These steamed green buns stuffed with an Indian spiced chickpea mash are the perfect weekend lunch for when you're feeling creative. They look tricky but are surprisingly simple to make if you use a food processor to make the dough. The soft, pillowy bao are infused with a pinch of spirulina to make them green, then stuffed with mashed chickpeas stuffed with garam masala. They’re like little clouds filled with deliciousness — who doesn’t want to eat clouds?


Green Bao With Garam Masala Spiced Chickpea Mash [Vegan]




For the Buns:

  • 3/4 cup warm water, not boiling
  • 3 tablespoons cane sugar or other sweetener
  • 1 pack instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina and a pinch of turmeric
  • 1 3/4 cups flour, plus more as needed

For the Filling:

  • 1 13.5-ounce chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 piece lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 handful cilantro, finely chopped (optional)


For the Buns:

  1. To make the buns, start by activating the yeast. Take a bowl and add the warm water and sugar and add the pack of yeast. Now let this bloom for about 5-10 minutes in a warm place. Once the yeast has bloomed add the oil, spirulina, baking powder, and flour to the bowl and mix until you get a soft and dough. You can use a food processor to mix the dough for about 15 minutes or so or you can knead it by hand. Now, add the ball of dough to a bowl, cover it and set it somewhere warm to let it rise for about 60 minutes.
  2. After this roll out the dough until it's about 1/2-inch thick and cut out circles using a cookie cutter or a big mug. Cover the tops with a bit of oil and fold them in half.
  3. Now, place them on a piece of parchment paper in a steamer, cover it with the lid, and steam the buns for about 15 minutes. Remove them from the steamer and they are ready to be filled.

To Make the Filling:

  1. Start by rinsing the chickpeas and adding them to a bowl. Using a fork, mash the chickpeas. After mashing the chickpeas you can add the remaining ingredients and mix it well. Taste and adjust salt as needed, then serve with the buns.