Monday, May 6, 2019

Mas banas ( Fish Buns)

I love mas banas or fish buns. This is a Sri Lankan recipe and has become a staple in most short eat shops and bakeries here in the Maldives. The filling is spicy and its  meal by itself.  I learned to make the dough from my sister, while the filling recipe I adapted from the recipe I found on Jehan's blog, Island smile.
The secret for the perfect bread dough is to use as little flour when kneading on the work surface.  Once the dough has risen, divide into 6 balls and flatten each ball into a round.

 Add the filling into the center and fold the sides so you get a triangular size bun. You can make this the usual bun shape but I stuck with the typical mas banas shape. Then the buns are left to rise again and then baked. 

For me, a good fish bun has to have a generous fish filling. I mean I have to get a bit of filling with every bite. 

Note: when it comes to yeast. There are two types usually used in households.  One is this
which you can add directly to the flour and start work on it.

The other  is this active dried yeast which needs to be woken up before being added.  I used this dry yeast packet. If using the other kind use 1 tsp of  yeast. Mix into  slightly warmed milk  ( that is warm enough to keep your finger in.)  along with the 2 tsp of sugar. Set aside  for the yeast to froth. Add this into the flour mixture, (don't add sugar into the flour )

Yield: 6 buns 

Mas banas ( fish buns)

prep time: 1 hour and 45 minscook time: 20 mins total time: 1 hours and 65 mins


  • 250g flour
  • 1   1/2 tsp yeast ( see the above about  type of yeast)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125ml milk ( 1/2 cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 25g butter
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 sprig curry leaf ( 10 leaves) finely sliced
  • 1/2 inch ginger grated
  • 2 tsp Maldivian roasted curry powder ( or any other Indian or Sri Lankan curry powder)
  • 1/4 scotch bonnet finely sliced.
  • 1 can of tuna, flaked
  • 2 medium potatoes , boiled and mashed
  • salt
  • oil
  •  a little lime juice ( about 1/4 piece of lime)


Make the bun
  1. Place the butter in a small frying pan or saucepan over low heat and melt the butter. Cool. 
  2. Sift the flour in to a bowl, mix in salt and sugar.
  3. After mixing the salt and sugar, then add the yeast and mix it in. Make a well  in the centre of the flour.
  4.  Then break the egg into a bowl beat to mix and then remove 1 tbsp of the egg into a small bowl and set that aside. Add the remaining egg into the flour along with milk and butter. 
  5. Using a large spoon mix it till it comes together. It will be sticky but dont be tempted to add flour yet. 
  6. Once the dough comes together,  dust your workbench or table with flour and dump the whole dough onto it.  Rub a little oil on your hands and start kneading. Sprinkle flour on the dough only if it starts sticking to the table. Knead for 5-10 minutes and then roll to a ball,  and place inside an oiled bowl and cover with a clean damp cloth or cling film and set aside to rise for an hour and a half.
  1. Heat a frying pan or saucepan with 2-3 tablespoons of oil. Add the onions and cook to soften. Add the curry leaves, ginger, and scotch bonnet peppers and cook.  
  2. Mix tuna with the curry powder, and add this into the onion mixture and cook for a few minutes add a tablespoon of water to cook the raw taste of the curry powder. Add salt, taste and add the mashed potatoes. Mix well and taste to adjust salt. 
  3. Finally, add lime juice and switch off. Leave to cool.
Assembling the bun.
  1. Take the risen dough and punch it down. Knead once and roll into 6 balls. 
  2. Sprinkle a little flour and flatten a dough ball into a rough circle.  Add a generous helping of filling and fold the sides. 
  3.  Keep the finished bun on a baking sheet lined with baking paper or on a  lightly oiled baking tray is also fine. 
  4. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls and again cover with a cloth or cling film and leave for another 45 minutes to rise. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 Degree C. Add a tablespoon of water to the leftover beaten egg and brush this over the buns. 
  6. Pop into the oven and bake till golden. 
  7. Enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. I have never had any bun with tuna filling and I love the idea! These look mouthwatering, Nammi. Have a wonderful week ahead!

  2. Questo piatto sembra buonissimo, lo proverò a rifare!
    Ciao Elisa

  3. Oh, this looks and sounds delicious! I have never had something like this before and I would definitely like to try it!


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