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Spicy stuffed potato buns (Khara buns)

From many days I am terribly missing these khara(spicy) buns available in Bangalore bakeries. These buns are nothing but very soft bread stuffed with some kind of very spicy vegetable. But I have a very bad history of baking breads. I must have attempted it atleast 5-6 times(that I know of) and consistently I got rock hard products which I am sure would work great as cricket balls :). But no matter how many times I failed, I wanted to try it again, I am pretty optimistic when it comes to cooking.

Then last week when I was blog hopping, I came across Sunitha’s amazing bread creations. While reading through her post, I came to know it was November daring baker‘s challenge. Now my next stop was Meeta’s blog. I have been reading Meeta’s creations for this “event” for last few months. I didn’t know Sunita was also a part of daring bakers till now, as soon as I came to know, I spent next few minutes digging her old posts. I am always bowled over by the amazing creations by these two for the challenge every month. Though all of their creations were very tempting, they looked very difficult to me. But this bread looked very very simple. With lot of difficulty, I postponed the baking for over a week. Finally I baked it yesterday.

I had very less hopes because of my previous attempts, but since all the daring bakers had created such nice results, I ordered my mind to keep cool ;). When the bread dough beautifully rose, I was sure the bread would come soft. It was amazing :). Very soft and very tasty.

Since I am not officially a daring baker (or to be honest, I missed one step while reading it), I kind of took a slight shortcut – I added all the flour at once instead of adding it in steps. It made my life much easier, because the dough was not very sticky and therefore easily manageable. I made a very small batch, I didn’t want to throw a big batch if I messed up this time. Try it, its the best. Thanks a lot daring bakers and to Tanna for coming up with this recipe. Here is the measurements I used-

I use the measuring cup+spoon set, so measuring was exact.

Ingredients for bread:
1 medium potato
1 cup water
1/4 tbl spn + 1/4 tea spn salt
1/2 tea spn active dry yeast
2 and 1/8th cups all purpose flour
1/4 tbl spn unsalted butter
1/4 cup wheat flour

Put the peeled and chopped potato in 1 cup water, 1/4 tea spn salt and bring it to boil. Cook till the potatoes are very tender.
Drain the water (save the water). Mash the potatoes. Measure the saved water. If it is less than 3/4 cup, add extra water to get a total of 3/4 cup.
Take the mashed potatoes and water in a big bowl. When the mixture is cooled to about 70-80F (ie, when it is still a bit warm but not hot), add the active dry yeast. Add all purpose flour, mix and leave for 5mins (According to original recipe, at this stage only 1/2 cup all purpose flour is added. so the dough was not at all sticky).
Add remaining salt, softened butter and wheat flour and mix well. (According to original recipe, at this stage 1/2 more cup of all purpose flour is added. Remaining flour is used to dust the surface where the bread is kneaded. I am not sure what difference it makes if I add the flour at once because the dough rose well without any trouble).

Now take the dough on a clean surface and knead it well for 10mins (if you follow the original recipe, the dough at this stage has only 1 cup of flour, so dough is very sticky. Keep adding flour to get a dough that can be easily managed. Since I added all the flour earlier, I didn’t dust the surface at all).
Leave the dough in a warm place for about 2hrs or till the dough doubles in volume.

1 cup onion
3-4 green chilies
1/2 tea spn garam masala
1 tbl spn chopped coriander leaves
A pinch turmeric

Heat a little oil and add green chilies, onion, turmeric, salt and fry till the onions are translucent. Add a little water, close the lid and let it cook. Add garam masala, coriander leaves. Cook till onions are completely cooked and the mixture has become very dry. Take off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

How to make the buns
Preheat the oven at 400F for 10mins.
Take the dough and knead for some more time. Make big balls of the dough. (For above measurements, divide the dough into 8 equal parts).
Divide the stuffing into 4 equal parts.

Take one ball of dough and keep one part of stuffing on it. Cover with second half of dough and Cover properly from all sides. Make sure all the edges are sealed properly, otherwise the buns open up while baking. Slightly flatten with hand.

