Back to another street food recipe – Pav Bhaji! A delicious blend of mashed vegetables along with the ever-flavorful Indian spices, served piping hot with a dollop of butter, a squeeze of fresh lime and some cilantro and raw onions to go with toasted buns. Wah! What a mind-blowing combination, right?!
I have been in love with all the street foods for a long time now. As a kid, I remember having pav bhaji most of the time in a chaat corner near my school. That was the first chaat shop near our place, around 10-15 years back. So, pav bhaji was the most famous food there among the others.
In all street shops, they usually prepare pav bhaji in a huge tawa. So, when there is an order, they take a portion of the thick bhaji and mix some water to dilute it. It is then served hot along with buttered and toasted ladi pav.
The distinct taste of this bhaji comes from the pav bhaji masala powder that we add. This masala can be homemade or even store-bought. I will put up the recipe for homemade pav bhaji masala powder some time soon. I personally like Everest brand for pav bhaji masala.
Meanwhile if you do not find any store-bought masalas, then do not worry. Just substitute with garam masala, amchur powder, kashmiri chili powder in the ratio 2:2:1. That is, for every 2 tablespoons of garam masala you take, add 2 tablespoons of amchur powder and 1 tab,lespoon of kashmiri chili powder. This can be a great substitute but if you can find the pav bhaji masala, then do go with it.
Oh! There is one other ingredient which plays a very crucial role in the taste of pav bhaji – butter! To get the best taste and also the street side influence, then do use butter. But, if you are aiming at eating healthy, then I would suggest you to go with oil. To tell you all the truth, the taste while using butter is extraordinary. So, I would suggest you to have pav bhaji like that atleast once.
Besides, don’t we all like the oozing dollop of butter on our bhaji when served in all the street shops? We do right?! I know! It looks so very appetizing that you want to grab a bite as soon as you get it! Picturing it alone make my mouth all watery! Lol!
So, the bhaji gets its bright and beautiful red color from the beetroot that we use and also from the kashmiri chili powder. Speaking about the bhaji, you can use any vegetables of your choice like carrot, cauliflower, potato, green peas, beetroot, capsicum, etc apart from the onions and tomatoes that we use. Also, ginger-garlic paste is a must. To think of it, actually the bhaji gets its taste even from the ginger-garlic paste.
You know, pav bhaji is actually a wonderful amalgamation of all these vegetables and spices. To think of it from a health point of view, it is high in calories, but it is also healthy because of all the vegetables that we use. Besides, some variety here and there is a must in life. Because, ‘variety is the spice of life’! A life without tasting the ever-delicious pav bhaji is like a song with no music! Am I right, y’all!
Ahh! I was so involved in the making that I totally forgot about the serving part because there only comes the tangy touch! Pav bhaji is served with a lemon wedge, some raw onions and coriander leaves. The fresh squeeze of lemon over the bhaji makes the dish a bit tangy. And each bite you take, have some raw onions along with it too!
Ok, so I now realized that all along I have been telling you how to have pav bhaji instead of how to serve it, I guess! Lol! That shows my deep connection and involvement with pav bhaji. It just make us go mad over it, right?! Tell me how you all feel about pav bhaji in the comments below or in any of my social media handles!
So, I guess the description is more than enough and I will let you all have this awesome dish that can be had as a meal itself. Enjoy while making it and having it with your family! Pav bhaji can be had as a lunch, snack or even dinner. As I told you it is a complete meal in itself!\
Has meal planning been a little bit difficult during this lockdown? Look through my No Veggies, 21-Day Lockdown Series for ideas on what to cook during this lockdown.
To pressure cook
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup green peas, frozen or fresh
- 1 medium beetroot, peeled and chopped
- 3/4 cup cauliflower, cut into small pieces
To prepare the bhaji
- 3+2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic-green chili paste
- 1/2 cup capsicum, finely chopped
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp pav bhaji masala
- 1 tsp kasuri methi
- handful of finely chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt, as per taste
To toast the buns
- 4 pav buns
- 1 tbsp butter
- few finely chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tsp pav bhaji masala
- handful of chopped raw onions
- handful of chopped coriander leaves
- a lemon wedge
- a dollop of butter
To pressure cook the vegetables
- Peel and chop all the vegetables and add them to a pressure cooker with a cup of water and salt and cook them for 3-4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
To prepare the bhaji
- In a kadai, add 3 tbsp butter along with the oil and let it heat on a medium flame.
- Add cumin seeds and let it splutter.
- Add chopped onions and fry them until they turn translucent.
- Add the ginger-garlic-green chili paste and let it cook until raw smell disappears.
- Add the chopped capsicum and saute them for a few minutes.
- Add the spice powders (red chili powder, turmeric powder, kashmiri chili powder and coriander powder). Mix well and cook for less than a minute.
- Add the boiled vegetables along with the chopped tomatoes and the required salt.
- Mash everything with a potato masher.
- Add 3/4 – 1 cup of water and mix well. Let it cook for 10 minutes with the lid-on. Uncover the kadai and mash everything once again.
- Add the pav bhaji masala and mix well.
- Add the rest of the butter and crushed kasuri methi and mix everything well.
- Add lemon juice and some coriander leaves to garnish and turn off the heat.
To toast the buns
- In a pan or a tawa, add butter, coriander leaves and pav bhaji masala. Mix well.
- Slit the bun half-way horizontally and coat the insides generously with the buttered mixture. Coat the remaining sides too and toast the buns slightly.
- Add any vegetables of your choice.
- Try to maintain the same ratio of vegetables to get the perfect taste.
- You can replace butter with oil too.
- Make sure that the onions, tomatoes and capsicum is finely chopped.
- If you are not able to find pav bhaji masala, then replace with garam masala, amchur powder, kashmiri chili powder in the ratio 2:2:1.
- Add water according to the consistency of the gravy required.
- Mash everything well to get the authentic taste of the pav bhaji.
- You can avoid using pav bhaji masala while toasting the buns and just toast them with butter and coriander leaves.