Iyengar Style Kaara/ Savory Buns

This month, for the Home Baker's Challenge, Priyaakka gave us some very interesting buns. All of them were equally tempting, whether it was the Seeni Sambal Buns or the cheese stuffed ones. But it was a tough competition in my mind between these kaara buns and the chocolate buns. I so wanted to bake the chocolate buns when we had gone for a staycation in a hotel in Ras Al Khaimah last month, but then the mood in the morning was more to pack and move on rather than bake something, so I ended up taking a chocolate cake that I had frozen for emergency moments! So those buns go into my to-do list, as I am sure my kids would love them for their lunch box with a slather of cheese!

So cutting the story short, the chocolate buns have to wait and it had to be the savory buns for dinner on a weekend. Since it is warm enough now, the yeast would definitely react much faster and I had the buns ready within 2 hours and 15 minutes. It actually didn't need anything along with it though we dipped and had it in daal for dinner and the remaining two buns were taken as breakfast with a cup of hot chai. As usual, since it is savory, the kids didn't touch and I didn't bother to force them as they had already had a chapathi each with the daal. Hehe... Off to the way I made it...

Iyengar Style Kaara/ Savory Buns
Makes 4
Recipe adapted from here


3/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 1/2 tbsp milk
1/4 cup water
3/4 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (refer notes)

For masala:
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 meduim onion, minced
3 green chillies, chopped
A pinch of salt
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves.


Warm the milk and water in the microwave for 30 seconds. It will be warm when touched. Pour this into the kneading vessel. Dissolve the yeast and sugar. Allow it to proof for 15 minutes.

While this happens, we can prepare the masala. Heat oil, splutter cumin seeds. Add the onions and chillies with salt and saute till just soft. Add in the coriander leaves, mix well and switch off. Allow it to cool.

Once the yeast is proven, add the oil and salt and mix well. Now add 1/2 cup flour and mix well. Add the remaining 1/2 cup and start kneading till it becomes a pliable dough. Transfer to a well floured surface and knead well till it becomes non-sticky.

Spread out the dough with your hand into a round. Put the onion masala in the center. Pull the dough up together and start kneading to incorporate the masala. Keep the remaining 1/2 cup handy and sprinkle as required to bring the dough to a non-sticky dough.

Oil a bowl well and put the dough in it. Cover with a cloth and allow it to double. It takes between one hour to an hour and a half, depending upon the weather. For me, it took at hour.

Punch down the dough and knead again for five minutes. Divide into four equal portions and shape as a bun. On a baking pan lined with parchment paper, place the buns with sufficient spacing. Cover and proof again for 45 minutes. While the time ends, preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Just before baking, brush with milk on the top. Bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees. Reduce the temperature to 180 degrees and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes till done. Take out from the oven and brush with some melted butter or spray on it using a cooking spray - like I did.

Serve warm! We had a couple for dinner and then reheated the same for the next day morning breakfast!


Use the flour as per how much is required to reach the consistency of non-sticky dough. I used a little less than 1 1/2 cup flour.

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