Theme for this month’s Bread Bakers is ‘Stuffed Breads‘ and I have bookmarked quite a few stuffed breads from our recent mega marathon. But luckily, Priya picked buns for this month’s ‘Home Bakers Challenge‘ and she had these amazing looking caramelized onion filled Sri Lankan buns on the list.

Seeni Sambol is a Sri Lankan relish made with onions. (Seeni means sugar). This seeni sambol is a sweet, tangy and sour relish that is served with any savory meal or as a sandwich filling. So as the name suggests these buns are stuffed with seeni sambol or sweet onion relish.

I followed the recipe from NY Times. These buns are soft and fluffy and the delicious onion relish makes them irresistible. These buns are generally served either for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

I used 50-50 All purpose flour & whole wheat flour in the dough. I skipped the egg in the dough and in the egg wash — replaced them with egg replacer powder and soy milk. Even with my substitutions, the buns turned out nice and soft.

It is best to serve the buns warm. But they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 1~2 days. Reheat them in the microwave before serving. They can also be frozen (tightly wrapped) for up to a month. My husband enjoyed them with some green chutney as a tea time snack.

Recipe adapted from here:

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Sri Lankan Seeni Sambol Buns Yum
Seeni Sambol is a Sri Lankan relish made with onions. (Seeni means sugar). This seeni sambol is a sweet, tangy and sour relish that is served with any savory meal or as a sandwich filling. So as the name suggests these buns are stuffed with seeni sambol or sweet onion relish.
Sri Lankan Seeni Sambol Buns
Course breads
Cuisine sri lankan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 180 minutes
Servings
buns
Ingredients
For the dough:
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 cup Whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp Yeast Instant
  • ½ Egg of a large (or use 1½tsp egg replacer powder or flax seed meal whisked in 1½tbsp water)
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsps Unsalted butter , room temperature
For the Onion Filling:
  • 1 Red onions - large, thinly sliced
  • 6 ~ 8 Curry leaves
  • ½ tsp Red chili flakes (adjust as per taste)
  • Salt - as needed
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • ½ tsp Tamarind paste
  • ½ tsp Ginger Fresh , finely grated
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon Ground
  • 1 tbsp Soy milk buns - for brushing the (or use 1 large egg yolk whisked with 1tbsp water)
Course breads
Cuisine sri lankan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 180 minutes
Servings
buns
Ingredients
For the dough:
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 cup Whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp Yeast Instant
  • ½ Egg of a large (or use 1½tsp egg replacer powder or flax seed meal whisked in 1½tbsp water)
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsps Unsalted butter , room temperature
For the Onion Filling:
  • 1 Red onions - large, thinly sliced
  • 6 ~ 8 Curry leaves
  • ½ tsp Red chili flakes (adjust as per taste)
  • Salt - as needed
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • ½ tsp Tamarind paste
  • ½ tsp Ginger Fresh , finely grated
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon Ground
  • 1 tbsp Soy milk buns - for brushing the (or use 1 large egg yolk whisked with 1tbsp water)
Sri Lankan Seeni Sambol Buns
Instructions
  1. Make the Dough: In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the dough ingredients along with ½cup of water. Knead until smooth. Turn into a greased bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1½~2hours.
  2. Divide the dough into 8 balls and let rise for 30 minutes.
  3. Make the Onion Filling: Heat 1tbsp oil in a saute pan on medium-high heat, add the curry leaves and onions. Cook till the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Then stir in the crushed red pepper flakes, salt, sugar, tamarind, ginger and cinnamon. Continue to cook till the onions are very soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down each ball and press or roll out the dough into a 5" circle. Put a tablespoon of the onion filling in one quadrant of the circle, then fold the dough over like a half moon to cover the filling. Lift the portion of the half moon that has no filling, and fold over once again. Pinch only the rounded edges of the dough together, then tuck them under and place the bun on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dpugh balls.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the tops of the buns with soy milk (or the egg yolk mixture) and bake for 12~15 minutes or until the buns are lightly golden on top and bottom, be careful not to overbake or the dough will be dry. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Notes

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla has chosen breads from around the world that are traditional for Easter, Passover or Springtime. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at [email protected]

Stuffed Breads from the Bread Bakers

Sweet Breads

Savory Breads

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0 thoughts on “Sri Lankan Seeni Sambol Buns for #BreadBakers”

  1. I can imagine how delicious the filling is. Sweet onion relish? Yes! And such an easy and cool shaping technique, too!

  2. I think I could eat that sweet onion relish with a spoon, Pavani! Your soft rolls are beautiful. I love the unusual shape created as they bake.

  3. Your photos of the process of enclosing the filling are so helpful and really brought this bread to life for me; I look forward to trying that technique, thanks!

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