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Wholewheat Spicy Buns Baked in Leaves and A Walk in The Past

23 May 2011 46 Comments

Baked wholewheat crispy buns - Baati

Foods that we grow up eating and places we visit with friends and parents when young, makes us nostalgic and brings back childhood memories. Holidaying at my maternal home is the time me and my kids look forward to year after year. A daily ritual of morning walk to the lakeside, playing in the beautiful gardens scattered all around my house and freaking out on all those  lip smacking tangy snacks on roadside, life is bliss!

We baked these wholewheat savory buns and the spicy whole green-gram Pooris (Indian flat breads) the other day during our visit to a nearby lake and packed them along with a huge flask of hot tea. Traditionally these buns are baked in charcoal which gives a wonderful burnt wood aroma and the buns get a rustic makeover with ash. I have a charcoal ‘Sigdi’ in my home used mainly for baking such goodies and for making Naan.

The most important ingredient in this recipe is the home ground wholewheat flour which is slightly coarse and gives a crunchy texture to these baked goodies. Mom has a small machine which she uses to grind grains, legumes and spices. I have never seen her buying spices such as Turmeric, chilly powder, coriander powder and the like from the market. She makes them at home with the click of a button, all fresh & aromatic and without any impurities. But it needs patience &  time which unfortunately is a rare commodity for me 🙂

Baked wholewheat crispy buns - Baati

The buns wrapped in a leaf.


(makes 6-10 small buns)

  • 1 cup Wholewheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour/besan
  • 1 tbsp. Semolina/suji
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter/ghee
  • 1/2 tsp. chilly powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Aniseed/saunf
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Few fresh leaves
Baked wholewheat crispy buns - Baati

Hot from the oven..with the charred leaf.

Method; Take a large vessel and add wholewheat flour, chickpea flour, semolina, salt, chilly powder and aniseed  into it. Mix well and add butter into the flour. Rub the butter into the flour mix with your finger tips till it resembles coarse bread crumbs.

Add water and bind the dough together, form small balls from it by pressing the dough firmly with the palms, use more water if you are not able to bind the dough. Do the same with rest of the dough and make similar buns.


This is the evening click of the lovely lake side from the top of the garden we visited the other day. I could spend a lifetime here 🙂

Baked wholewheat crispy buns - Baati

Baked goodies..

The leaf to bake the spicy buns should be thick and firm, I have used the leaves of Gunda or Gumberry fruits which is very popular in Rajasthan. It has thick leaves and does not get burnt easily when baked. You can use banana leaf for a much closer results or can avoid it altogether if finding a thick leaf is difficult.

Put a single bun in each leaf and fold it as shown in the picture above, arrange all the buns on baking tray alternatively and bake them at 200°C for 20 minutes rotating the bun once after 10 minutes. Bake it till the crust is brown and the buns look hard from outside.


City Palace, Udaipur

The royal grand City palace stands tall and strong in the midst of hustle & bustle of modern city life!

Baked wholewheat crispy buns - Baati

Soft and moist from inside..

Take out from the oven remove the brunt leaf and wipe them clean with a kitchen towel. Smear all baked savory buns with ghee and store of pack in an aluminum foil.

The savory baked buns or Baati can be eaten with any Indian curry, pulses or just plain with a cup of hot tea.

Baked wholewheat crispy buns - Baati

Up and closer..

Hot and fresh from the oven these baked buns are a delight with a crispy crust and a soft and moist inside. Normally these are dipped in clarified butter before eating, but do the same at your own risk 🙂


Lake side..

Where history meets the modern urban changes in Udaipur. The old Jal Mahal in front and the plush Lake palace at the backdrop which is now a star hotel, both situated on Pichola lake with their foundation immersed in water.


  1. The variety of leaf used will decide the flavor and impart a smoky flavor of that tree to the baked buns.
  2. The most important ingredient in the recipe is the home grind wholewheat flour which is slightly coarse.
  3. The wholewheat savory baked buns with a lentil curry or Daal makes a healthy meal in itself.
  4. The baked goodies will stay fresh for 2-3 days, since the water content is dried up while baking.
  5. I baked these buns in a traditional cooking gadget which is heated on stove top.
  6. Keep the size of these savory buns small for a crispy crust.
  7. Quantity of water used in the recipe varies according to the quality of the wholewheat flour used.



