Bombay Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji is a spicy chaat originated from Maharashtra and famous in Mumbai but thoroughly relished in all parts of India. Though it technically falls under the chaat category, we can have it happily for a healthy meal slightly mellowing down on the butter and spices; it makes a wholesome meal with plenty of vegetables and bread to compliment.  Pav bhaji initially seemed to have been invented for the mill workers to enable them to finish lunch quicker in a short break’s time; pav (the bun) replaced rotis and side dishes amalgamated into a single curry called bhaji. Bhaji is simply the blend of lot many vegetables and condiments while pav can be made at home or be store bought.

Serves: 2-4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

1.      Pav (Buns) – 2 packs of 4
2.    Potato – 2
3.    Tomato – 4
4.    Carrot – 2
5.     Beans – 10
6.    Green peas – 1 cup shelled
7.     Capsicum – 1
8.    Cauliflower florets – 1 cup (if in season)
9.    Onion – 2
10.            Green chili – 1
11.   Lemon – 1
12.Coriander leaves chopped – 2 tbsp
13.Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
14.Pav bhaji masala – 3 tbsp
15. Chili powder – 1 tsp
16.Salt to taste
17. Butter – 3 tbsp
18.Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
19. Sugar – 1 tsp

Step 1: Boil the potatoes, peel and mash them.
Step 2: Chop the carrots, beans, cauliflower roughly and blanch them till soft.

Step 3: Chop finely one large onion, tomatoes, capsicum and green chili.
Step 4: Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a pan and splutter cumin seeds in it; add ginger garlic paste, green chili, onion and sauté until soft. Add tomatoes and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Step 5: Mash the tomatoes and onion with a potato masher and add capsicum to it. Sauté for 3 minutes and again mash the mixture.
Step 6: Add the mashed potatoes and other vegetables into the pan and keep mashing and cooking until all vegetables become unrecognizable (Some people even puree it, but mashing is the typical roadside recipe of bhaji).

Step 6: Now add pav bhaji masala, chili powder, salt as per taste, sugar,  another blob of butter and mix well to cook in simmer for 5 more minutes.

Step 7: Chop coriander, one onion and cut lemon into 8 pieces.

Step 8: Garnish with chopped onion & coriander; serve along with buttered and roasted pav and lemon.

*The bhaji flavour is lifted mainly by the pav bhaji masala and so pick a fresh and good one from store, I use ‘Everest’.
*If pav buns are not available the bhaji goes equally well with normal bread slices; particularly people who avoid maida can relish with wheat breads or multi grain breads.
*Yellow peas can be soaked overnight, boiled and be used in place of green peas; that gives a slightly different taste but that is very good too.
*Variety of other vegetables can be camouflaged by this recipe to feed it to cranky kids and grown-ups; I add beetroot and Brinjal.
*Roadside recipe includes a bit of color to give that red attraction.

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