Pav Bhaji is one of the most popular Indian Street Food of Mumbai, Maharashtra. This curry is a medley of veggies, topped with generous serving of butter. It is paired with a side of soft and spiced bun called Pav. Once known as a common man’s meal, Pav Bhaji has made to the main stream food scene for good reasons.
The potato based bhaji or curry is a mix of vegetables like capsicum, peas, tomatoes and onions and is spiced with a special Pav Bhaji masala. This is perfect comfort meal. If you ever ask a mumbaikar about Pav Bhaji, you would know how touchy they are about the consistency of the dish.
The consistency is extremely important because if it’s too watery them the bread will not be able to hold the curry. If it’s too think it would be hard to dip the bread. So again the consistency is the key apart from the flavors. This is my tried and tested recipe and resembles the taste I remember eating back home.
If you ever watch videos of the street vendors making the Bhaji, you would see all the veggies being cooked on a hot flat tava. The only thing that is pre cooked are the potatoes. My version is slightly different in that I pre-cook half the vegetables along with the potatoes.I do have few tricks up my sleeve to get that same texture and color though.
Cook and mash 1/2 portion of the vegetables along with potatoes and set it aside. Then in the pan cook the other 1/2 of the onions, capsicum and tomatoes with grated beetroot. This helps bhaji get a nice reddish color without the artificial food color.
As I mentioned, potatoes, onion, capsicum , peas and tomatoes are the main ingredients in the dish. You can always add well cooked cauliflower, carrot and any other vegetable of choice. This is one delicious way to clean up the fridge. Beetroot can be added in small quantity to get the desired color but can be totally skipped if you wish. Add water sparingly to get the right consistency.
Pav Bhaji | Street Style Pav Bhaji
- Large Potato – 2 nos boiled
- Capsicum – 1 medium size yields about 1 cup chopped
- Tomato – 4 medium 2 tomato to boil with the potatoes and 2 to add to the pan
- Onion – 1 large finally chopped divide it into 2 portions
- Peas – 1/2 cup
- Beetroot- 1/2 cup grated optional for color
- Ginger – 1 inch
- Garlic – 3-4 nos
- Tomato paste – 1 tbs I used 1 tbs of tomato ketchup … shhh..
- Butter – 1/2 cup
- Pav Bhaji Masala – 1 tbs oil to use Everest Pav bhaji masala
- Gram masala – 1/2 tbs
- Coriander powder – 1/2 tbs
- Cumin powder – 1 tsp
- Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1 tbs for color
- Red chills powder – to taste
- Salt to taste
- Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
- Water 4-5 cups added as need to get the consistency
- Boil the potatoes, peas, Tomato and 1/4 of the onion in a cooker or instant pot and let it cool. Add salt to this as needed and about a cup of water.
- In the meantime heat a deep pan and add 2 -3 tbs of butter and 2 tsp oil and let it heat. Once it’s hot add the 2nd 1/2 portion of the chopped onions to the pan and let it cool till traslusant.
- Now add in the chopped capsicum and let the it cook for another minute.
- Once its softens add ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, coodiatder powder, cumin powder and salt to taste and let the masales roast in the oil. ( roast it low flame. To avoid burning)
- Now add the chopped tomato, the tomato paste and the grated beat (if adding) to the pan and let it simmer. Add water as needed ( 1/2 cup or so). Cook this mixture in sim for 3-5 mins
- In this time release pressure and mash up the potato pea mix to a nice smooth consistency. Preferably use a potato masher. Do not use a mixi blender as the potatoes will become mushy and sticky.
- Add the Mashed potato mix to the pan along with Pav bhaji masala and let both the mix come together. If the mixture is too think add up to 1 cup of water or just 1/2 cup. Make sure the constancy is not too thin.
- Let this simmer for another 5 mins till it starts bubbling.
- Top it with 1 tbs of butter and fresh coriander and a sprinkle of pavbhaji masala.
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