Drizzle some olive oil or butter on top of the bun. Spread some oregano on top (optional). Repeat same for remaining dough and stuffing to get 4 buns. Leave it aside for atleast 30mins for the buns to proof again. When they are almost double the size, they are ready to bake.
Bake in the oven for about 10-12 mins (or the top becomes brown).
Cool on a wire rack.

Note : This is by no means a simple recipe. As you all see, it’s a daring bakers challenge recipe. Daring bakers is a group which takes up very difficult challenges every month and tries to bake them. Whatever I knew about the recipe, I have already posted here. So, try on your own risk :).

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{ 77 comments… add one }

  • Miri December 4, 2007, 11:17 pm

    Kudos!!!! What a daring baker you are – your persistence has paid off – the buns look simply yummy!

  • Meeta December 5, 2007, 2:08 am

    Oh wow Shilpa, this is sooo awesome. I really love the idea of using the onion masala as a stuffing. I think I want to make this bread all over again!

    Shilpa: Thanks Meeta for stopping by. You are an inspiration for this post :).

  • Purnima December 5, 2007, 3:34 am

    Lovely, fluffy looking stuffed-bread there!The only success we get to see is after a couple of failures…especially me too! But rising abv the failure with more attempts and succeeding is an achievement in itself! Keep it up Shilpa! I won’t dare to bake this ..not atleast now..:)

  • Simple indian food December 5, 2007, 5:08 am

    hey i am in blg and i never miss out these buns from the iyengar bakery whenever we go out…i am big fan of this..thanks for sharing

  • Latha December 5, 2007, 5:10 am

    Oh Shilpa… you made my day:) just y’day i had called my amma and she was telling how much she missed kara buns from her home town (Salem… very near Karnataka but in Tamilnadu). We have not found it in Chennai yet. I’ve printed your recipe to surpirse her whenever i get the chance.

  • Nupur December 5, 2007, 5:18 am

    That looks just incredible. I have to try this one!!

  • Savitha December 5, 2007, 7:55 am

    I can’t thank you enough. I had already requested for this recipe on your blog.
    I missed khara bun / palya bun.
    I can’t wait to make it and relish it and thank you again! :)
    Great job with blog. Due to pictures I dare to try new recipes.

  • gowri December 5, 2007, 8:38 am

    Hey Shilpa,
    Very yummny looking bun. I will definately try this one!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Roops December 5, 2007, 9:19 am

    I live in NJ so lucky me I get to eat these stuffed buns at Hot Breads.
    That said those buns are not spicy enough to meet Bangalore bakery standards or mine :)..so still end up missing Khara buns…
    This recipe sure does encourage me to try out making my own Khara buns.
    Good idea to use potato bread for soft bread. If I have any success doing these the regular bread way will let you know.

  • sagari December 5, 2007, 9:45 am

    buns look soo good

  • priya December 5, 2007, 10:24 am

    This looks delicious! I’m going to try it today and make a spicy chicken filling instead. Thanks for the excellent idea:)

  • shreya December 5, 2007, 11:06 am

    Hello shilpa,
    This is very cool recipe, i used to love these buns a lot i can eat it 24/7.
    Thank you very much for sharing this lovely recipe.
    Residing so far from home, but always in touch with all the lovely food that my aayi cooks,never to miss her through ur site.
    Thanks again

  • MUnni December 5, 2007, 12:14 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    Excellent !!! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Deepa December 5, 2007, 12:36 pm

    even I love Khara buns….these looks very professional.

  • Pooja December 5, 2007, 12:44 pm

    Hi Shilpa,
    Buns r looking very tempting. fresh and hot from oven , is perfect for these days… thanks for sharing. this seems easy to make. Will give it a try :) .
    stay tuned…

  • Rutu December 5, 2007, 2:51 pm

    Absolutely amazing, I am going to HAVE to try this one. I wish there was a way to eat from the internet :D

  • Archana December 5, 2007, 2:58 pm

    Hi Shilpa..
    Buns look really yummy..
    I shal try this recipe..

