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Savory Onion Buns | Bangalore Iyengar Bakery Khara Buns

Savory Onion Buns also popular as Bangalore Iyengar Bakery Khara Buns, is all we need to go back to our childhood. Such a easy recipe but loaded with amazing flavors.
Prep Time3 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time3 hrs 55 mins
Course: Appetizer, Baking, Onion Buns, Snacks
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 8 Buns
Calories: 144kcal


  • Oven
  • bowl


  • 1 ½ cup All purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ cup Milk
  • 2 ¼ cup Water if needed
  • 2 Tablespoon Butter
  • ¾ cup Onion finely chopped
  • 4 Green chilies finely chopped
  • Cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon Oil
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds


Prepare the Onion mixture –

  • In a pan, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the chopped onions along with green chilies and salt and fry it until the onions are translucent and well cooked.
  • Now add the chopped cilantro, give it a good mix and turn off the flame. Let the mixture cool down a bit.

To make the dough –

  • Heat the milk and water together until warm and then add the sugar and yeast to the mixture. Make sure that the milk/water is just warm to proof the yeast.
  • Mix well and keep it aside for about 10 minutes. You will notice that the mixture froths up really well. This is now ready to use. If the mixture does not froth up, then the yeast is inactive and you have to use a different batch of yeast.
  • Melt the butter and let it cool down to room temperature.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of the stand mixer, add the flour and salt and give it a mix. Add the melted butter and the proofed yeast and start mixing. Knead it into stiff dough. Make sure that the dough is pretty stiff as it would liquefy a bit when adding the onions. Knead the dough for about 7-8 minutes.
  • Now take it to the work surface and pat it out into a rough rectangle. Place the onion mixture in the rectangle and fold it up well. Now start kneading the dough again. I placed my dough back in the mixer and kneaded it using the mixer. The dough loosened up quite a bit and I needed to add about ½ cup of flour to bring it to the right consistency. Placing the onions inside the dough ensures even mixing.
  • Once the dough is kneaded well, place it in a greased bowl and cover it with a plastic wrap. Let it rise in a draft free place for 1 -1 ½ hours or until doubled in volume.
  • Once the dough has doubled, punch it down gently and divide it into 8 equal parts. I weighted my dough portions to approximately 80 gms each.

Shaping the Buns -

  • Make a tight taut ball from each portion and place it a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen cloth and let it rise again for about 45 minutes to an hour or until doubled.

Baking the Savory Onion Buns –

  • Preheat the oven to 425 F during the last 10 minutes of the rise time.
  • Brush the top of the dough with milk.
  • Once the oven has preheated, turn the temperature down to 350 F and place baking sheet into the oven.
  • Bake it for 20 – 30 minutes or until the buns are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. It took me 27 minutes to bake.
  • As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush the top with some melted butter to keep the crust soft.


Expert tips
  • Always make sure that the yeast is fresh. If the yeast does not bubble in liquid, then we know that the yeast is inactive. Discard and start with a fresh batch.
  • Knead the dough a little stiffer than regular bread dough. Adding the onion mixture later will make the dough a little softer.
  • Do not rush the proofing process of the dough. Well risen dough gives good texture and flavor the the buns.
  • I like using red onions for this as it gives a distinct flavor just like how it is at the bakery.


Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 399mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 101IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg