Indian Recipe - Pav Bhaji
Pav Bhaji is one of the most popular west indian street food.
The vegetables that are usually added to pav bhaji are cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, peas, capsicum and french beans. Depending on the quantity of these vegetables, the final taste of the pav bhaji will be different. e.g, if you add more carrots, the pav bhaji will have a mild sweeter taste. You can also just make the bhaji with any of these veggie combination. However, addition of capsicum (green bell pepper) is a must.fresh green peas to the bhaji. But in the pav bhaji stalls and restaurants, they add dried green peas to the bhaji. Hence the consistency of the pav bhaji is mushy and smooth. You can also add dried green peas. You have to soak them overnight and then cook them thoroughly.Pav Bhaji is always garnished with coriander leaves.

Ingredients of Pav Bhaji

  • 3 medium sizes potatoes, 250 gms
  • 1 to 1.25 cups cups chopped cauliflower, 120 to 130 gms cauliflower
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • ¾ to 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen or soaked dried white peas
  • ½ (half) cup chopped french beans (optional)
  • 1 large onion – finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 large tomatoes – finely chopped, about 2 to 2.5 cups finely chopped tomatoes, tightly packed
  • 1 medium sized capsicum/green bell pepper
  • 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 3 to 3.5 tbsp pav bhaji masala
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp chilly powder or freshly pounded 1-2 dry deseeded red chilies – the latter works much better and imparts a beautiful orange color to the bhaji
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1.5 to 2 cups water or add as required
  • 2 to 3 tbsp amul butter, butter is also added later while serving, you can add upto 5 to 6 tbsp of butter too for a richer version
  • salt as required
  • 12 pavs for serving with the bhaji

Instructions of Pav Bhaji

Preparing the Bhaji:

  1. Rinse all the vegetables well.
  2. Boil all the vegetables except onions, tomatoes and capsicum in a pressure cooker or microwave oven.
  3. Finely chop the onions, green chilies, tomatoes and capsicum. Keep aside
  4. Once the potatoes, cauliflower etc are cooked. Then peel the potaotes. Roughly chop all the steamed veggies and then mash them lightly with a potato masher. Keep aside. Just lightly mash. Don’t make a puree.
  5. In a pan, add butter.
  6. When the butter melts, add cumin seeds. When they sizzle, add the chopped onions.
  7. Saute the onions till they become translucent. Now add the ginger-garlic paste.
  8. Saute till the raw aroma of the ginger-garlic paste disappears.
  9. Add chopped green chilies and fry for half a minute.
  10. Add the tomatoes and fry them till they become soft and mush, till you fat releasing the sides. About 6 to 7 minutes on low to medium flame.
  11. Add the chopped capsicum. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  12. Now add the red chilly powder, turmeric powder and pav bhaji masala. also add garam masala now if adding.
  13. Mix the dry masalas well. Fry for a couple of minutes till the capsicum become a little soft.
  14. You don’t need to make the capsicum very soft. A little crunch is alright.
  15. Now add the mashed vegetables.
  16. Combine the mashed vegetables well with the masala.
  17. Add water and combine everything well. Season with salt.
  18. With a potato masher, mash the veggies directly in the pan.
  19. Keep on stirring occasionally and let the bhaji simmer for 12 to 15 minutes on a low flame. If the bhaji becomes dry and then add some more water. The consistency is neither very thick nor thin.
  20. When the pav bhaji simmers to the desired consistency, check the taste. Add salt, pav bhaji masala, red chili powder or butter if required.
  21. When done, garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with chopped onions and chopped lime. The lime juice has to be squeezed on the bhaji and topped with chopped onions.
  22. While serving, add amul butter to the bhaji and serve with buttered pavs.
  23. You can add more butter, if you like it. In fact, with more butter, the pav bhaji tastes very good.

To make the buttered pavs:

  1. Slice the pavs/bread rolls .
  2. On a flat pan, heat some butter.
  3. When the butter melts, keep the pavs on the melted butter so that it absorbs the butter and fry for a minute.
  4. If you want to make the pav crisp, fry for a few more minutes. Serve the pavs hot with the bhaji.

Notes of Pav Bhaji

Few Suggestions for Pav Bhaji Recipe:

1. The spice powders can be easily adjusted to suit your taste.
2. If you don’t want to add butter, then you can also make the pav bhaji in oil.
3. If you don’t have Pav Bhaji Masala, then add Garam Masala. I have made Pav Bhaji with Garam Masala only and nobody could tell the difference. In this scenario, then just add some Dry Mango Powder/Amchur to the Pav Bhaji to get that slightly sour taste.
Quantity is 2 tsp garam masala with 1 tsp amchur/dry mango powder. If you are adding this than don’t add the ½ tsp garam masala mentioned above. That is only meant if you are using Pav Bhaji Masala.
4. The Pav Bhaji can be had as a meal during lunch or dinner. You could also have it as an evening snack.