Mangalore buns are sweet fried bread made with mashed bananas, flour, sugar and spiced with a touch of ground cumin. These sweet banana buns or poori as they are known is a specialty dish from the Mangalore region in Karnataka. They are a few ways to make them and they are traditionally made with all-purpose flour. I share a recipe made with whole wheat flour.
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What are Mangalore Buns
When you hear the word buns you might think that it is some kind of yeasted soft sweet bread bun. Even though this dish is called banana buns they are not actually what is conventionally known as buns.
Basically, these are deep-fried bread made of a sweet banana dough that has been leavened. On frying, they puff up like a poori. Hence these are also known as banana poori or sweet poori.
I remember having these sweet banana buns as a kid when my aunt used to get them from Mangalore along with the other Mangalorean goodies. At that time I did not know how they were made.
My aunt originally belonged from Mangalore and whenever she used to make a visit to Mangalore, she would get Mangalorean sweets and delicacies back to Mumbai.
This Mangalore buns recipe is easy and simple to make. You just need a handful of ingredients to make this delicacy. Banana is the star of this dish and the more ripe they are, the better. Have overripened bananas? Get making this recipe and I am sure you will like it.
These sweet Mangalore buns can be had as breakfast or even as a sweet snack. They make a delicious breakfast. Generally, we have them plain with the morning tea. But you can have them with some milk or even coconut chutney if you like.
How to make Mangalore Buns
Making Banana Buns Dough
1. In a mixing bowl, take 1 medium-sized chopped ripe banana or overripe banana. I have used robusta banana. You could use any variety of a sweet ripe or overripe banana.
Add 3 tablespoons of raw sugar. You can also use white sugar or chopped/powdered jaggery. The sugar helps in the mashing of the bananas very well. Mash the bananas with a fork or with a potato masher.
You can also simply puree the bananas in a blender and then add sugar. The bananas have to be mashed well and there should not be any chunks in the puree.
Note that you can consider to add less or more sugar or skip it completely. For a more sweeter taste add more sugar. Remember that the amount of sugar that you need to add will also depend on the sweetness of the bananas.
2. In the below photo, banana puree is ready.
3. Then add the following ingredients:
- 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour (atta)
- 1 tablespoon of curd (yogurt) – ensure that the curd is not sour
- 1 pinch salt – optional
- 2 pinches of baking soda (a pinch here refers to the pinch between the thumb and forefinger and not a chef’s pinch)
- 1 teaspoon ghee or oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder (ground cumin)
4. Mix well and begin to knead. If the dough looks dry or floury then only add more 1 tablespoon curd (yogurt) and continue to knead.
Knead to a smooth dough. The dough will be slightly sticky. So while kneading you can apply some ghee or oil in your hands and knead.
If the dough becomes very sticky, then add some whole wheat flour and powdered sugar accordingly.
The quantity of yogurt required depends on the quality of the flour, thickness of the curd and the water content in the mashed banana puree. I used 2 tablespoons of curd to knead the dough.
5. Keep the dough covered in a bowl for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature or refrigerate the dough overnight or for 7 to 8 hours.
You can spread some oil all over the dough so that the outer surface does not dry out.
6. Lightly knead the dough the next morning or after you have kept it for 3 to 4 hours.
Making Mangalore buns
7. Take small to medium-sized balls from the dough. Dust the rolling board with flour and roll into round circled or poori of 4 inches diameter with medium thickness. Don’t roll them very thin.
Roll them this way and arrange them on a plate or tray and cover with a kitchen napkin.
8. Heat oil until medium-hot in a kadai or pan. When the oil becomes medium hot, shake off the excess flour from the rolled poori and gently slid each poori in the oil.
When one side puffs up and becomes golden then gently turn over with a slotted spoon. Fry the second side of banana poori till it becomes crisp and golden. Be gentle and take care that the banana poori does not break, otherwise it absorbs oil.
Turn a couple of times if needed for even color and cooking. Keep the flame to medium or medium-high while deep frying. Use any neutral-flavored oil for frying that has a high smoking point.
9. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on paper napkins to remove excess oil. Fry the remaining banana buns in a similar way.
