Malu paan

Malu paan

My Feast
Chris Chen

I call these rolls ‘fisherman’s delight’. Whenever I go to the fish markets in Sri Lanka this is what I eat. It seems that these little spicy buns are the first to come out of the small bakeries and roadside boutiques. The bun has to be soft and the mixture inside warm.


Quantity Ingredient
750g baker’s flour
60g suet, finely chopped
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
10g dried active yeast
600ml warm milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg yolk, for glazing

Tuna filling

Quantity Ingredient
200g piece of tuna fillet
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
400g potatoes, roughly chopped


  1. Place the flour in a bowl, rub in the suet until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, then add the sugar, beaten egg and yeast and combine well.
  2. Gradually add the milk and mix until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 3 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Meanwhile, divide the filling into 16 pieces, shape into balls, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate until needed.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  6. Punch down the dough, then divide into 16 balls. Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten into a triangular shape about 1 cm thick. Place a ball of filling in the middle and fold the edges to form triangular-shaped rolls.
  7. Place the parcels on a baking tray lined with baking paper, brush all over with the beaten egg yolk and bake for 7–10 minutes or until the glaze starts to brown. The rolls have to be soft so don’t overcook them. If not eating immediately, cool the rolls and freeze straight away.
  8. To make the tuna filling, place the tuna fillet (if using tinned tuna, skip this step), salt and pepper in a saucepan, add enough water to cover, place over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Drain and set aside.
  9. Place the potato in a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil and cook until tender. Drain and combine with the cooked (or tinned) tuna in a large bowl and mash until smooth. Check the seasoning and set aside.
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