Wholewheat Spicy Buns Baked in Leaves and A Walk in The Past
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 🙂
(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
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 🙂
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.
The royal grand City palace stands tall and strong in the midst of hustle & bustle of modern city life!
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.
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 🙂
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.
- The variety of leaf used will decide the flavor and impart a smoky flavor of that tree to the baked buns.
- The most important ingredient in the recipe is the home grind wholewheat flour which is slightly coarse.
- The wholewheat savory baked buns with a lentil curry or Daal makes a healthy meal in itself.
- The baked goodies will stay fresh for 2-3 days, since the water content is dried up while baking.
- I baked these buns in a traditional cooking gadget which is heated on stove top.
- Keep the size of these savory buns small for a crispy crust.
- Quantity of water used in the recipe varies according to the quality of the wholewheat flour used.