Mug of chai with cinnamon and star anise pod
Bun Maska Is The Light And Buttery Treat That Goes With Chai
India has many traditions revolving around chai, including regional variations of the drink served with unique side dishes. One pastry reigns supreme in cafes across Mumbai.
In the Irani cafes of Mumbai, immigrants from Iran have been serving their signature milky chai for nearly 100 years, often accompanied by soft brioche-like rolls called bun maska.
Fluffy bun maska are reminiscent of pão doce, a Portuguese sweet bread brought to India during times of colonial rule. "Maska" refers to a special butter served with the buns.
Maska is a slightly tangy Irani butter with a white, airy appearance like whipped cream. The combination of fluffy bread, smooth butter, and creamy chai with milk is heavenly.
To recreate the bun maska and chai experience at home, buy or bake fluffy enriched bread buns like brioche, challah, Japanese milk bread, or the aforementioned pão doce.
To make your own version of maska, whip heavy whipping cream until the milk curds separate from the liquid. Scoop out these butter solids and squeeze out the excess moisture.
You should then have a smooth, white butter to pair with the bread. You can also just buy high-quality whipped butter to skip the hassle.
To finish, slather the bread with butter, then serve with your favorite style of chai. Save a corner of the roll to dip into the chai for an authentic Irani cafe experience.