Six weeks of summer holidays finished and the kids go back to school tomorrow. Time flew by very quickly and I really enjoyed some quality time with my kids. We had a few lovely outings together as a family. However, I got stuck in the kitchen for too long, too! Everyday we were trying new dishes, a few were okay, a few needed improvement and some we loved. One of those we loved was ‘Wholewheat Buns with Chickpeas and Spinach stuffing’.
A few weeks ago we went on a long journey, so I wanted to take something which was filling and healthy, rather than crisps or other snacks. I didn’t want to take sandwiches, as they easily can become soggy . So the best choice for me was to bake and take savoury and stuffed buns, which can be eaten cold, too.
I made these buns with wholewheat chapatti flour, and filled them with spinach and chickpeas filling. I happened to have a handful of fresh methi leaves in the fridge, so I added them into the dough. These buns can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or for brunch . Of course, they are ideal for a kid’s lunch box as well!
You will need for the buns:
- 2 cups of chapatti flour
- 1 cup of strong white bread flour + more for dusting
- salt to taste
- 4-5 tbp melted butter (unsalted) + more for brushing
- 2 tbp sugar
- 1.5 tbsp fast action dry yeast
- 1/2 cup luke warm milk
- 1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
- 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped fenugreek, coriander leaves or mixed dried herbs
- luke warm water as needed
You will need for the stuffing:
- 1 big boiled potato, peeled and mashed
- 1 big onion finely chopped
- 1 cup of boiled chickpeas
- 1 cup of finely chopped fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup of boiled mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, sweetcorn)
- 2 tbp oil
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1-2 tsp chana masala powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 to 1 tsp red chilli powder
Method for buns:
In a big bowl sift the flour, add salt, sugar and fenugreek leaves to the flour and leave it aside. Add dried yeast to the luke warm milk, leave it aside until it becomes frothy. Pour melted butter and frothy yeast to the sifted flour. Combine everything and start mixing it with little water at a time. Once the dough starts to come together, keep kneading for 7-8 minutes until it is springy, elastic and soft. When the dough is kneaded leave it in greased bowl, cover it with cling film or wet cloth and leave it in a warm place for 2-2.5 hours to rise. While the dough is rising make the masala stuffing.
Method for the stuffing:
Heat the oil in a non sticky pan on medium heat and add cumin seeds until they splutter. Lower the heat slightly at this time and add chopped onions and saute for 5-6 minutes. Now add red chilli powder, garam masala and chana masala powder. Saute for 30 seconds, add spinach and saute until it is wilt. Now add mashed potatos. Mix everything until all the masala is mixed evenly. Turn the heat off. Let the filling cool uncovered.
Method for stuffed buns:
Line a baking sheet with grease of proof paper. Punch it down and knead the risen dough again on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into equal balls. Roll each ball round with rolling pin into a 2-3″ diameter. Place about 1.5 -2 tbp of the filling into the centre of the circle, then fold the circle until it is closed. Place the stuffed and sealed balls onto a lined baking sheet at least 2″ away from each other. Let them rise for 15-20 minutes.Preheat the oven to gas mark to 4-5 or 375 F/200 C. Brush the melted butter onto the stuffed balls. Bake the stuffed balls for at least 15-20 minutes or until they are brown and you can smell the aroma of baked buns. Transfer the baked buns onto wire rack, let them cool slightly and serve them warm with tea, juice or tomato ketchup as snack or have them with soup for lunch or brunch.
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