Nigerian buns are a local snack, native to the Nigerian community. It is a harder more filling ‘’sister’’, if you please, to the Nigerian puff-puff.
Puff-puff is usually soft, fluffy and oily with a notable peppery taste while buns are a bit stiffer, more crisp on the outside and usually does not contain pepper.
It is delicious and extremely filling. Its texture ranges from slightly stiff to out rightly strong. What some people refer to as the ‘’stone buns’’.
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Nigerian buns can also be made to contain a hard-boiled egg as filling. This is usually just called ‘’egg roll’’. Even though the name doesn’t show any relationship, egg roll is just buns containing a hard-boiled egg in the middle.
If you ever attended a primary school or secondary school in Nigeria, I’m sure you have a story to tell about the Nigerian buns.
In my days in primary school I know I spent what little cash my mom let me keep on buns sold at the school canteen. On days when I had only 5 naira and Mrs Alaribe’s buns were 20 naira I would actively go into saving mode or even open a mini piggy bank so I could be two buns at a time during break and still have some for some extra buns after school to go with the frozen, sugary and coloured contraption we called ice cream.
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Even up till University days, buns are a life saver after a hard stressful day when paired with a chilled soda. Neither adults nor children can deny the goodness of the Nigerian buns. Nigerian buns are so common and affordable; they can be gotten basically anywhere you can get snacks.
Buns contain about 310 calories per serving. It contains 16g saturated fats, 108g cholesterol, 446mg sodium, sugars 12g, proteins 6g and 36g total carbs. These values are based on a 2000 calories diet.
The fact that it is very high on calories means it fattening but its great if you need to fill up on a hectic day because it provides a lot of energy, digests quickly and leaves you feeling light and ready to move. Flour used for making buns is also rich in vitamins which are very healthy.
Even though buns may not be suitable to the ever growing fit fam seeing as it is rich in carbs and a lot of oil, one can afford to indulge in one or two once in a while.
It’s great to serve if you are hosting a picnic or a small gathering of friends. It can also be made into smaller balls and served as appetizers or finger food alongside a cold drink.
Buns are very quick and easy to make. It will take you less than ten minutes to prep and another 30 minutes to fry about 20 pieces so you would enjoy trying this.
The recipe I’m going to be putting down would require the use of milk although some people have been known to prefer buns made without a milky flavour.
Tastes differ and this is just the basis of making buns, you can choose to remove milk, use eggs or alter some other ingredients. Some use cayenne pepper in their recipes but I would rather not have peppery buns, thank you.
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For about 20-25 balls depending on the size of the balls
a. 400g plain multipurpose flour
b. 2 tablespoons of baking powder
c. 175g sugar
d. ¼ table spoon salt
e. 1- 15 cups of warm water [for mixing]
f. 6 table spoons of evaporated milk or 3 tablespoons of powdered milk
g. Vegetable oil for frying.
Prep Time – 5 Minutes
Cooking Time – 30 Minutes
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First heat up a little water in a pot or kettle. Do not wait till it has boiled or till it’s very hot. The water is just required to be warm.
Sift the flour into a bowl, add the baking powder and mix till it’s even.
Add the sugar and salt and also mix.
If you are using powdered milk, you can add the milk now and mix thoroughly.
If, on the other hand you are using evaporated milk you might add it now and mix then add water or you can add water and while you are mixing the dough in you can then add the milk. It doesn’t really matter what order this comes as long as it is thoroughly mixed.
You are going for a dough that will be similar to waffle dough so avoid adding too much water so you are not forced to add more flour than stated for this recipe.
Keep the dough aside.
Place the vegetable oil on low heat. What you need is to heat the oil with the idea you would use when frying plantains.
Ensure the oil is not too hot or it will brown the exterior of the buns leaving the inside uncooked. If you discover the oil is too hot you can add some room temperature oil to it to cool it off a bit.
If you have a means of measuring the temperature, probably a thermometer, you would want to heat the oil to 350 – 355 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now take an ice cream scoop and begin to scoop the dough into the hot oil. Do this carefully to ensure they maintain a perfectly round shape.
You can use your cupped palm to scoop the dough if you are that good.
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Ensure you do not put too many balls so they don’t stick together or become difficult to flip over seeing as you may be trying this for the first time.
When one side of the balls have been frying for about 3 minutes turn the balls over the other side.
Remove the balls from heat when it’s evenly brown all over.
You can then start frying the next batch. Constantly regulate the heat to ensure the oil doesn’t get too hot so that following batches don’t come out charred.
Remove from heat and serve warm alongside a cold drink.
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