    Can u tel me, Y does some times the yeast does’nt raise… Is der any trick to raise as so..? Last time i made pizza and it did not raise at all.. [:(]

    Shilpa: If the yeast is too old, sometimes it does not rise. Also if the temperature is not proper yeast dies. I had this problem for a long time too. With trial and error, now the yeast rises well. You can also use a thermometer to test the temperature.

  • chithra December 5, 2007, 6:11 pm

    wow! amazing…i never eat this type bun..this shows very yum…sure i have to try this..thx shilpa

  • priya December 5, 2007, 7:28 pm

    I made these with a spicy pork and onion filling.. my husband loved it.. I had doubled the recipe so I had some leftover dough and baked a loaf of potato bread.. it turned out incredible and soft.. I put a little sea salt, garlic powder, oregano and chilli flakes on the top.. thanks for the excellent recipe..

  • Ramya December 5, 2007, 9:40 pm

    OMG!!! you are so damn good!!! Your buns look lovely….. better than the store bought ones!!

  • Maya December 5, 2007, 11:02 pm

    Hi Shilpa,
    Great job with the Khara buns. I used to have them all the time too in blore. Everytime I passed by the bakery, it was so hard to resist the fresh baked buns, since the aroma would be all over. Its great u made these.

  • Meera December 5, 2007, 11:23 pm

    These buns look really nice. I will surely try them sometime soon.

  • rachel December 6, 2007, 7:10 am

    I’ve bought these from stores..never tried them though! THanks for this.

  • shreya December 6, 2007, 9:31 am

    Hi shipa,
    Shreya again:)
    I made these buns they came out very good.
    I tried stuffing few with potatoes too, on the whole it was yummy my family loved it. Now we are never going to miss the famous khara bun from bangalore staying in here in canada.

  • pelicano December 6, 2007, 10:34 am

    You shock me Shilpa! Not only a delicious-looking recipe for filled buns, but you made beautiful bread! And I can see that you are getting a “feel” for how much flour to add. It changes a bit with the humidity of the air, so its hard to be exact with giving measurements of how much flour, but you know…you just know when there is enough flour. The first mixture is called a “sponge” and this is done to activate the yeast to start multiplying before more flour is added. Some recipes use this, some don’t, but I usually do. Great job!!!

  • sandeepa December 6, 2007, 11:22 am

    Your bun looks delicious. You are such agood baker with your lovely cakes, I am sure you will do great as a daring one too

  • kanchan December 6, 2007, 11:30 am

    Hi! I think we can put the same stuffing for making stuffed paratha. so poor bakers like me will not have problems .

  • musy December 6, 2007, 8:13 pm

    Love these khara buns! My other favorites used to be the potatoe palya buns :). Totally delicious!

  • rajini December 7, 2007, 12:44 am

    bun was hard, please give clear steps for soft bun.

    Shilpa: Rajini, I think I have already mentioned everything I know about these buns.
    Have you used exact measurements? Did your dough increase double the volume when you let it sit for 2hrs?

  • bee December 7, 2007, 10:15 am

    oh, man!!! this is the best of the whole lot. fabulous.

    we made buns stuffed with spicy potato bhaji once and took them to a party. a friend kept holding them in the palm of his hand with a quizzical look. then he broke one one, and said, “ha!!! i was wondering why these rolls were so heavy!!!” then he ate three or four. lol.

    Shilpa: Haha…I have a strong feeling that most of the times when people are skeptic about some food, they finally turn out the biggest fans of the dish when they eat it :)

  • Siri December 7, 2007, 9:38 pm

    Wow, those r some yummy looking buns Shilpa.. still drooling over the last pic!

