Ahhh! Pav Bhaji. Its a comfort food, and the perfect mood awakener. Pav is bread, and bhaji is a mixture of vegetables, cooked with tomatoes and spices, and cooked until the vegetables are completely mashed. Its usually a snack, but can also be eaten as a meal. Its an all time favorite of mine. Whenever I have a bad day, and I’m feeling down and low, I just take a bowl of steaming hot bhaji, and soft buns crisply fried in a generous amount of butter, and I take one bite of it and I die and go to heaven…mmm…and yes, there’s butter involved! When you go to the streets of Mumbai, you can get delicious, spicy, tangy, pav bhaji that just oozes butter. But that’s OK if you’re eating it once in a while. When I make it at home, I have my own version, which is both tasty, and healthy, which means you can eat is as much as you like, without feeling too guilty about it. But this dish just cannot be made without bread and butter. Sure, you can have the bhaji with something else, but nothing tastes as good with bhaji as warm, toasted buns. You can reduce the amount of butter, unless you have a certain fondness for cellulite and arteriosclerosis. So come with me into my kitchen, and I’ll show you how to make the most delicious, comforting, hand clapping goodness that fills your belly, and your heart!
You will need the following ingredients:
Jeera/Cumin seeds-1/2 teaspoon
Chopped onions-3/4 cup
Chopped green chillies- a tablespoon
Freshly chopped ginger-1 1/2 tablespoons
Chopped tomatoes-1 cup
Chopped capsicum/green bell peppers-3/4 cup
Red chilli powder-1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder-1/4 teaspoon
Coriander powder-1 1/2 tablespoons
Cumin powder/ jeera powder- a pinch
Boiled mashed potatoes-1 1/2 cups
Cauliflower-1 cup and green peas-3/4 cup cooked with a pinch of turmeric powder, and salt, and mashed.
Salt- 3/4 teaspoon
Coriander leaves/ Cilantro-a handful
Fresh lemon juice-3 tablespoons
In medium flame, heat about 5-6 tablespoons of butter, and add jeera, and sauté for a minute. Do not burn the jeera. Jeera gets bitter when its burnt.
Add the onions, cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions are soft, and add the green chillies…
…and cook for a minute. Now, add the chopped ginger, and sauté. Add the juicy tomatoes…
…cook the tomatoes in medium flame until the tomatoes are soft and mushy, and add the chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and a pinch of cumin/jeera powder. Stir, and cook for about 2 minutes.
…Add the mashed potatoes, and capsicum…
…mix it all together, and add the cooked cauliflower and peas…
…add water, and salt, stir. Cover and cook on a low flame for 10-15 mins. After 15 minutes, open the lid, and add the coriander leaves..
…and add a big chunk of butter on top, and let the butter slowly melt on top of the bhaji…
….Serve hot with soft buns toasted in butter…