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Indian-style Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Bread

  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 24 1-inch diameter bread balls 1x


An Indian-style Christmas tree pull-apart bread, made using store-bought refrigerated dough and stuffed with spiced potato filling inspired by Batata Vada.



The Filling (see Variations)

  • 1 large baking potato (Idaho or Russet potato recommended), boiled, peeled
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 12 tbsp neutral oil (canola, sunflower, corn, vegetable)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch asafetida
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp regular Indian red chili powder (optional – use 1/2 tsp or less if you prefer milder flavor)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 810 sprigs fresh cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped, divided


Making the Filling (see FAQs & Notes)

  • Mash the boiled potatoes slightly, leaving them a little chunky.
  • Heat oil in a deep sauté pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds along with the turmeric powder and pinch of asafoetida. When the seeds splutter, add the onion along with ginger and garlic and sauté for a few minutes till the onion is translucent.
  • Season with salt, red chili powder and garam masala. Give it a quick stir and let the spices bloom for 30 seconds. 
  • Then add the mashed potatoes, mix well and adjust seasonings. Add a little water, if it’s too thick and cook covered on low heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Take it off the heat and mix in the chopped cilantro. Let it cool completely before using as a filling.


Making the Tree Bread

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C
  • Unroll the packaged dough onto a clean surface.
  • Use 2 of the perforated pieces at a time to make one bread ball.
  • Fold one piece over the other to merge into one thick piece.
  • Using your fingers, press to flatten and expand the size on all sides. 
  • Place about 1 teaspoon of the spiced potato filling in the center.
  • Pull the four corners of the dough and bring it together to cover the filling. Its okay if there are gaps.
  • Turn it over and place it onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Similarly, make the rest of the stuffed dough balls and line them onto the baking sheet in the shape of a triangle so it looks like a tree. Pro Tip: Start a new line by placing the prepared ball in the middle of the two balls from the row above.
  • Brush with 1 tablespoon of melted butter, reserving the remaining tablespoon to brush after baking.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
  • Take it out of the oven and brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
  • Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately, sprinkled with chopped cilantro/coriander.