This recipe for cabbage filled buns is super healthy, and what’s best for busy folks, can be made ahead and stored for a week!
Yields 16 buns
1 package instant dry yeast (7 gms)
2 cups warm milk (used fat-free milk)
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 teaspoons salt
olive oil: 2 to 3 tablespoons
Heat the 2 cups of milk until it starts to bubble, wait until it reaches the room temperature. Sprinkle yeast over the warm milk and let sit for 5 minutes. Live yeast will begin to swell for a few minutes. After a couple minutes, stir this warm mixture.
Take your 4 cups of flour and mix the salt into it. Add the 2 tablespoons melted butter into it and stir the flour thoroughly to distribute the butter evenly in the flour. Also, add the olive oil and repeat the stirring process. Now, you need to add the previously prepared milk-yeast solution into the flour and knead the dough carefully. Make sure to knead in such a way that the air bubbles are trapped. Keep on kneading until the dough comes together. It will be sticky! Knead for about 8 minutes, adding more flour to keep the dough from sticking if necessary. In a similar way, you could also add some extra milk, if needed, to get the right consistency. The dough will become more workable the longer you knead. This prepared dough is neither as hard as chapathi dough nor is it as soft as the dosa dough. Transfer the kneaded dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean, wet kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm area until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.
For the vegetable filling, it is your call. The commonly known vegetable buns seen in Indian bakeries are the potato buns—you could try that. Similarly, a spicy palya made of beans, carrots, and peas might work equally well. You could get as creative as you like in preparing your vegetable filling. Meat eaters could try meat. Jams and jellies and some special chutneys like spicy mango chutney could also be used. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that the filling mix is not too soft and watery. I have tried two type of mixes so far: cabbage mix and broccoli-mushroom mix.
Broccoli-mushroom filled buns:
This was the first mix I tried with this recipe. Take about one and a half cups of thinly chopped broccoli. Take special care not to chop the floret length. Take a cup of mushrooms and sauté these two on the stove with a bit of olive oil, about half a teaspoon. Add about half a teaspoon of finely crushed garlic-ginger paste to the vegetables. Wait for a minute. Take them off the stove and mix up about half a cup of fat-free cheese. This mixture gets a bit sticky, which is normal. Make sure to strain any water from this filling and keep it dry. Add salt and pepper as per taste.
Cabbage filled buns:
Take about 2 and a half cups of finely chopped cabbage shreds, retain some length. Saute the cabbage with a bit of olive oil, add ginger-garlic paste to the cabbage. Saute this mix for about 4 to 6 minutes. Make sure not to have too soft of a mix; the cabbage needs to be a bit crunchy. Take a small tin of watercress (used in Chinese cooking) and chop them to a medium size and add to the cabbage mix. Add salt and pepper to it. Add a teaspoon of soy sauce for the Chinese flavor and strain the mix. The buns posted here were made with this mix.
Come back to your dough and divide it into 16 equal portions, and shape each portion into a round ball. Dust the balls with flour and roll them with a roller. Take about two to three teaspoons of the prepared vegetable mix and cover the bun and pat them a little bit on the top to give the shape of a bun—this process is like making parathas.
Brush the basal mix on top of the buns. (Preparing the basil mix: You need 4 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 teaspoons of dried basil and 1 teaspoon of salt to make this mix).
Place the rolls on a baking tray lightly coated with oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake on the bottom rack for 25 minutes and move them to the top rack for the last 10 minutes. Once they get the golden brown colour, you know they are done.
You can store these cabbage filled buns in the fridge for a week. I prefer them warm so I stick them in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.
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