Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Iyengar Bakery Khara Bread / Spicy Onion Bread

I can imagine what you are all thinking. Why is she writing another recipe for khara bread when she already has it named 'Masala Bread'? It is one and the same except for one big reason. My prior post of this bread has sourdough starter in the recipe and not everyone has sourdough starter and not everyone wants to maintain one. This recipe is very simple, fool proof and can be made with the ingredients that most of the people can put their hands on. See Notes for variations.

All purpose flour - 3 1/2 cups
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 TBSP divided use
Sugar - 1 TBSP
Active dry yeast - 2 1/2 tsp
Warm water - 1 cup
Yogurt or silken tofu - 1/4 cup (You can just use more water or milk)
Chopped Red Onion - 1 cup
Green Chillies - 12 chopped fine (Or use red chilli flakes about 1 TBSP or to taste)
Chopped Cilantro - 3 - 4 TBSP
Milk for brushing the top before baking (optional)
Oil for brushing after baking (optional)
Heat 1 TBSP of oil in a saucepan. When hot, add green chillies and onions. Saute them till they are translucent. Do not add salt to it. It will extract water and will impact the consistency of the dough. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, take warm water. Add sugar to it and sprinkle yeast on the top. When it gets foamy (it should if the yeast is good and the water temperature is warm within 10 minutes. If it doesn't, then the yeast is bad). Add the yogurt or tofu, remaining 1 TBSP of oil and stir. Add salt and slowly start adding flour. Make a smooth dough. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. It will be very stiff. Don't be tempted to add more liquid. When the dough is kneaded, knead in the onion - green chilli mixture. This will adjust the consistency of the dough. Finally knead the cilantro into the dough. Coat with some oil and let rise in draft free warm place for about one hour or till double in bulk.

When the dough has risen, punch down the dough. Grease a 9 X 5 pan with some vegetable oil spray. Shape the dough into the loaf and place in the pan. You could either do it on a lightly floured surface or by greasing a board and greasing your hands whichever you are comfortable with. Do not try to add more flour if the dough is sticky. It will spoil the bread consistency. Cover with an oiled aluminum foil and let it rise for the final time (about 45 minutes). Since it is cold here this week, I kept it in the oven with oven light on and it rose in 40 minutes above the rim of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Brush with milk if desired to get a nice crust and color. Bake
for 35 - 40 minutes until golden and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on the wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn on to the rack to cool completely. Slice when completely cool.

You may use red chilli flakes in place of green chillies. I chopped onion really small for a reason. If you leave them as big chunks, bread around the onion pieces will be little wet. Do not use yellow onions. They have way too much water in them. I did not use whole wheat flour for this recipe since if you want the bakery texture and taste, you will have to use all purpose flour. You may substitute half white and half wheat if you wish.

This bread is on its way to Susan's Yeastspotting.

Now coming to counting calories..
Happy Baking!! Pin It


  1. very tempting indeed!! Shall surely bake it this week..

  2. Woww feel like grabbing some slices, very tempting bread.

  3. Masala bread! The bread looks picture perfect.

  4. Illustrations with pictures of finished bread making is the proof of pudding. Really enjoyed the a good slice of your blog post

  5. hey Champa, as promised I did bake this bread and i can't thank u enuf for sharing this recipe...i tweaked a lil but the end product was just drool worthy!

  6. Very nice.. will try this bread as soon as i start baking ;) Bookmarked :)

  7. The bread came out very well. I only had to use a little more water, as i used 2 1/4 cup of all purpose flour and 1 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour.

    I am going to try making the same with chopped olives, roasted bellpepper, roasted zuchini and herbs

  8. You are killng me reminding me of khara bread from iyengar bakery....lovely post and the bread looks amazing...i am sure your kitchen must have smelt amazing!!!


  9. Looks delcious I am missing this when was in Bangalore...

  10. Brings back the Bangalore nostalgia ! We used to cross a bakery everyday back from school just to smell freshly baked bread ! ahhhh !
    Great recipe Champa :) bookmarked

  11. Hi
    U use bleached or unbleached APF in ur breads or cakes?

  12. Hi champa
    Can we use instant yeast when a recipe for dry active yeast ? N what are the changes in the procedure ??

  13. Nandini,
    Yes. You may use the same amount. Difference between active dry and instant yeasts is that you don't have to proof the instant yeast and can be mixed with dry ingredients. Also, it will rise faster so keep an eye on the rising time.

  14. Thank u :) so m guessing the water n sugar just need to be added to the dry ingredients with other liquids ?

  15. Nandini,
    Yes. That is correct.

  16. I have made this bread three times so far, and we have loved it each time! Thanks for a great recipe!

  17. Lalitha,
    Thanks for the feedback. I am glad you all enjoyed it.

  18. Can we make this in the bread machine?

  19. Prathibha,
    Yes. You may bake it in the breadmachine.

  20. yippee finally i got this done and it tasted just too good. I've been baking sweet breads all this while and it was definitely good to have a savory one for a change. Thanks for this yummy recipe Champa. I did use 50-50 APF-WWPF still didnt feel any compromise :)


  21. Hi Champa,

    I had bookmarked this recipe long back & wanna try this today. I am out of red onions & is it fine if I saute the green chillies alone in 1 tbsp of oil & add it. I do have yellow onions, but you have suggested not to add them. Thanks in advance!

    1. Sushma,
      Yes you could. And you can add yellow onions but just saute it very very well until it starts looking like deep fried onions. Just to take out the moisture. And when you do add it, if the dough becomes wet, adjust it by adding 1 TBSP of flour at a time till it no longer sticks to the fingers. Do let me know how it turned out.

    2. Thanks Champa for your quick reply. I am planning to caramelize the yellow onion & then use it. I am yet to bake them. Will let you know about the results.


If you have a question and you leave it as a comment, I'll surely answer the question to the best of my knowledge. Thanks for visiting.