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  • Yuri said:

    The buns look so pretty wrapped in those leaves 🙂 grinding your own flour sounds like bakers heaven. Happy Monday! xoxo
    Yuri recently posted..Chinese bacon and green onion quiche FFwDMy Profile

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    The home ground flour makes a lot of difference in baking as well as cooking with it. Happy Monday to you too.

  • Hari Chandana said:

    Interesting recipe.. looks simply amazing and tempting.. thanks for the awesome recipe dear.. wonderful clicks too !!
    Indian Cuisine

    Hari Chandana recently posted..Aratipandu Khara Limkilu Savoury Banana Diamond CutsMy Profile

  • arundati said:

    what an innovative way to bake… the aroma of the leaves must lend the buns a nice flavour
    arundati recently posted..Beat the Heat Series Summer Salad with Quail EggsMy Profile

  • Harini (Sunshinemom) said:

    What a nice idea to bake in leaves! I do steaming but baking is new to me. I love baatis:). These look good!
    Harini (Sunshinemom) recently posted..Neer Dosa and the cast iron trophyMy Profile

  • Tanvi@Sinfully Spicy said:

    YUMMMY!!! Sanjeeta ..this reminds me of baati which is baked in warm sand an drizzled with ghee..I had it on my trip to Choki-Dhaani.I m craving these nw!
    Tanvi@Sinfully Spicy recently posted..Aamer Dal- Red Lentils With Green MangoMy Profile

  • Lata Raja said:

    What leaves are those? The buns are just as porous as we would with yeast! Very interesting recipe. Your mother has given us such a wonderful treat!
    Lata Raja recently posted..Rawa IdliMy Profile

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Lata, these are Gunda leaves, or Gumberry leaves. A tree mainly found in desserts areas. The fruit has a sap which resembles and act as gum. We make pickles with the fruit, have the recipe and pictures in my draft, shall post it once I reach Chennai.

  • vidya said:

    That looks so tempting. We don’t need yeast? That makes it easier:)

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Vidya, No these buns or Baatis don’t require yeast. They may not come out fluffy as the normal yeast buns, but are extremely scrumptious treat.

  • Deepa said:

    Buns look so fulfilling and amazingly tasty. Also , thanks for sharing with us the wonderful snaps of Udaipur lake.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  • sangeeta said:

    Great…i just need a nice n spicy daal with it. Daal bati is such a fave of mine.Nice clicks.
    sangeeta recently posted..mung ke cheeley My Profile

  • Priya said:

    Woww looks awesome and wholesome, never baked this way…beautiful clicks..
    Priya recently posted..Celebrate Sweets – Sweets With Rice RoundupMy Profile

  • Kathy Gori said:

    Great recipe..how would they be baked in grape leaves which is what we have tons of up here.
    Kathy Gori recently posted..The Riceless Rice PuddingFun With SquashMy Profile

  • Sarah said:

    these buns are so cute! And love that they are baked in leaves! lovely clicks too!
    Sarah recently posted..Cookie n SpiceMy Profile

  • Krithi said:

    So pretty and aunthentic dish! love your holiday clicks too..

    Krithi recently posted..Broccoli and Cheese SoupMy Profile

  • Magic of Spice said:

    What a lovely post and just look at those precious faces! Love all of these photos! The buns and loaf look amazing, and the bits of whole spice are fantastic! Love the sound of “home ground wholewheat flour” as well…what a treat 🙂

  • Priti said:

    You reminded me so many things now ..I love this one and it’s looks so delicious ..fab
    Priti recently posted..Eggless Chocolate CookiesMy Profile

  • Junia @ Mis Pensamientos said:

    i love the idea of baking the buns in leaves!!! and it is so moist and decadent within yet nicely browned on the outside~~ perfection. 🙂
    Junia @ Mis Pensamientos recently posted..Green JuicingMy Profile

  • Jayashree said:

    Wow….these look so moist and porous. Nice pics.
    Jayashree recently posted..Ragda Patties for Blogging Marathon 5My Profile

  • Smita said:

    Such lovely buns..love the use of fennel

  • Sharmilee said:

    Love the idea of wrapping it in leaves..looks perfectly done

  • Nandini said:

    That’s a wonderful bread! Looks nutritious!
    Nandini recently posted..Litchi Payesh-Payasam-KheerMy Profile

  • Jayasri Ravi said:

    something very new, I have done cooking with leaves (pathrode) baking buns is different, thanks for sharing, Inbtw.., the spot is absolutely gorgeous, definitely can spend the life time there.., lovely clicks too..
    Jayasri Ravi recently posted..Guest Hosting Tried and Tested event – Passionate About BakingMy Profile

  • shanthi said:

    Looks awesome and inviting
    shanthi recently posted..BABY CORN STIR FRY SOUTH INDIAN STYLEMy Profile

  • Mala Kavuluri said:

    Hi Sanjeeta,

    Thanks for the recipe and the great clicks.

