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.
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