Rukmini Iyer's Beetroot, Curry Leaf & Ginger Brunch Buns

Curry leaves, mustard seeds and ginger are a classic seasoning combination in South India, so I decided to use them as a flavouring for these vibrantly pink buns. They were born from wanting to make something carby but fairly hands-off to serve for an Indian brunch with friends – there’s a little light kneading, but otherwise the rising and baking time require no intervention. Fresh curry leaves give the most incredible flavour and you can often find them at larger supermarkets, but if you’re stuck, use a fistful of chopped coriander instead.

Makes: 8 buns.

Extracted from: India Express – Fresh and Delicious Recipes for Every Day. By Rukmini Iyer Published by Square Peg £22 hbk Photography by David Loftus


 Main Ingredients Serves: 8

  • 15 fresh curry leaves
  • 325g strong white bread flour
  • 4g fast-action dried yeast
  • 150g raw beetroot, grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 100ml water
  • Beaten egg, for brushing

 Store cupboard Ingredients


  1. Heat 30ml (2 tablespoons) of the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat; when hot, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Let them snap, crackle and pop for 30 seconds to 1 minute until aromatic, then turn off the heat and set aside.

  2. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, grated beetroot, lemon juice and ginger together, then add all the remaining oil and 100ml water. Pour in the infused mustard seed and curry leaf oil, then stir together. Knead the dough by hand or in a stand mixer for 10 minutes, adding a tablespoon more water if the dough is looking dry.

  3. Let the dough rise, covered, for 11⁄2 hours, or until doubled in size. Punch down the dough, divide into 8 and then roll each portion into a ball, twisting the dough underneath so you have a smooth top. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, twisted side down, and leave to rise for 20 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas 6. Brush the buns with the beaten egg, then transfer to the oven to bake for 25 minutes until well risen. Let them cool slightly on a wire rack before serving with plenty of salted butter.

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