Sunday, July 17, 2016

Theek Paav - Whole Wheat Flour Masala Paav Bun

Those who have visited Taj Mahal Cafe in Mangaluru must have tried a unique spiced poori or Theek Rotti there. Theek Rotti is a Konkani invention and it is made with whole wheat flour adding mashed banana and few masala ingredients. In our household, mother used to make theek rottis most of the times as per my father's demand, and normal plain pooris were a rare sight until the mid Seventies.

I had made Whole Wheat Flour Paav Bun some months ago. I was thinking, why not try making masala paav buns with theek rotti formula. My intentions to blend traditional Mangalurian dishes and snacks with North Indian or western innovation with few simple inventions, have mostly been successful. So I tried this one as well and succeeded. This is a fusion of Paav Bun, Theek Rotti and Mangalore Buns. At least 4 people who tasted these gave me full marks!

The variation I made to the whole wheat flour paav bun apart form adding masala ingredients, was to add mashed bananas and honey. Both add to taste and flavour, also helping in making them fluffy. Adding caramel makes the colour a beautiful brown inside out. You can make them more tasty and nutritious by adding wheat flour and plain flour in the proportions mentioned, or make them with just plain flour.

Why don't you try making this on a lazy rainy monsoon day? These buns will energise you and keep you warm, especially when they are washed down with a cuppa hot tea or coffee. 
Whole Wheat Flour - 1.5 Cups
Refined Flour(Maida) - 1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons
Salt - 1 Tsp(or according to taste)
Sugar - 2 Tablespoons
Active Dry Yeast - 2 Tsp
Warm Milk - 3/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoon for milk wash
Warm Water - 1/2 Cup
Mysore Banana(Optional) - 2 small or you can add Cavendish banana pulp(around 100 Gms)
Melted butter - 2 Tablespoons + 1 Tsp
Honey - 2 Tsp
Caramel(Optional) - 2 Tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 Tsp
Green Chillies - 2 Finely chopped
Coriander Leaves - A handful, finely chopped
Mint Leaves - A handful, finely chopped
Crushed Black Peppercorns - 1 Tsp
Asafotoeda Powder/Hing(Optional) - 1/4 Tsp

Heat 1/2 tsp butter in a frying pan, add cumin seeds. 
Allow them to splutter  and then add the chopped green chillies and fry until the chilli bits turn whitish.
Keep aside to cool down and then add in chopped coriander and mint leaves.
Take the warm milk in a glass tumbler or a non metallic bowl, mix in sugar and yeast, cover and keep for 10 minutes to proof/activate.
Mix 1.5 cup wheat flour, 1 cup maida and salt in a mixing bowl.
Make a pit in the center and pour the yeast milk mixture.
Add 2 tbsp melted butter, honey, caramel, mashed bananas, crushed black peppercorns, optional hing and the cumin green chilli mint coriander masala mixture.
Knead well adding warm water little by little, for 10 minutes, or until you get a moist but firm dough.
Grease the bowl, apply melted butter on the dough ball, cover with kitchen cloth and allow to raise for one hour at warm room temperature.
The dough will have doubled by then.
Prepare baking tin by greasing the inside and sprinkling little flour if necessary.
Sprinkle little flour over the dough, punch it to release the air and knead again adding little flour for 5 minutes.
Roll the dough into a thick rope or log, cut into 16 equal parts if using 8x8 baking tray or upto 24 equal parts, if using 9x12 baking tray.
Shape each part into a smooth ball and arrange them as close as possible to one another in the tray. 
If you can't accommodate all the dough balls in one medium size tray, you can place them in two small trays or even shape the remaining dough into hot dog rolls or regular round buns.
Cover the dough balls and keep for another hour or slightly more, when they double up again, stick to one another and fit snugly in the tray.
Give milk wash over the top surface of the dough balls.
Preheat oven at 180°C for 10 minutes, and place the tray on wire rack, bake for 25-35 minutes or until the bread becomes browned on top.
Remove from oven, allow to cool down for 10-15 minutes, detach the bread from the baking tray using a butter knife and relish.
These go well with a cup of tea or hot strong coffee.
You can also relish them with choice of veg or nonveg curries.

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