Quick Masala Soda Bread

There is a pot of soup bubbling away on the stove and you are just a little bit proud of yourself for coming up with a way of finishing off that crusty loaf that you bought a few days ago.

And you are just a tad excited about tearing off chunks of said loaf and dipping them into that incredible soup you’ve just made.

Then you open the bread bag and you pull out the remainder of the loaf. 

Is it just a bit harder than you remembered? No matter, it’s probably soft in the middle

Say, what are those teeny tiny bluish dots on the cut surface of said bread? You know the ones.

Now did you pick up this bread two days ago on the way home from work?  Or perhaps a week ago just after your gym session?

For a second you wonder if maybe you could just work with this here.  You contemplate slicing off the fungal colonies and acting like it ain’t no thing.

Don’t be judging now………..we’ve all been there.

Masala Soda Bread 1

Then the Voice of Reason (VOR) in that brain of yours (it turns out she’s still there) speaks up.  In one swift move the half loaf is in the bin and you are all souped up with no-where to go.

The shops are closed by now and it’s too cold to go out anyway.  ‘Proper’ bread-making with all that kneading and rising is out of the question- you are so hungry that you’re likely to eat the dough raw and give yourself bloat.

So now what?

VOR tries to make up for things by suggesting you try and make that Irish soda bread you’ve been meaning to try and make.  You take her advice but not being able to help yourself you throw in some spices and Indianise it a little. 

What you end up with is a super tasty and crusty loaf that takes less than an hour to make. 

Good one, VOR!

No yeast?
Don’t get your knickers in a knot…..this thing uses bi-carb soda which everyone has, right? Right.

This bread is the bomb.  It makes soup dinner when previously it was just soup.  And in the morning, you may just want to toast it and slather it with some good butter or cream cheese.

If an Irish person and an Indian person got together and had a baby, that baby would be this bread.  Actually the only Irish-Indian baby I know is way cuter than this bread but I’m sticking to my metaphor all the same.

Masala Soda Bread 2

Masala Soda Bread

Modified from BBC Food


1 tbsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp chilli powder (less if you prefer)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
2 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Toast the cumin seeds in a small pan until fragrant.

Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.  Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk.  Stir until just combined.  The dough should be quite moist but not sticky.  Add a little more buttermilk if it is too stiff. With clean hands, on a floured surface, bring the dough together kneading very lightly until it is a flat ball.  Place in a skillet or tray lined with grease-proof paper  Make 2 deep indentations in the dough in a cross shape.  Sprinkle a few more cumin seeds over the top if desired.

If you would like a softer exterior, cover loosely with foil.  For a crusty exterior, leave uncovered. Bake for 30-40 mins until baked through.  You can test this the way you would a cake- by passing a clean knife into the centre.

Masala Soda Bread 3


23 thoughts on “Quick Masala Soda Bread

    1. It is super easy Elizabeth. I was thinking about the gluten free thing too. Haven’t tried it but I suspect it would work as the process is more like a cake than a bread. You would probably need more liquid as I think some GF flours absorb more moisture? Do let me know if you try it.

  1. hey Deepa
    no kidding as I’m regathering my thoughts of this great weekend and exploring my new fellow foodbloggers guess what I have next to me to feed my nibbling mind… a bowl of steaming broccoli soup and some warm moist straight out of the oven soda bread!
    lovely to meet you and your blog is wonderful!

    1. Yay for soda bread! Thanks so much Ariane, it really is a creative outlet for me. Was lovely meeting you too. Drop me a line if you want to catch up sometime.

  2. Deepa,

    I cant find buttermilk here in Hk. I do have lots of yogurt though. How can I modify this recipe to work with yogurt?

    1. Hey Vids…..I would think watered down yoghurt or homemade yoghurt would probably work, s long as it is that runny yoghurt consistancy. I make yoghurt by getting a couple of spoonfuls of (preferably sour) yoghurt and mixing it into about a litre of milk. Keep in a terracotta or ceramic pot and put in a warm place (the oven with the light on but no heat works well) for about 24 hrs.
      Let me know how you go with the substitutes.

  3. I tried it with homemade yoghurt. But also I used Indian atta instead of whole meal flour as I didn’t have any! Using these “swaps” with this recipe, the dough was too sticky. I had to add abt 1-2 tablespoon flour extra
    The taste was awesome
    The bread was heaven with soup
    Thanks Deepa!

    1. yay I’m glad it worked even with atta! I suppose it is just wholemeal flour so it should. I suspect the stickiness was more to do with the higher water content of the curd. Glad it worked in the end!

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