10. Serve the Mangalore buns, hot or warm as is or with milk or a cup of ginger tea or filter coffee. They make for a sweet snack that will be especially liked by kids.
Helpful Tips for Best Mangalore Buns
- The dough has to be kept for about 3 to 4 hours at room temperature. I generally prepare the dough at night and then keep it in the fridge.
- Usually, these buns are made with all-purpose flour. You can make these Mangalore buns both with whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour or half-half of both.
- The buns made with whole wheat flour taste good and have a texture similar to a poori. The buns made with all-purpose flour also taste good and have a soft fluffy texture from within.
- The recipe also works well with overripe bananas. It is a good way to use bananas that have become overripe.
- The amount of sugar can be adjusted as per taste and the sweetness of the bananas. Generally, these buns have perfect sweetness. But you can vary the proportion of sugar according to your preferences.
- You can easily scale the recipe to make a big batch.
- To make vegan Mangalore buns use vegan yogurt and oil while kneading the dough.
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- 1 banana medium-sized robusta banana or any variety, preferably overripe
- 3 tablespoons raw sugar or jaggery powder, add as required
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder (ground cumin)
- 1 pinch salt – optional
- 2 pinches baking soda – a pinch here refers to the pinch between the thumb and forefinger and not a chef's pinch
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Curd (yogurt)
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour or all purpose flour or use half-half of both
- 1 teaspoon Ghee or oil
- oil as required for deep frying
- In a mixing bowl, take the chopped banana and sugar.
- The sugar helps in the mashing of the bananas very well. You can also just puree the bananas in a blender and then add sugar.
- The bananas have to be mashed well.
- Add the flour (whole wheat flour or all purpose flour or mix of both), 1 tablespoon curd (yogurt), salt, ghee, baking soda and cumin powder to the banana puree.
- If you can knead with 1 tablespoon curd, then fine. If the mixture looks dry or floury, then add 1 tablespoon curd again and knead. The quantity of curd required depends on the type and quality of flour. I used 2 tablespoons of curd to knead the dough.
- Knead into a smooth dough. The dough is slightly sticky. So while kneading you can apply some oil/ghee in your hands and knead.
- If the dough becomes very sticky, then add some whole wheat flour and sugar accordingly.
- Keep the dough covered in a bowl for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature or refrigerate the dough overnight or for 7 to 8 hours. You can spread some oil on the outer surface of dough so that it does not become dry while resting.
- Lightly knead the dough the next morning or after you have kept it for 3 to 4 hours.
Frying mangalore buns
- Take small to medium sized balls from the dough and roll into round circle or poori having about 4 inch diameter. Don't roll them thin but keep medium thickness.
- This way roll all the banana poori and arrnage them in a tray or plate without touching each other. Keep them covered with a kitchen towel until you begin to fry them.
- Heat any neutral flavored oil for deep frying. Keep the heat to medium to medium high.
- When the oil becomes medium hot, gently slid each poori in the oil. When the poori puffs up and become golden from one side then turn over gently using a slotted spoon.
- Fry the second side until golden and crisp. Turn over a few times if required for even cooking and color.
- While frying, take care that the banana buns does not break in oil otherwise they soak lot of oil.
- Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on paper napkins to remove excess oil. Fry the remaining buns this way.
- Serve the mangalore buns, hot or warm plain or with milk or a cup of tea of coffee.
- For a more sweeter buns, you can add more sugar. Adding less or more sugar also depends on the sweetness of bananas.
- The recipe can be made with whole wheat flour or all purpose flour or an equal mix of both flours. I prefer to make them with whole wheat flour.
- The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky.
- While frying the temperature of the oil should be medium hot. So depending upon the kind of pan you use keep the heat to medium or medium-high. Use any neutral-flavored oil with a high smoking point for deep frying.
- To make vegan banana buns, use plant-based yogurt and oil to knead the dough.
- The recipe can be scaled.
- Since curd is used you have to finish them on the same day. They taste best when served hot or warm.
Nutrition Info Approximate values
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This Mangalore Buns recipe post from the blog archives (first published in March 2010) has been updated and republished on 27 June 2021.