Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pav Bhaji

S is usually not a fan of north Indian food (I am). However, pav bhaji (pav is the bread and bhaji refers to the veggie side dish) is an exception. Both of us enjoy it. I picked up a lovely recipe from here. The prep time is on the higher side since there is so much chopping to do. But the delicious end result and the high veggie quotient of the dish makes it worthwhile.

Here is my slightly adapted version of the recipe.

Pav Bhaji 

Pav Bhaji

Ingredients (enough for 5-6 people):
1 medium capsicum, minced
4 medium tomatoes, boiled, peel discarded, and pureed in a mixer
1 medium cauliflower, roughly chopped into florets
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes.
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into cubes
15 green beans, stringed and chpped into small pieces
1/2 cup green peas, (cooked for 5 mins if raw, or just defrost if frozen)
1.5 tbsp pav bhaji masala
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1.5 tbsp butter (add more if you are up to it - the end result will taste even better)
1 long green chili, slit and chopped into six pieces
Salt to taste

  1. Pressure cook the cauliflower, potatoes, carrot and green beans with turmeric and just enough water to cover. Once the pressure comes down, mash the veggies using a dal masher (or the back of a wide serving spoon).
  2. In a wide pan, add enough oil to coat. Add in the green chili pieces and the ginger garlic paste. Stir fry till the ginger-garlic paste starts losing its raw smell.
  3. Add in the capsicum pieces, salt and continue to stir fry till the capsicum is cooked through. You can use a dal-masher to mash the pieces if you would like the bhaji's consistency to be very smooth smooth
  4. Add the peas and mix well.
  5. Add in the pav bhaji masala, red chili powder and garam masala and stir fry for a few seconds.
  6. Add in the tomato puree and butter, mix well. Close the dish and let it cook for 5 minutes till the raw smell of tomatoes is gone.
  7. Now add in the mashed veggies from step one and mix well. Add a little water if necessary (the bhaji should not be runny so take care)
  8. Cover and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Adjust for salt and serve hot with toasted pav.

1. Cauliflower,capsicums and potatoes are the only "must have" vegetables. You can omit the rest if you don't have them.
2. To toast pav, heat butter (or olive oil or butter substitute - basically, some kind of fat, else the pav bhaji Gods will curse you :-P) on a skillet, place the pav so that it is coated with butter and toast.
3. Before serving the bhaji, you can add chopped onions as a garnish. A lemon wedge can also be served on the side.
4. The bhaji reheats very well. So feel free to cook it beforehand. It also survives overnight in the fridge and tastes great the next day.
5. If you like the bhaji to be spicier increase the amount of pav bhaji masala you use.

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