12 Sweet Bun Sliders Of India: Buns Are Fun Eats In India

The yeast-leavened and baked sweet buns, also known as milk buns, play a vital role in India's street food scene as a quick breakfast pick-up or a snack that most of us have indulged in on-the-go. Most of us might commonly relish bun maska or malai bun that is lathered with a dollop of butter or just on its own by dipping it in hot milk tea for breakfast or snack. You might be wondering what the big hype about buns is all about. But it is one of those comfort foods that India relishes in different forms and in various combinations.

While white breads or baked goods made of maida are not agreed upon as health-friendly by dieticians and health freaks, most of them indulge in sweet bun preparations once in a while, if not regularly. The soft and sweet buns are levelled up a notch with various savoury and sweet fillings to make different kinds of street-style sliders, which are sold popularly as street food or in tiny tea shops and bakeries across India. Some street carts, stores, and bakeries are even popular for a sweet bun recipe that they might have specialised in for over two decades or since the early 1900s, which has become the bread and butter of these establishments across the country.

While custard buns, cinnamon buns, or pesto rolls are commonly enjoyed everywhere, sweet buns are one of those nostalgic eats that might make you crave them and even encourage you to bake them with a simple recipe at home or simply buy them from the local bakery to prep and enjoy them with your tea, especially during the monsoon season. It is a versatile type of baked bread that can be transformed into a breakfast dish, a snack, or a dessert in a jiffy. Let us explore some of the unusual sweet bun preparations that are commonly enjoyed by people in various cities across the country, whatever the season may be.

Bun Chole And Bun Tikki Of Amritsar

We may all be aware of chole-kulche duo or aloo tikki chaat, which is widely relished in North India, especially in Amritsar, and also nowadays across the country. But just the thought of having a spiced chickpea gravy filled in a sweet bun and served with onions or a pan-fried potato patty with ghee, stuffed between the halves of a bun as a burger on a cold, rainy day can be so satisfying. The light and airy bun becomes a hearty dish by itself, just like Panditji's bun tikki, where the tikkis are fried in desi ghee, or bun chole at Anant Ram ji chole wale, whose family has been selling a delicious version of the dish since 1932 in Amritsar.

Gulab Jamun Bun And Bun Samosa Of Kasauli

Gulab jamun bun has been trending lately on social media for how unusual the snack is in itself and for the many fans who queue up outside Narinder Sweet House in Kasauli to try a dish that packs the sweet bun with sugary syrup and a gulab jamun in the middle before serving it toasted on the tava. Bun samosa, where the bun is slit in the middle and laced with chutney before sandwiching it with a samosa in between, is another hearty snack that people go ga-ga over in Kasauli.

While this has been served for many years there, people in South India relish it too on the streets of cities like Bengaluru and Chennai. There are some popular small stores on the streets of Sowcarpet in Chennai, or Basavangudi and Malleswaram in Bengaluru, that are famous for their gulab jamun bun and other varieties.

Bun Nippat Masala And Congress Bun Masala Of Bengaluru

Bengaluru is famous for its milk bun-based snacks, and these two burgers are among the popular savoury versions that Chetty's store or the iconic VB bakery is famous for in Bengaluru. Nippat, or nippattu, is a deep-fried snack made with rice flour, peanuts, and spices. It is a popular snack in South India, especially in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and is often served at tea time, whereas Congress kadlekai is a popular snack from Bengaluru.

It is made with split peanuts that are roasted and then spiced with a tangy mixture of spices. The peanuts are then garnished with fried curry leaves. The name "Congress Kadlekai" is said to have originated from the split nature of the peanuts, which resembles the split in the Indian National Congress party in 1969. Another story is that the snack was popular during the Emergency period in India, when the Congress party was in power.

Anyway, as far as the bun masala is concerned, slit and butter-slathered buns are stuffed with nippat or congress peanuts, mint-chilli chutney, and tamarind chutney, along with a dash of grated carrots, chopped onions, and tomatoes, and cheese optionally. The soft and sweet buns paired with tangy and spicy chutneys, and the crunch from the nippat, or peanuts, make it one of Bengaluru's favourite snacks with tea.

Bun Tikki Chole Of Himachal Pradesh

Bun tikki chole is a popular street food in Himachal Pradesh. A warm patty made with mashed potatoes, peas, and spices is stuffed in between a milk bun and topped with hot chickpea gravy, mint-coriander chutney, a squeeze of lime juice, and served with a garnish of shredded cabbage and onions.