    ~ Siri

  • Nupur December 15, 2007, 5:29 am

    I made this last night, Shilpa…and they turned out just delicious! I followed your instructions carefully, only adding some peas to the filling. The dough was infinitely sticky :D but I managed to flour my hands well and then it was quite easy to work with. The buns were delicious: crispy crust and tender soft on the inside. And this amount was perfect for our family of two. Next time, I will try using this dough as a pizza base. Thanks for scaling down the recipe for us, and for your detailed post!

    Shilpa: Yay..I am happy to know you tried it Nupur. Yeah, pizza base would be great with this.

  • Meera Subbarao December 26, 2007, 10:49 am

    Hi Shilpa,
    I tried the potato bun yesterday for Christmas Special for all my guests. It was a huge hit.
    I told everyone that this recipe was from your site.
    This was my first baking experience, I am glad it came out well.
    Thanks so much.

  • Vinaya January 11, 2008, 9:17 pm

    Hi Shilpa,
    I tried this out. But the bun turned out to be more like a pizza base. Was’nt that soft. I used the exact measurements as mentioned and the same cups given in that link too :). But still came out hard, though the dough rose to double in volume. Any solution?

    – Vinaya

    Shilpa: Ohh..I am not sure Vinaya. I followed the recipe given by daring bakers and it was fine. Just go thr’ the links of Meeta’s and Sunita’s blog that I have mentioned above. I think they may be able to help you. I am also novice in this :(.

  • Neela January 28, 2008, 12:30 pm

    I tried these last night. I followed the exact same recipe as mentioned but I am afraid, it did not come out so very well. My problem was the buns did not brown on top. I smeared butter as mentioned instead of olive oil. The stuffing became too less and had moved to one side, hence the buns did not come out soft and fluffy as expected. Let me know where I went wrong. ( I used all the flour at once instead of adding it later. At first it was not sticky at all, but when I tried to knead, it was alright) I want to try them again. Please let me know properly if I missed out anything.

    Shilpa: Neela, please check out the links I have mentioned. Do not add all the flour at once, that was what I had done by mistake. Did the dough rise well?

  • Neela January 29, 2008, 1:50 pm

    Yes Shilpa,
    The dough did rise well. I could see the air inside, if I parted the flour. The recipe called for further kneading after 2 hours, so, I kneaded the dough for another 10 mins. Was that a mistake?
    I will however try again without adding all the dough at once and then see what happens.

  • bavya February 3, 2008, 10:54 am

    your recipie looks very intersting and i am very much interested in baking bread though i am afraid to try. i am searching for this recipe for long.i would likr to know whether we can prepare it without onions ?like the other bread item we get in banglore bakeries?and can we prepare in microwave?please let me know these details and also wheat bread recipe

    Shilpa: Bavya, you can use any stuffing you like. I don’t know the steps to bake a cake in microwave.

  • Ashwini March 4, 2008, 12:49 pm

    Hi Shilpa,
    I have a doubt. B4 adding yeast, we need to mix the potato and the water together in a bowl and then add the yeast , am i right?

  • dr smita d dutta March 8, 2008, 10:06 am

    i am impressed

  • Sini Abbas March 21, 2008, 1:47 pm


    It was interesting to read your bun recipe. I have come from my kitchen just now after a failed stuffed bun making attempt. I was searching for some of these recipes and came across yours. My dough did rise well, but while baking, it did not do well.

    I read somewhere just now that once the dough rises, you need to punch it down and let it rise again. Then after rolling it, you need to rest it again for a while so that it will rise agian.

    Any tips on making fluffy buns from you would be appreciated.

    I do read your site often and appreciate the interest and efforts you take in posting these recipes.

  • dilani gopi April 27, 2008, 7:57 am

    i have read ur recipies it was super ,i would like to know how to make a bun?

  • Vivek May 16, 2008, 2:55 am

    I love cooking the stuff that children like to eat quite often, the buns are one of them. But I normally get confused by the term ‘oven’ and ‘microwave’. Wud there be any difference in the temperature settings if one uses ‘microwave’ in place of the normal ‘oven’. Please advice.

