use active dry yeast, then definitely activate it using warm milk as I have mentioned above, before you mix the dough.
Let the mixture sit there for 2- 5 mins. You should be able to see the pieces of yeast mix float on the milk. And also tiny frothy pieces that have tiny bubbles.
Now add softened (almost melted) butter, salt, and flour.
Knead the dough in the mixer for about 10 mins until the dough is smooth and stretchy. If the dough seems dry and hard, and a tiny bit of water, about a tsp at a time. (Some flour brands absorb more water than others)
The dough has to be nonstick, smooth, stretchy, and pliable.If you hand knead this, knead about 20mins or until you get a cohesive, nonstick smooth and stretchy dough.
Take the dough out from the mixer bowl, knead for a minute and shape it to a ball. lightly grease a bowl with some butter. Place the dough, seam-side down. Cover with a plastic wrap
Let the dough rise until it's doubled in size.
Stuffing, shaping buns and second rise
When the dough has doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap, and punch it down to remove the air.
Take the dough out to the counter. Divide the dough into 8 equal size portions.
Now take one piece at a time, shape it to a ball, and put it on the counter, seam side down, and cover with a plastic wrap.
Do this to all the dough pieces. Keep all the dough balls covered all the time. Always arrange the balls in order. Now take the first ball out.
Flip the dough ball. So the smooth side of the dough ball goes down and the seam side is up. flat it out to make a disk that is about 4 inches in diameter.
Put the filling in. Take the edges of the disk to the middle. And pinch those ends together tightly so they won't open up in the oven.
Flip the filled dough, so the seams are down again and the smooth side is up. Gently shape it to a round perfect ball.
Put it on the baking sheet and cover with a plastic wrap. Repeat this process with all the balls.
Let the filled dough balls rise again about 50% - 75% of their size. This won't take time as much as it took for the first rise. For me, it usually takes about 30mins. This could be vary depending on the temperature of your house. Do not let them rise too much, they will collapse in the oven and you'll get wrinkles on the top, and buns would be dry. IF they haven't risen enough, then the buns would be dense and tough.
Also, turn on the oven to preheat to 400F.
Egg wash and baking
Make an egg -wash by mixing 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp of milk together. If you want to keep this vegetarian, you can use melted butter or milk for this. Now coat the buns with the egg wash using a brush. Coat twice if you like the buns a little darker.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds. (optional) Bake in a preheated oven. 400F temp for approximately 12 mins. Let them cool down for at least 30mins before you serve them.