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Bombay Pav Bhaji

26 Jan

pav_bhaji
Pav Bhaji.

Pav bhaji is a famous street food containing a bun like bread called pav and a vegetable curry called bhaji. To prepare bhaji, mixed vegetables are cooked and mashed. The mashed vegetables are cooked in spice blend mixture (pav bhaji masala) and served with toasted pav.
Makes: around 4 Servings of Pav Bhaji.

Ingredients:

Potato 2 Medium
Tomato 3 Medium
Onion 1 Medium
Cauliflower 1/4th of Small One
Green Bell Pepper 1 Medium
Green Peas 1/4 Cup
Green Chiles 2 – 4
Ginger 1 inch Piece
Garlic 4 Cloves
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Bay Leaf 1
Red Chile Powder 1/4 tsp
Lime or Lemon 1
Pav or French Rolls etc. 4
Butter 1 tsp
Cilantro a handful of Leaves
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp

Pav Bhaji Masala Powder:

Coriander Seeds 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds 1/2 tsp
Black Peppercorns 4
Cinnamon 1/2 inch Stick
Clove 1
Green Cardamom 1
Whole Dried Red Chili 1
Dry Mango Powder 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder a big Pinch

Method of preparation:

Heat a pan on medium heat, add all ingredients in order.
Roast all the ingredients except dry mango powder and turmeric powder until aromatic.
Cool the ingredients to room temperature and grind them into fine powder along with remaining ingredients using a spice blender.
Store tight the pav bhaji masala powder for later use.

Peel and roughly chop potatoes.
Wash and finely chop tomatoes
Wash and break cauliflower into small florets.
Wash, remove stem, discard seeds and finely chop bell pepper.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.
Peel, remove ends and finely chop the onion.
Peel and mash the ginger and garlic.
Clean, wash and finely chop cilantro leaves.

Pressure cook potatoes, cauliflower, bell pepper, green chiles and peas for 3 whistles.
Alternatively, boil all the vegetables in a sauce pot till soft.
Strain the cooked vegetables and reserve the cooking liquid.
Thoroughly mash all the cooked vegetables with help of a masher.

Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, bay leaf and onion.
When onion turns translucent, add ginger garlic paste and salt.
Fry for couple of seconds, add chopped tomatoes.
Cook till tomatoes are mushy and then stir in pav bhaji masala powder and red chile powder.
Fry for a minute, add the mashed vegetables and add reserved water if necessary.
Cook the bhaji for 5 – 8 minutes on medium flame, then add cilantro.
Adjust any seasonings if required and remove from heat.
Garnish the prepared pav bhaji with chopped onion, cilantro and a few drops of lime juice.

To assemble, heat a flat pan on medium high heat.
Slice the pav into two.
Apply butter to both slices, sprinkle pav bhaji masala and place them on hot pan.
Fry the sliced pav on both sides till light golden brown.
Serve the toasted pav with prepared bhaji accompanied by few wedges of lime.
Notes: Make sure to cook the vegetables right.

Suggestions: For more spice, add more pav bhaji masala or red chile powder and cook for few more minutes.
Variations: Other vegetables like carrots, french beans, sweet potatoes can also be added while cooking. You can also grate all the vegetables and cook along with onions for a different texture. Add finely chopped bell pepper (capsicum) along with onions instead of pressure cooking them for better taste (suggested in comments by Poorva).
Other Names: Pav Bhaji, Paav Bhaji, Pav Bhajee.