Curry Potato Buns

June 10, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by WoonHeng Chia
  • Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook time 55 minutes
  • makes 6 buns
Author Notes

Potatoes and curry make a delicious combo that can be found in a ton of dishes throughout Asia. Say, curry potatoes served with nasi lemak, curry potatoes and vegetables like aloo gobi, and curry potatoes as a filling for pastries and buns.

Traditional curry potato buns are made with chicken—commonly known as curry chicken buns. They can be found at many Asian bakeries. I naturally gravitate toward savory food, and since there aren’t typically many vegetarian or vegan savory buns at the store, I decided to make my own version.

These buns definitely bring back lots of memories from my primary school years. The buns cost me less than a quarter, and I probably could have chowed down on at least two. Melt-in-your-mouth potatoes with just enough spicy heat, all bundled in soft bread.

These are great for make-ahead meals, and the recipe can be easily doubled. Store the baked buns in the refrigerator. Then, whenever you are ready to eat, simply wrap them with a damp paper towel and microwave, or warm through in a toaster oven. —WoonHeng Chia

What You'll Need
  • Dough
  • 2 cups (240 grams) bread flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • teaspoons active-dry yeast
  • ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • cups lukewarm water
  • tablespoons plant-based butter, softened, plus more for greasing
  • Curry Potato Filling
  • 1 pound russet potatoes
  • tablespoons neutral oil
  • ½ medium (or 1 small) yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 curry leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sambal (Malaysian chile paste)
  • 1 tablespoon yellow or red curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 cup room-temperature water
  • cups frozen peas and carrots
  • teaspoons umami seasoning or vegetable bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened soy or oat milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • White sesame seeds, for sprinkling
  • Plant-based butter, melted, for brushing (optional)
  1. To make the dough, combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with a dough hook and stir to combine at low speed. While the mixer is running, slowly add the water and continue to mix until there are no visible dry spots of flour. Add the butter and continue to mix until the butter is incorporated and the dough looks smooth, 8 to 10 minutes. (If the dough is too wet, add flour in 1-tablespoon increments; if the dough is too dry, add water in 1-tablespoon increments.) Cover the bowl with a tight lid and proof the dough until double in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the weather.
  2. Prepare the filling: Clean and peel the potatoes. Cut into tiny cubes (about 1 centimeter) and soak in water for 5 to 10 minutes to remove excess starch. Drain, rinse, and pat dry with a towel.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Sauté the onion until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the potatoes to the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the potatoes turn slightly translucent.
  4. Add the curry leaves, sambal, curry powder, sugar, and salt and toss to combine. Add the water, frozen peas and carrots, and umami seasoning and cover the pan with a lid. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, 5 to 10 minutes, checking every so often and adding water if needed.
  5. When the potatoes are cooked, taste and season with more sambal or salt if needed. Fold in the peas and carrots, and turn off the heat. Let it cool completely to thicken a bit (you can stick it in the freezer to cool faster, if you’d like).
  6. Grease an 8x11-inch or 9x13-inch baking pan generously with softened butter. (The larger the baking pan, the less tall and fluffy the buns will be.)
  7. Transfer the proofed dough to a flour-dusted surface. Divide into 6 equal pieces. Knead each piece to remove air bubbles, then roll it into a ball.
  8. Rub a rolling pin with flour. Take one ball and flatten it with your palm. Roll into a 5- to 6-inch circle, aiming to keep the middle thicker than the perimeter. (The larger the wrapper, the thinner the bun, so if you prefer to have a more doughy bun, roll a smaller wrapper.)
  9. Divide the filling evenly between the circles (a scant ½ cup each), placing the mound in the middle of the circle. Bring up all the sides and pinch to seal. Place the buns seam side down on the greased baking pan, evenly spaced out. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes while you heat the oven to 375°F.
  10. Meanwhile, make the vegan egg wash by whisking the milk and maple syrup until combined.
  11. Brush the proofed bun with vegan egg wash and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
  12. Bake the buns for 25 to 35 minutes, until the top turns golden brown. To get a shinier look, if you’d like, you can brush the baked buns with a thin layer of melted butter.

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1 Review

Jermiejerm June 4, 2021
A few disjointed thoughts:
-It's a good thing we doubled the dough recipe because despite only having 4 oz extra of potatoes we used only 60% of the total filling in six buns as described!
-We are out in the sticks so we had to use a Korean chili paste, can't say it's either better or worse for it. But, we agreed we'd add more spices and definitely more salt. I ended up sprinkling little flakes of sea salt with every bite and that really upped the flavor for me.
-We LOVE the bun dough! We agreed that we'd make these buns again and again and fill them with different fillings.
-It took a bit longer than the time as described - we baked for 28 minutes but cooked down the filling for about 15 minutes, then stuck it in the freezer in two different bowls to speed cooling and that still took quite a while, maybe another 15 minutes (we put them in the buns pretty hot still). Add to that the other steps and it was probably about an hour fifteen - and I was on stove duty and partner was on dough duty, so we were quite efficient.