    Shilpa: Vivek, both are different. If you have a conventional oven setting on your microwave, use that for any baking(cakes, breads etc)

  • Manasa May 20, 2008, 9:48 am

    Hi Shilpa,
    My husband loves khara buns and so I thought I would try this recipe out. I followed the recipe but finally the dough was very very sticky, just like only maida dough. I somehow managed to cover the stuffing with a layer of dough on either side. I baked them for some 15 mins. They tasted ok but the shape was weird. Not to mention how difficult it was to stuff them. Any idea what I did wrong that the dough ended up so sticky?

  • vidya June 17, 2008, 11:15 pm

    I tried your potato bun recipe,the buns turned out really hard!! Any idea what might have gone wrong? I LOVED these as evening snacks growing up, and want to make them right!

  • mamta June 26, 2008, 5:48 pm

    mamta again..

    i love kahara buns too..

    easy way out… u can buy frozen bread dough from frozen section in any american grocery store…

    follow the instructions to make simple dough bread…

    get creative & use ur own stuffing..
    what u have posted is palya bun shilpa..

    for khara bun.. coarsly grind green chilli, ajwain, jeera, with ginger.. add finely chopped dill leaves..
    just mix it with already risen dough.. & shape it.. let it rise for another half hour & bake it…


  • Souwmya July 6, 2008, 12:41 pm

    For those whose buns turn out hard….sprinkle some water on the buns and steam it for around1/2 hour… your labor won’t go waste :)

  • Santosh July 12, 2008, 4:17 pm

    Shilpa – you can actually stuff the buns with potato and onion curry. Thats how they make it in Bangalore bakeries – but I am sure the buns you have baked are tasty as well they look great.

  • lavanya September 17, 2008, 11:14 pm

    Ur khara bun looks so yummy.
    I am not a baker at all. But i can tell the flavors by its smell.
    oh..yes i remember those aloo buns from the bakeries in bangalore. But in those famous classic khara bun/aloo bun the aloo is not in the bread dough but in the stuffing. I have been searching for that method of aloo bun for years and being a non-baker I never ever dared to try it. I once tried it with ready bread dough but as i did not know when to stuff it- before or after rising, i made it and the curry was so so less compared to the bread when it got baked.
    I would appreciate it if you could really post that recipe- normal bread dough for bun with aloo curry stuffing.
    Thank u.

  • Sushma January 5, 2009, 3:02 am

    hi shilpa,
    thanks for helping me get bangalore ‘Butter spong’ khara bun right out in my home in mumbai.. I had filled two buns with onion palya and two with alu..

  • THERESA LOWE May 5, 2009, 7:38 pm

    I love making bread and cakes as well and anything to do with baking and cooking so I will try this tomorrow

  • Ashwini Shenoy May 27, 2009, 7:16 pm

    I am making this tomorrow! I miss the khara buns of VB Bakery in Bangalore and this looks like a good replacement.

  • Ramya September 6, 2009, 3:34 pm

    The buns were very hard when I made. Can
    you please tell me what should I do to make
    it better

    • Savitha B S August 6, 2011, 10:01 pm

      Knead the dough well. Ideally when you mix yeast, water (the water should be luke warm and yeast should be dissolved in it with a small teaspoon of Sugar) and then mixed with dough. The dough should be kept aside for an hour…and when it doubles its size, the kneading should be done well again.

      Try it this way!
      Good luck


  • Sree February 16, 2010, 11:18 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    I loved the way you wrote about your experience of making buns. Your comparison with cricket ball was just hilarious. I could not stop laughing. I never had them. So I don’t know. Lately I have not baked anything due to the antique oven I have in my apartment. Otherwise I love baking and cooking. So far I have baked mostly Cheese cakes, Biscotti, cookies and bars. Have to try out your recipes, looks yummy.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. Happy cooking


  • Gayathri K Panickker March 8, 2010, 1:58 pm

    Tried making them over this weekend. Tasted fabulous. I now visit your site quite regularly and check on the reciped. Great work. Keep going.

  • sudha borkar March 9, 2010, 10:59 am

    Hi shilpa,
    looks great.It does look like a big challenge to make this recipe.Will give it a try.
    sudha borkar

  • sudha borkar March 22, 2010, 7:58 am

    Hi shilpa
    after going thro’ all the bread recipes and ur love for baking bread ,I want to give it a try tomorrow but CAN i bake this in microwave (convection mode)?unlike oven this does not have a coil on downside so I am doubtful.only after u give me go a head signal will i try.waiting for ur reply.

    sudha borkar

    • Shilpa March 22, 2010, 8:38 am

      I don’t know Sudha, sorry. Never tried baking anything in microwave. You need to do some research on google.

  • sudha borkar April 1, 2010, 8:30 pm



    • Shilpa April 2, 2010, 9:01 am

      I don’t think keeping it at room temperature is a good idea. It will start rising and may become sour

  • sudha borkar April 2, 2010, 4:48 am

    can i keep the dough at room temp overnight or in the fridge since my husband leaves at 6:30 am for office.

    • Shilpa April 2, 2010, 8:59 am

      If you store in fridge, you need to wait till it comes to room temperature before baking it.

  • Sheetal November 3, 2010, 7:23 am

    I tried baking these buns, and they were not different than cricket balls :(

  • shubha March 18, 2011, 5:30 pm

    Tried this, but came out hard. I think the measurements are very complicated. Instead of 1/4th or 1/8 th, it would be much easier if it was in grams/ mls. Difficult to measure exactly 1/4 or 1/8 th of cups, it can be very subjective.!

  • Priyanka May 10, 2011, 4:15 am

    I tried these buns this weekend and had a great time. I used mushrooms, cream cheese, bell pepper and couple of shallots in the stuffing. My buns were really soft and fluffy and we loved them. They tasted more like pies.

    Since his was only the second time I was baking (The first time being a cake) I wa just on top of the world :)

  • Varsha May 11, 2011, 1:16 am

    Hi Shilpa,
    Did u make this when you were in India? I have heard the yeasts in India are not very good so do not rise. Can you tell me the brand of yeast you use for breads. Is it availble in India?

    • Shilpa May 11, 2011, 9:33 am

      Sorry Varsha, I haven’t tried it in India. Here in use this brand.

  • Kavitha June 3, 2011, 2:57 pm

    I tried this today and the exterior was so hard. I tried the recipe just like you had given and even the dough rose well but after baking the buns exterior was hard as rock. The interior was soft and tasty :( Any advice!

  • Hala June 21, 2011, 7:22 am

    Hi Shilpa,
    I’m Egyptian girl but falling in love with everything relates to india..I always eat and cook indian food
    I made thes buns to my family and they were amazed..thnx a lot for yr wonderful recipes..I’m planning to try another recipes of yrs..Thnx again

  • srividhya October 17, 2011, 11:44 pm

    Shilpa, We don’t use onion or garlic. So what would you suggest we use as stuffing instead of onions? Thank you!

    • Shilpa October 18, 2011, 8:38 am

      You could try a potato bhaji or tomato bhaji

  • Shalaka April 23, 2012, 8:21 pm

    Thanks for the recipes..I always like your recipes i read here.

  • sandhya May 6, 2012, 4:14 pm

    LOved this recipe,and i tried it,it came out so good,thanks shilpa for wonderful recipe….

  • Ashwini September 18, 2012, 2:01 am

    Hi Shilpa, does’nt the bun need to proof a second time after put the stuffing?would’nt it turn out hard if you directly cook it after stuffing it considering that you knead it for sometime before and thus taking off all the air from within the dough?

    • Shilpa September 20, 2012, 4:23 pm

      Yes it does. Nice catch, I have totally missed that in the post. Will update it. Thanks

  • Nisha March 6, 2014, 7:51 pm

    Hi Shilpa, Can I use maida instead of All purpose flour?

    • Shilpa March 7, 2014, 7:33 am

      Yes you can use maida

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