BANANA AND CARDAMOM BUNS

These buns are a healthier take on the addictive deep-fried Mangalorean banana puris that locals line up for at breakfast time. They’re not as sweet as you’d imagine, but perfectly sweet enough.

Makes 8

2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon dried yeast
salt
2½ tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground cardamom (or finely ground seeds from 6 pods)
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon ripe banana, well-mashed (from approx. 2 bananas)
½ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Put the flour, yeast, ½ teaspoon of salt, the sugar, and cardamom into a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the mashed banana to the bowl and stir in.

Warm the milk and butter gently to body temperature (if it’s too hot it will kill the yeast), then pour into the bowl. Mix until the dough comes together, then knead for 5 minutes. It will be super sticky, which is no bad thing. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to one side until doubled in size. If you’re making these for breakfast, you could do this the night before, and let the dough proof in a bowl in the fridge.

When the dough has risen, divide it into 8 pieces. On a floured surface, roll each one into a neat ball, then place on a baking pan lined with baking paper, making sure you leave at least 2 inches between each bun. Cover with a clean tea towel, and leave to proof until nearly doubled in size again. This might take up to 2 hours, depending on how warm your kitchen is.

When the buns are nice and plump, crack the egg into a cup, add a decent pinch of salt, and mix well with a fork. Brush the egg wash over the buns, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom.