tandoori jackfruit bao or pao recipe, stuffed steamed buns
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Tandoori Jackfruit Bao or Pao Recipe

A little twist on the traditional Mauritian bao, also known as pao, with a mouthwatering spicy tandoori jackfruit filling. These tender fluffy steamed buns can be eaten warm or cold and are great for packed lunches or when travelling.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Resting Time20 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Bread, Main Course
Cuisine: Fusion, Mauritian
Keyword: bao, pao, steamed buns
Servings: 6 large baos / paos
Calories: 294kcal
Author: Teenuja Dahari - veganlovlie.com



  • 1 can young/green jackfruit in brine/water be careful not to get the ripe jackfruit in syrup!
  • 100 g white mushrooms [about 5 - 7, 1 cup] finely chopped/minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tandoori masala store-bought or try our homemade tandoori spice mix, see notes
  • 1 small onion finely diced or sliced, optional
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger-garlic paste make your own pre-minced ginger/garlic from our easy tutorial, see notes
  • 2 green chillies slit in half, optional
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 80 ml coconut milk [1/3 cup] or vegan yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 - 5 stems coriander leaves cilantro, [1/3 cup] finely chopped (substitute with fresh mint leaves combined with parsley or basil)
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil


  • 300 g whole spelt flour** [2 1/2 cups] see notes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon instant dried yeast quick or fast-action yeast***, see notes for traditional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or 2 teaspoons sugar + 2 teaspoons water
  • 160 ml warm water* [1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons]


Make the filling

  • Drain all the water from the can of jackfruit. Rinse the jackfruit pieces a few times with fresh water.
  • Gently squeeze the jackfruit to remove some of their water content.
  • In a skillet, heat the oil on medium-high temperature.
  • Add the onions (if using) and minced ginger-garlic paste.
  • Toss and saute for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the jackfruit. Saute for about 10 minutes and flip them a few times until lightly browned or slightly charred on both sides.
  • Take two forks and pull the jackfruit apart into strips.
  • Add the chillies.
  • Clear a small section of the pan and add the tandoori masala.
  • Let roast for a few seconds then mix the masala with the jackfruit in the pan.
  • Add the lemon juice, coconut milk, maple syrup or sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce and flavours have been absorbed.
  • Add the coriander leaves and turn off the heat.
  • Allow the filling to cool before using.

Make the dough

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients including the instant yeast.
  • Make a well in the centre, add the warm water and maple syrup or sugar.
  • Draw the flour to the centre and start mixing it into a dough.
  • Once the dough is formed, knead for about 5 - 8 minutes.

Make the buns

  • Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface.
  • Shape it into a flattened ball.
  • Cut into 6 equal pieces.
  • Take each piece and roll into a small ball.
  • Flatten and roll or stretch out. Roll or stretch the edges thinner than the centre.
  • Place some filling in the centre.
  • Bring the edge toward the centre to enclose the filling.
  • Pinch to seal well.
  • Place each filled ball of dough on a flattened cupcake liner or a cut piece of parchment paper (slightly larger than the dough).
  • Cover and leave in a warm place while you make the rest.

Cook the buns

  • Heat some water in a large pot with a steamer rack.
  • Place 2 to 3 buns (depending on how many can fit without overcrowding the space) on the rack.
  • Cover with the lid and steam for 15 - 18 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and let the steam go down.
  • Remove the buns from the pan and let cool lightly.
  • Top up the water in the pot and steam the rest of the batch.
  • Serve warm or cold.



*If using regular all-purpose/plain flour or wholewheat flour, you may need to adjust the water with an extra 1 - 3 tablespoons or as needed
**You may substitute with all-purpose/plain flour or whole wheat flour.
***You may use traditional yeast although you'll need to let the dough rise twice. Let it rise for the first time once you've kneaded it. Then, let it rise a second time once the dough is filled as per the recipe.
Homemade Tandoori Spice Mix - https://veganlovlie.com/easy-homemade-tandoori-masala-spice-mix-recipe/
How to make Minced Ginger-Garlic Paste - https://veganlovlie.com/quick-tip-pre-mince-prepare-preserve/
Spelt flour:
I use this one in Canada - https://amzn.to/2N992Zc
In the U.S., this is a good one too - https://amzn.to/2MC65iK
Young/Green Jackfruit (in brine) - https://amzn.to/2JapeeI
These baos can be frozen after being steamed and cooled. To reheat, just steam again for about 10 minutes.
Link to Original Post - Tandoori Jackfruit Bao Recipe - https://veganlovlie.com/tandoori-jackfruit-bao-pao/