Pav Bhaji-Mumbai’s most famous street food-usually loaded with butter, butter, clarified butter and more butter. Sanju loves it. If there’s Pav Bhaji on the menu, he will have that. If I give him something he totally hates and call it Pav Bhaji-he’d go for it. So I learn’t the recipe, failed over 15 times and then nailed the recipe. I make a vegan version (I can see people go-what? Pav Bhaji without butter?) but this turned out better than normal.
I made my own spice mix, also added store bought pav bhaji masala (it makes a difference). Recipe to the spice mix as follows:
For the Spice Mix-You need:
- 4 dry red chili, 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 Tbsp coriander seeds, 1 Tbsp cumin seeds, 1.5 tsp fennel seeds
- 3 cloves, 1 small cinnamon stick(1/2 inch), petals from 1 star anise, seeds from 2 black cardamom pods
Dry roast them together and grind into a fine spice mix using spice grinder. Now add a heaped Tbsp of Dry mango powder and that’s your spice mix. Keep it in an air tight container. You can use this for 3 pav bhaji sessions
Bhaji/Curry recipe-You need:
- Mixed Veges-1 carrot, 1 potato, 1/2 medium eggplant, a handful frozen peas, 6 green beans cut into bits
- 1 large red onion- chopped fine
- 2 and half tomatoes medium-size
- Ginger-grated-1 heaped Tbsp
- Garlic-grated-1.5 heaped Tbsp-grated
- Turmeric-1/2 tsp +1/2 tsp
- Homemade spice mix-1 heaped Tbsp
- Salt-to taste
- Chopped onions, lemon wedges to serve
- A handful of coriander-finely chopped
- Black cumin/cumin seeds-1 heaped tsp
- Rice bran oil-1 Tbsp [if you are not watching out for calories-1 extra Tbsp]
- In a large stock pot, add 1 cup water, 1/2 tsp turmeric, salt to taste, bring it to boil, and add all the veges and let them cook. Don’t add too much water. As water evaporates, keep adding 1/4 cup at a time and cook until mushy and mash with a potato masher-chunks here and there is okay-that’s the first thing you do. (prep onions & tomatoes while this is happening)
- In another pan, add oil, while it is hot, add black cumin seeds, add onion-saute until it is golden brown. Time to add grated garlic and ginger. Fry for a couple of minutes
- Add tomatoes, turmeric, store-bought spice mix, your homemade spice mix, salt, fry for 2 minutes and add 1/2 cup water-close and let it cook. This is the best way to cook any curry. (Do a taste check-if you want more chili powder-add it at this stage-it should be pretty spicy cos remember you are going to add a ton load of veges).
- Open the lid, wait for water to evaporate, add another 1/2 cup water, cover and let it cook. (Repeat the process until the tomato and spices are cooked very well)
- Time to add this onto mashed veges and stir. Mix them really well, cover and cook for 5 mins or until the veges start to stick to the bottom of the stockpot.
- Add coriander leaves-Serve with lemon juice and chopped onions.
- Serve with Polenta Brioche Buns (Recipe as follows)
I tried to reintroduce gluten into my system and it didn’t go well at all. ‘Pav’ in the phrase ‘Pav Bhaji’ means brioche bun. I couldn’t find my gluten-free roll at coles. I love polenta-so thought why not try this-I did not miss ‘Pav’. It is not the same. But lighter side of things -‘Something is better than Nothing’ and this something was super tasty. How many ingredients? 3. Yep-Polenta, water, salt and you’ll have these cute looking brioche buns 🙂
Ratio is 1:5. 1/4 cup polenta to 1 and 1/4 cups of water, salt to taste
- Dry roast polenta for couple of minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Allow water to boil in a sauce pan, add salt, when it is boiling hot, slowly add polenta while constantly stirring so that there are no lumps
- Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Keep flame low and watch out-spits out a lot.
- Stir once in 30 seconds so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the sauce pan. Once it starts to thicken -porridge consistency, add to a 8*8 square cake tin(lined) and let it sit for an hour. You could put it in a refrigerator.
- After an hour, use cookie cutter and cut out circles. Pan roast them with a bit of coconut oil and serve 🙂 (I used a round cup to cut out circles-that’s why they’re not perfect)
I am tired writing the recipe 😛 But managed to whisk it in an hour. Was it worth it? Hell yeah-Sanju loved it-His reaction to Pav Bhaji is priceless-It tastes amazing too <3