Here is another Indian fast food dish that has its origins in Mumbai. All it is is mashed up veggies with spices, and it tastes so delicious! It is kind of tangy, and can be spicy if you like. Traditionally, bhaji is eaten with pav, hence the name pav bhaji. Pav is a very light yeast roll, and the name pav comes from the Portuguese word for bread, which is pao. So sometimes, you might see this dish called pao bhaji.
The nice thing about this dish, is that you can choose whatever vegetables you like. So if you have favorites, pick those. I like to change the vegetables up sometimes, but I always use potatoes. So give it a try, experiment with what you like. This dish can also be easily made vegan, just omit the butter, or use a substitute.
- 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4-1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
- 1 cup peas
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1 cup pureed tomatoes
- 2 green chilis
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2-3 tbsp pav bhaji masala
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- salt to taste
- chopped red onion, for garnishing
- chopped cilantro, for garnishing
- lemon, for garnishing
- oil for cooking
If you have a pressure cooker, this dish is extremely fast to make. Actually, having a pressure cooker is wonderful. I have an Indian pressure cooker, which I absolutely love, and I use it almost daily. If you don’t have one, I really suggest you invest in one. So, if you have a pressure cooker, then just put all of the vegetables (green chilis included) in the pressure cooker with a little bit of water, except for the tomatoes and onions. Take it off the heat after 2 whistles. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, just boil all of the vegetables together until tender.
In a large pan, heat some oil. Add the cumin seeds. Once they splutter add the onions, and saute till light golden brown. Add the turmeric and ginger garlic paste. Stir for a few minutes, then add the tomato puree. Give it a couple stirs, but don’t let the masala get dry. Add some water if needed. Then add the cooked vegetables. If there is a little bit of water in the vegetable pot, that’s ok. Add it too. Now here is the only hard part,except it is not that hard. Using a potato masher, mash away. Think baby food. Whatever you do, do not put the vegetables in a blender, else you will end up with a very gooey potato consistency. Believe me, I have made this mistake before. Just don’t do it. Ok, so mash all the vegetables till they are mush. Are they mush? Good. Now you can add the rest of the spices. Give it a couple of stirs, and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add some butter, and give it a couple of stirs. Taste, and adjust spices accordingly. Now it is ready to serve.
Plate the bhaji. Top with butter and cilantro. On another plate add some pav (or a very light and airy yeast roll) and the red onions. You eat it by sprinkling some onion and lemon juice on the bhaji, and scooping it up with the pav. Ok you can eat it however you want.