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Aarti's Mangalore Buns

Recipe by: Aarti Sequeira 

10 buns

Aarti's Mangalore Buns
Photo by:  

Matt Taylor-Gross for Saveur

Mangalore buns have a cult following in India, and I can see why! I am so proud that they hail from my hometown, which is set on the southwest coast of India. The buns are usually served as a snack alongside a burn-your-tongue hot cup of milky filter coffee, and a savory and gently spicy fresh coconut “chutney”. Since fresh coconut is a little tricky to find, I offer you my pineapple chutney below. But can I tell you a secret? I’ve eaten these buns alone, with some honey-sweetened greek yogurt, and even with a hefty spoon of pimento cheese dip… there’s very little they don’t go well with! (And, you could even try my husband’s idea: Elvis goes to Mangalore buns… topped with peanut butter and bacon!)  -Aarti

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  • 1 medium very ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (full fat)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Jodhana Cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Pragati turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (approximately) all purpose flour
  • Neutral oil for frying (I use canola)
  • Flaky salt to finish
Pineapple Chutney
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Jodhana Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bindu Black Mustard seeds (optional but recommended!)
  • 1/2 red onion or shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 serrano or jalapeno pepper, minced (seeds and membranes removed if you don’t like heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pragati Turmeric
  • 1 20-ounce can pineapple in juice, drained and finely chopped
  • Squeeze of lime juice
  • Small handful cilantro leaves, minced



  1. Peel the banana and drop into a large bowl with a wide bottom. Sprinkle with salt, then mash with a potato masher or a fork until mostly smooth.
  2. Stir in yogurt, cane sugar, cumin seeds, turmeric and baking soda, until mixture is well combined.
  3. Now add flour, about a tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms. You may need the whole cup, or you may not depending on the size of your banana (there’s a joke in there but I’m not touching it!). If your banana was large, then feel free to add more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until a smooth, soft dough forms and there are not longer any sticky bits around the rim of the bowl. If your dough is too dry, wet your palms ever so slightly and knead the dough. Now, place the ball of dough in the center of a large piece of plastic wrap and wrap securely. Allow to rest in the fridge eight hours to overnight.
  4. The next day, remove the dough from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
  5. Fill a medium saucepan with canola oil and set over medium to medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit when measured with a thermometer. Set your oven to the lowest temperature it can reach. Place a cooling rack upon a baking sheet, and then place in the oven.
  6. Lightly flour your work surface, and turn out your dough. Separate into 10 equal balls. Sprinkle with flour if they are sticky. Roll each bowl into circles about 3 to 4 inches wide. Make sure they’re of even thickness all the way around. Flap each circle between your hand, back and forth, to remove excess flour.
  7. Line a plate with several layers of paper towel.
  8. When you’re ready to fry, drop one circle into the oil. It will sink to the bottom, then quickly rise to the surface of the oil, and start to puff up. To encourage it to puff up all the way around, push gently on the raised bubbles with a flat spatula. Once the bottom is golden brown (about 30 seconds), flip and cook the remaining side, about 45 seconds.
  9. Remove to the paper towel-lined plate, and carefully sprinkle with salt. Place on baking sheet in the oven, and continue to fry buns until you’re done.
  10. Serve immediately!

Pineapple Chutney

  1. In small skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the seeds. They should sizzle as soon as they hit the oil. Once they’re aromatic, and the mustard seeds have stopped popping, add the onion/shallot. Season with a little salt and saute until softened.
  2. Add the turmeric. Saute no more than 30 seconds, before adding the pineapple. Season with a little more salt, then cook about 5 minutes. Season with lime juice, finish with cilantro and taste. Add salt or more lime juice depending on your palate.

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