Sri Lankan Curried Beef buns - These Sri Lankan meat buns are so versatile and flavorful. Pillowy bread stuffed with curried beef. Great on the go breakfast idea, lunch or snack. 

Sri Lankan Curried Beef Buns (Mas Paan)

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Proof time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 12 buns
Author: Dini
Sri Lankan Curried Beef Buns - these Sri Lankan meat buns are so versatile and flavorful. Pillowy soft bread stuffed with spicy curried beef. A great on the go breakfast, lunch or snack. 

Please note that there is an overnight rise time for the bread dough.



Curried Beef Filling

  • 2 lb beef chuck or sirloin, cut into small pieces, OR lean ground beef
  • 1 inch of peeled ginger minced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ medium onion chopped finely
  • 4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 ½ tbsp of Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder
  • ½ tsp salt, or more to taste
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp concentrated tamarind paste
  • 2 - 3 jalapeno peppers chopped (or 2 - 3 serrano peppers if you prefer more heat)

Bread Dough

  • 17.6 oz AP flour
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • ½ cup warm water plus an extra ¼ cup if needed
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp oil/butter
  • Extra oil to oil the bowl
  • 1 egg for the egg-wash


Curried Beef Filling

  1. Cut the beef into small pieces - about 1 x 1 cm (more or less). 

  2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the minced ginger, garlic and onion. Saute for about 30 secs to 1 min, until the onion softens.

  3. Add the roasted curry powder, black pepper, salt and sugar and mix to combine.
  4. Add the chopped or ground beef and tamarind paste. Mix to combine well. Cook on medium-high heat while stirring frequently.

  5. As you’re cooking the beef, there'll be some liquid released into the curry. Keep cooking until the liquid evaporates. This should take about 20 - 30 minutes, depending on the heat, and the pan that you’re using.

  6. Taste, and add more salt. Add the jalapeno and stir to combine. Cook for a further 5 minutes to soften the jalapenos. Allow the curry to cool down completely before using it to fill the dough.

Bread Dough

  1. Place the first 7 ingredients in the mixer bowl of your stand mixer. Use a dough hook or wooden spoon to mix the ingredients until combined. You can use the paddle attachment in your mixer to do this as well.

  2. With a kneading hook, knead the dough for about 5 minutes. The dough should be soft and slightly tacky (not sticky). If the dough is too dry, you can add the extra water, 1 tbsp at a time, while kneading the dough.

  3. Add the 2 tbsp butter or oil and knead for a further 5 - 10 minutes, until you have a smooth, soft, tacky dough.

  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the fridge to let it rise overnight.
  5. The next day, remove the chilled dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Flatten the dough gently with your hand to remove some of the air in the dough.

  6. Divide the dough into 12 portions. You can divide the dough by weighing it - about 70 to 73 g per portion. OR you can roll the dough into a log with even thickness, and cut it into 12 equal sections.

  7. Gently knead each portion to form a smooth ball (about 45 sec - 1 min, don't over-knead the dough).

To make the Beef Buns

  1. Line 1 half sheet pan, and 1 quarter sheet pan with parchment paper.

  2. Flatten each dough ball into a circle using your hands. With your fingers, pinch the edges to create a thinner edge than in the center.

  3. Place the dough circle in the cupped palm of your hand. Take 2 heaping teaspoons (regular teaspoon, NOT measuring teaspoons) of the spicy beef filling and press it gently into the middle of the dough (the dough will stretch out slightly as you do this).

  4. Stretch the edges of the dough over the filling, and pinch the edges together to seal in the filling. When this is done, gently roll the bread roll in your hands to make it smooth and to properly seal the roll (see pictures in the post).

  5. Place the buns on the sheet pans with the sealed side down. Space them out well. You can fit 9 on the half sheet pan, and 3 on the quarter sheet pan.

  6. Cover the sheet pan with plastic wrap and allow the buns to proof for 30 - 45 minutes, until they double (or 1.5x) in size.

  7. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) while the buns are rising.
  8. When the beef buns are ready to be baked, whisk the egg in a small bowl for the egg wash. Remove the plastic wrap gently and brush the tops of the buns with a light coating of the egg wash.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 20 - 30 minutes, until the buns are a beautiful golden brown in color. 

  10. Remove from the oven and allow the buns to cool down slightly. These buns are best eaten warm, or at room temperature.

  11. Store uneaten bread buns in an airtight container, and in the fridge for a couple of days, or in the freezer for longer.