Mangalore buns have a cult following in India, and I can see why! I am so proud that they hail from my hometown, which is set on the southwest coast of India. The buns are usually served as a snack alongside a burn-your-tongue-hot cup of milky filter coffee, and with a savory and gently spicy fresh coconut chutney. Since fresh coconut is a little tricky to find, I offer you my pineapple chutney, below. But can I tell you a secret? I've eaten these buns alone, with some honey-sweetened Greek yogurt, and even with a hefty spoon of pimiento cheese dip… there's very little they don't go well with! (And, you could even try my husband's idea: "Elvis Goes to Mangalore" buns… topped with peanut butter and bacon!)
Peel the banana and drop into a large, wide bowl. Sprinkle with the kosher salt, then mash with a potato masher or a fork until mostly smooth.
Add the cane sugar, cumin seeds, baking soda, turmeric and 2 tablespoons yogurt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the mashed banana and stir on low speed until the mixture is well combined.
Add the flour, about a tablespoon at a time, mixing on low speed, until a dough forms. (You may need the whole cup, or you may not, depending on the size of your banana (there's a joke in there, but I'm not touching it!). If your banana was large, then feel free to add more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until a smooth, soft dough forms and there are no longer any sticky bits around the rim of the bowl. If your dough is too dry, wet your palms ever so slightly and knead the dough. Now, place the ball of dough in the center of a large piece of plastic wrap and wrap securely. Allow to rest in the fridge 8 hours or up to overnight.
Remove the dough from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
Fill a medium saucepan with oil and set over medium to medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F or preheat a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F. Set the oven to the lowest temperature it can reach. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet, then place it in the oven.
Lightly flour your work surface, then turn out your dough. Separate into 10 equal balls. Sprinkle with flour if they are sticky. Roll each ball into a circle 3 to 4 inches wide, making sure they're of even thickness all the way around. Flap each circle between your hands, back and forth, to remove excess flour.
Line a plate with several layers of paper towel.
Drop one circle of dough into the oil. It will sink to the bottom, then quickly rise to the surface and start to puff up. To encourage it to puff up all the way around, push gently on the raised bubbles with a flat spatula. Once the bottom is golden brown (about 30 seconds), flip and cook the remaining side, about 45 seconds.
Remove to the paper towel-lined plate, then carefully sprinkle with flaky salt. Place on the baking sheet in the oven and continue to fry the buns.
Combine the remaining pint of Greek yogurt with the honey and a lot of freshly ground black pepper. Serve the buns immediately with the seasoned yogurt.
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