Pav bhaji, a well-known Indian street food, is a combination of mashed vegetables and spicy masala served with buttery pavs or buns. If you are looking for quick and easy dinner ideas, you should definitely give this a try!
What’s your favorite Indian street food? I know, there are lots out there, and it’s not easy to pick just one. If you ask me, I’ll come up with a list. There are so many favorites.
Well, this pav bhaji recipe is one of my most-loved dishes, and it’s spicy, flavorful and all the more delicious. It brings that street food atmosphere to home which I really love.
This popular street food is really easy to make at home. And when I say easy, I guarantee there are no complicated cooking procedures or alien ingredients involved. With basic cooking skills, you can whip up this pav bhaji in a flash. After all, street foods are meant to be fast foods, right?
All the ingredients used in this recipe are easily available. Few vegetables that make the base, pav bhaji masala to add the spice factor, and lots and lots of butter to make it flavorful.
Apart from mashed potatoes which give the mushy texture to this pav bhaji recipe, you could add your favorite vegetables. The classic recipe calls for capsicum (bell pepper), cauliflower, potatoes and green peas though.
Butter is a ‘must’ in pav bhaji. The street vendors in Mumbai use plenty of butter, which I think imparts a huge flavor hit. Pavs or buns toasted in butter is pure deliciousness.
I served this with chopped red onions and lemon wedges. Just so good.
To start with, cook the potatoes and cauliflower.
- To cook the potatoes, place potatoes in a large pan. Cover with water. Add salt. Boil. Simmer until well cooked.
- When done, drain and mash them. Make sure the potatoes are well cooked, otherwise you may not be able to mash them really well. Set aside.
- Place cauliflower florets in a steamer. Add salt. Cook. Set aside. If you are using fresh peas in this recipe, cook it along with cauliflower.
Now comes the main part of this pav bhaji recipe – cooking the vegetables the in the spicy masala.
- Place a large pan over medium-high heat. Add butter. You can use oil instead. Add onions.
- Fry onions until soft.
- Add garlic.
- Fry until lightly browned.
- Add green chilies.
- Add capsicum or bell peppers.
- Stir fry and cook until they are soft.
- Add tomatoes and tomato paste (puree).
- Mix well. Fry for 1-2 minutes.
- When the tomatoes start to break down, add pav bhaji masala and red chili powder.
- Mix well. Fry for 1 minute. Keep stirring.
- Add vegetables – mashed potatoes, cauliflower and green peas.
- Mash really well and mix with the spices.
- Add enough water to get a semi solid consistency. Add salt. If you are using coriander (cilantro) leaves, add at this stage and mix well.
- Simmer for 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate. Set aside.
Next up, we’re going to toast the pavs or buns. We’re going to do this in the same pan that we used to prepare the vegetable masala. This way, the pavs will taste awesome.
- I used 4 pavs in this pav bhaji recipe. Slit them in halves.
- Heat butter in the same pan. Add pavs.
- Toast both sides.
- Serve pav bhaji warm with onions and lemon wedges.
- 2 large potatoes (21/2 cups), cut into cubes
- 2½ cups cauliflower florets
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 green chilies, chopped
- ¾ cup chopped green capsicum (bell pepper)
- 1 ½ cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste (puree)
- 2 tbsp pav bhaji masala
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- ½ cup chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves (optional)
- 4 pav buns
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup chopped red onion, to serve
- Lemon wedges, to serve optional
- Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Sprinkle with salt. Place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until potatoes are well cooked. Drain. Mash the potatoes. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, place cauliflower in a steamer. Sprinkle with salt. Steam until well cooked.
- Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions. Saute for 2 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic. Add green chilies. Saute again, stirring, for another 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste (puree). Saute, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until tomatoes starts to break down. Add bell peppers. Saute until tender. Add pav bhaji masala and red chili powder. Sauté for a minute or until aromatic.
- Add mashed potatoes, cooked cauliflower florets and frozen peas. Add enough water to get a semi solid consistency. Season with salt. Scatter over coriander (cilantro) leaves, if you are using. Stir well. Simmer for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the bhaji mixture to a bowl.
- Heat 1 tbsp butter in the same pan over medium-high heat. Slit the pavs in half, and place it in the pan. When one side is brown, flip them over to toast the other side. Set aside.
- Serve pav bhaji with chopped onions and lemon wedges.
-Feel free to add more veggies to pav bhaji like carrots and corn.
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