This slider is not only a snack but can be a filling meal by itself, and it is available at a reasonable price of Rs. 25–30. The bun is loaded with warmth from the potatoes, peas, and spices, which makes it so enjoyable in cold weather with a cup of hot masala tea.

Palkova Bun In Chennai

This is a traditional South Indian sweet dish made from milk, sugar, and cardamom. Palkova is a popular sweet in Tamil Nadu, where the word 'palkova' is a Tamil word that means 'milk khoa' or khoya. Palkova bun is a popular street snack in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu where thickened milk khoa is generously filled between two halves of a sweet bun and toasted on a tava with butter. It is later cut into four quarters and garnished with chopped nuts before being served. This indulgent dessert-snack is sold anywhere between Rs. 10 and 20 across Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh, including Hyderabad.

If you ever visit the busy streets of Sowcarpet in Chennai that are famous for food, you may find them teeming with people around Sellam Milk Depot for their popular palkova bun, chocolate bun, gulab jamun bun, and more. A similar version is also available at Cafe Nilofer in Hyderabad as malai bun, where the malai, which is almost like melted kulfi, is served separately in a bowl with fresh sweet buns.

Stuffed Potato Buns, Or Palya Buns Of Bengaluru

Mumbai may be famous for their vada pavs that come as potato vada sliders, but Bengaluru is popular for their stuffed potato buns, which are also known as palya buns. The name "palya bun" comes from the Kannada word "palya", which means vegetables sautéed with spices. Palya bun is said to have originated in the Iyengar bakery, which is believed to have been started by HS Thirumalachar back in 1898, when he is said to have learned baking from an Englishman that often visited his bakery.

Also known as aloo bun, spiced mashed potato mixture is stuffed in milk bun dough and then baked to make these soft and savoury snacks that are served with a side of tomato ketchup. They are mostly triangular in shape, and the spicy potato filling within is seasoned to elevate the teatime experience, especially during monsoons. Most Iyengar bakeries across Bengaluru and Karnataka sell this hearty snack at a pocket-friendly price between Rs. 15 and Rs. 25.

Bun Gulkand In Bengaluru

In the cities where it is common to savour bun butter jam, it is a hit among people when pineapple preserve is used to make the quick-to-go sliders. However, in Bengaluru and Chennai, gulkand is used as a marmalade to sandwich between sweet buns along with a dollop of butter as a popular snack that people relish on the go.

We might be aware that this sweet preserve made from rose petals is popularly used in paan. But many stores and small bakeries have been selling bun butter gulkand and other snacks and desserts made from this preserve for at least three decades in Bengaluru. Some stores, like Bhagyalakshmi in Bengaluru, also sell specialised gulkand, where you can buy jars and packs of it to make your own version at home. Most city dwellers have their own nooks and crannies in the city to grab a bite of this soft bun butter gulkand along with a hot cup of milk tea.

Cream Buns In Kerala

Across the cities in India, we may be familiar with sweet buns that are filled with chocolate butter cream on the inside and topped with vanilla butter cream on the outside. However, Kerala-style cream buns are similar to those of a bombolini. The dough used for making sweet buns is prepared to be deep-fried instead of baked.

Later, the buns are sliced in half to fill them with buttercream frosting and sometimes dusted with dessicated coconut before being served. You don't require an oven to make this bun, and it is an easy-to-make recipe that people try at home if not sourcing it for a quick snack from the local bakeries.

Sabbaki Khara Bun In Bengaluru

While Hyderabad is popular for its maska bun and chai at Nilofer or Nimrah Cafe, Bengaluru is famous for its sabbakki bun, where 'sabbakki' means 'dill leaves' and 'khara' means 'spicy' in Kannada. It is a milk bun made with dill leaves and baked. This bun is sliced in half, generously laced with butter, topped with a mix of finely chopped onions, tomatoes, coriander, chillies, and grated carrots, along with some congress peanuts and mixture for crunch, and a dash of ketchup.

A store that is popularly called Friends Adda on one of the bustling streets of Bengaluru popularises this style of bun sandwich. From congress bun masala to gulkand bun, they serve around 60 varieties of bun preparations alone. They have had regular customers for over a decade, some of whom are local celebrities.

Irrespective of the styles of slider preparations and the wide range of combinations that sweet buns are used for, they are a source of comfort food, and everyone from a child to an adult enjoys this baked treat with a sense of conviction and nostalgia across the country. So, wherever you may travel, you will have a bun slider of your choice across the length and breadth of India.