Its been a rainy weekend in our part of the world….I was craving some hot spicy comforting and fuss free food (yes, i like my food uncomplicated that way…and am usually quite sure of what i want) before we headed out for a movie… A quick dash to the spanking new neighborhood grocery store to check if the had the Pav bread ensured, my mind was made up and the bhaji was simmering away before i had a chance to change my mind!
I’ve made pav bhaji many times, and used this recipe when i first wrote about it here. Obviously I have made changes to the process to suit my convenience. This is my version of making it. Its super easy and is a never fail recipe. I think the key to making good bhaji is to get the right masala. I’ve used Everest Pav Bhaji Masala and i swear by it. I have tried others, I’ve also tried substituting it with a mix of homemade masalas. Nothing seems to match the store bought everest brand masala made bhaji. So when someone else has done all the hard work to make the right mix, why bother messing with it!
Pav Bhaji (To serve 4)
1 onion, chopped fine
2 – 3 medium tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 medium green capsicum
1/2 – 1 cup green peas
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1 teaspoon oil
3 heaped teaspoons Everest Pav Bhaji Masala
1 heaped teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
salt to taste
for the garnish:
finely chopped onion
Fresh coriander leaves, washed and finely chopped
8-10 pieces of pav roti or small buns
a pat of butter
In a pressure cooker, heat the oil and add the ginger garlic paste and saute till it is just beginning to stick to the pan. Add the chopped onions vegetables, red chilli powder and 1/2 cup of water. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and allow it to cook for 3-4 whistles. Once the steam has released, open the cooker and place the pan with the cooked vegetables back on a medium heat/ flame. heat through and simmer till it reaches a nice thick consistency and the water is not runny. With a potato masher or the back of a heavy ladle, mash down the cooked vegetables, add the pav bhaji masala, salt to taste and simmer for about 5 minutes till everything is well melded. adjust the seasonings if needed. it should be a nice balance of spicy, salty and tangy, nothing overpowering.
Slit the pav bread horizontally, On a hot griddle add a teaspoon of butter, place the cut side down into the butter and toast till golden and crispy, turn over and toast for a few seconds.
To serve, place the bhaji in a small bowl, garnish with finely chopped onion and coriander. place the golden toasted pav to the side. Serve hot with a wedge of lime.
If you have leftover bhaji, try my pav bhaji grilled sandwiches!