Pav bhaji

Pav bhaji is the most famous street food of India and most popular snack. Pav means bread (bun) bhaji means mixed vegetables curry. Spicy gravy is prepared in which various boiled vegetables are added and mashed well and served with a butter fried pav (bread or bun). As soon as I say mashing the vegetables, only one thing come to my mind is taka tak. Taka tak means mashing the vegetables and the sauce together with a spatula on the big pan or tava, they will be holding one spatula or 2 and will be doing taka tak – taka tak on the vegetables, till it is mashed and mixed well with their sauce. I love to see that taka tak of vegetables. The pav bhaji vendors will be having their sauce separate and the vegetables will be kept separate as they add the ingredients accordingly as per the taste of customers like some customers want their vegetables to be chunky and some totally mashed, some want spicy and some say they don’t want potato or bell pepper, so the vendor prepares accordingly. I enjoy my pav bhaji masala to be spicy with a drizzle of lime juice and chopped onion on it. Pav bhaji is a one pot meal and is easy to make but in this pav bhaji I have not used any ready made masala but made from the scratch. I have used red capsicum and tomatoes to give that bright colour for my bhaji . Try this recipe as it tastes so good and the best; you will never use any ready made pav bhaji . Prepare the gravy (sauce) and freeze it and use whenever required. I have used oil and butter for cooking the sauce, and later added more butter in the sauce. Pav bhaji masala is usually made with butter and served with a dollop of butter on top of the bhaji.

Ingredients

    Sauce

  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Cloves – 5
  • Green cardamom – 4
  • Onion (medium) – 150 gms or 2
  • Garlic cloves (big, chopped or paste) – 4
  • Tomato – 200 gms or 2 (big)
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Red capsicum – 100 gms
  • Yellow capsicum – 100 gms
  • Spices

  • Cinnamon powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Roasted cumin powder – 2 tsp
  • Roasted coriander – 1/2 tsp
  • Vegetables

  • Carrots – 100 gms or 3
  • Potato – 300 gms
  • Peas – 1/2 cup
  • Gobi – 150 gms
  • Yellow capsicum – 50 gms
  • Green capsicum – 50 gms
  • Red capsicum – 50 gms
  • Other items

  • Green chillies (finely chopped) – 2
  • Ginger powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Black salt – 1 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1/2 or 3/4 tsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Butter – 3 to 4 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves – 3 to 4 tbsp
  • Pav (buns) – as required
  • Butter for frying
  • Garnishing

  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped Coriander leaves
  • Lime or lemon wedges

Method

  • Make a puree of 2 tomatoes (grind in a mixer) and keep it aside.
  • Chop all the vegetables and keep it ready.
  • Boil potato, carrot, cauliflower, peas, mash and keep it aside. Can keep the water in which vegetables were boiled.
  • Chop capsicum into tiny bits for adding into the sauce.
  • Chop green chillies and coriander leaves finely.
  • Preparing sauce

  • Take a wider vessel; add oil and butter, when hot add onion and garlic cook till soft and transparent.
  • Add tomato puree, mix well, and cook for 2 to 3 mins.
  • Add red and yellow capsicum, mix well.
  • Add all the dry spices cinnamon, cumin, coriander, chilli and mix well, roast for 1 to 2min.
  • Add water, mix well, cook for 10 to 12min, and then simmer for 5min, closing the lid.
  • The mixture is well cooked, switch off and allow cooling.
  • Put all the ingredients in a mixer and grind it to a fine smooth paste, it will be a bright orange colour.
  • You can add water if required.
  • Cooking the sauce and vegetables together

  • Preheat the same vessel; add butter 2tbsp, and the sauce, once the boil comes, add the vegetables and water (as per the requirement) mix well, mash well in the sauce , till all the vegetables are combined well.(mash the vegetables as per your taste like very small or chunky bits to be seen)
  • While mashing simmer the flame and mash as the sauce should not split on you.
  • Add the spices again, ginger powder, black salt and garam masala, boil for 5min, add the capsicum all colours, then cook on simmer for 30 mins, by closing the lid.
  • In between stir the sauce and I added 2tbsp butter again, and cook by closing the lid.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves in the middle of cooking.
  • After 30min of simmering, can see that the colour of the sauce has changed to darken and has left melted butter on top.
  • My pav bhaji masala will be saucier with little tiny bits of vegetable seen.
  • Garnish the bhaji with coriander leaves and chopped onions.
  • Serving with pavs

  • Make the pavs in to half or slice them.
  • Heat a pan or tava, add butter 1tbsp, let it melt, place the pavs on the butter so that it can absorb all the butter, cook on both sides for 30sec each side or more as per your taste how crispy your pav you want.
  • Serve the hot pavs with bhaji (vegetable sauce) and chopped onion, wedges of lime or lemons.
  • You can have it for lunch or dinner as a one meal or can have as a snack in the evening.

Notes

  • Taste the pave bhaji masala while simmering whether any spice to be added like mango powder or cinnamon powder.
  • Red capsicum is a must for colour and sweetness.
  • Can add more vegetables in the sauce as per your taste.
  • I have mashed the vegetables lightly before adding to the sauce and later in the sauce mashed as per my taste. (I love to keep my vegetables little chunky rather than completely mashed).
  • If sauce consistency is thin and more liquid is there, cook on medium flame without closing the lid, till it thickens. Keep stirring the sauce with vegetables.
  • Instead of buns or bread, can use baps or dinner rolls.
  • With the remaining pav bhaji masala, I prepared some other dishes also like stuffed paratha, stuffed capsicum, sandwich, tomato stuffing, samosa stuffing, wrap it in a tortilla or chapathi but it should be dry. If you keep it in the fridge the masala will become dry the next day. Made special chaat masala dosa, stuff in the chillies or capsicum and fry it or can make stuffed chilli tempuras, veg cutlets if the sauce is thick and many more.
  • You can have it for lunch or dinner as a one meal or can have as a snack in the evening.

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