    Quick question. Since I don’t have any kind of leaves at my disposal, can I bake them on a baking sheet ??

    Thanks again !!


  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Mala, sure you can do the same in oven also. The leaves just impart a particular flavor to these buns.

  • biny anoop said:

    omg…i am very poor abt plants so selecting the leaf will be difficult but the buns look awesome

  • Faith said:

    I’m so glad that you’re having such a wonderful time with your family! Your pictures are lovely and these buns look delicious. They’re really beautiful wrapped in the leaves!
    Faith recently posted..Cherry CordialsMy Profile

  • Viswa said:

    They look gorgeous!!
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  • Panchpakwan said:

    Wow looks perfect baked buns..
    Panchpakwan recently posted..Cabbage Kofta CurryMy Profile

  • Cham said:

    The buns wrapped in leaves are just awesome. The buns should be really different tasting!

  • kankana said:

    That lake photo is so beautiful .. can imagine the fun! These buns look awsm ,, but you baked them wrapped in a leaf .. won’t the flavor of the leaf also get incorporated ?

  • Ananda Rajashekar said:

    home made wheat flour is amazing! great that you get it done still now, earthy and best, i adore burnt, smoke flavour first pis class! would love to try if atall i get a chance, and udaipur city it my dream to visit there, beautiful!
    Ananda Rajashekar recently posted..A Little Reminder – Bunch of Zucchini recipe ideas!My Profile

  • Anita Menon said:

    Lovely they look. SO rustic and heart warming…Thanks for sharing
    Anita Menon recently posted..A Vegetable and Paneer Quiche from ScrapsMy Profile

  • Radhika @ foodfor7stages said:

    What a brilliant idea it is to bake a bread wrapped in a leaf. Thumbs up for this recipe
    Radhika @ foodfor7stages recently posted..Blueberry Buckwheat Pancake RecipeMy Profile

  • chinmayie@lovefoodeat said:

    This really looks great Sanjeeta! I am sure it will taste great! I have tried several recipes from your blog and loved them all. I am always waiting for new posts from you 🙂

  • Maria @ Scandifoodie said:

    Wow these buns sound amazing and those landscapes are just so stunning!
    Maria @ Scandifoodie recently posted..Mizuna- persimmon and pomegranate salad with orange dressingMy Profile

  • pachecopatty said:

    I think your comment, I could spend a lifetime here is a wonderful compliment. I enjoyed your pictures, especially sweet of the children and your recipe for the homemade buns is so creative and just lovely;-)

  • anhsfoodblog said:

    So interesting! I grew up with banana leaves wrapping in lots of cakes 🙂 Really love the idea.

  • Raji said:

    These are one of the most beautiful and flavourful buns I have seen…they do remind me of baati soaked in ghee..but this is a more healthier version that too with home ground aata…lovely Udaipur pictures, I too have been there once and am still smitten with its wonderful natural beauty along with the grand palace.
    Raji recently posted..Baked Falafel Sandwich With Home Made Hummus- Tahini And Whole Wheat Oats Pita BreadMy Profile

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said:

    What an innovative way of baking using leaves. In Malaysia, we have variety of recipes baked or cooked using different leaves. And the flavors imparted, are simply delicious 🙂 I love your Udaipur photos. THough I’ve never been. Soon, I hope.
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com recently posted..Bhindi MasalaMy Profile

  • Heather @girlichef said:

    These buns wrapped in a leaf are so beautiful! I can just imagine them dipped in ghee…what an indulgence. Yummy =)
    Heather @girlichef recently posted..Bacon-Wrapped Cod w- Rosemary and Roasted Fingerling PotatoesMy Profile

  • Sadhana Valentina said:

    Very very nice recipe dear. I’m here for the first time and love to follow u for more recipes.
    Sadhana Valentina recently posted..Chickpeas GravyMy Profile

  • aarthi said:

    This looks yummy….you have a lovely blog…I am having a giveaway in my blog..Y dont you check and join that

  • Poornima said:

    These buns look awesome Sanjeeta! Love the idea of baking in a leaf,
    I have to try it soon. I’ve only had them at a friends place all soaked in ghee… once a year indulgence:)
    Udaipur is such a lovely place, hope to visit soon!

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