Pav Bhaji Recipe
There are countless variations to this recipe & most of them can be attributed to the specific vegetables used in making this dish that will affect the final taste of the dish. So generally in India, people will either use their favorite combination of vegetables or they will use whatever vegetables they happen to have on hand at the time. Feel free to use local seasonal vegetables or simply add your family’s favorite vegetables.
Now to make authentic traditional pav bhaji, you will need pav bhaji masala – which can easily be found in any Indian grocery store or market. Personally, I like the Everest brand pav bhaji masala but MTR, MDH or any other brand will work just as well. In this case, substituting garam masala just wont do!
I also like to make my own “pav” or Indian bread rolls for this dish. Here is my pav recipe: Ladi Pav Recipe
But feel free to buy store bought bakery rolls if you prefer, they are a huge time saver & short cut.
PAV BHAJI (Mixed Vegetable Mash)
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
2 large potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 medium carrot, peeled & diced
½ cup green beans, cut into 1” long pieces
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely grated
1-2 small green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise (to taste)
¼ tsp smoked Spanish paprika
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
1 tsp red chili powder, to taste
1 heaping tbsp pav bhaji masala, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
½ cup of green peas (frozen are fine)
2 large tomatoes, pureed
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro for garnish
Optional garnishes: fine thin sev, finely diced red onion, finely chopped tomatoes & lemon wedges
butter as needed, for the pav (Indian bread rolls)
Boil or pressure cook the cauliflower along with the potatoes, carrot & green beans until just tender. Drain well & using a potato masher (or the back of a wooden spoon) – gently mash the vegetables until you get your desired consistency. Personally, I don’t like my vegetables fully & completely mashed – but this is just a personal preference. Set aside until needed.
In a large deep skillet or kadai (wok) on medium heat, add the oil. When hot, add the onions & sauté until just translucent. Next, add in the garlic with the ginger & green chilies – sauté for another minute or so & add in the spices (paprika, turmeric, red chili powder, pav bhaji masala, salt & pepper). Let the spices cook for a few minutes & then add in the green bell pepper. Let the bell pepper sauté for a few minutes & then add in the green peas along with the mixed vegetable mash. Mix well to combine & then add the pureed tomatoes, mash the vegetables again if desired. Then reduce the heat to low, cover & let cook for 10-15 minutes until all the flavors have combined. Garnish the bhaji with the cilantro leaves & optional garnishes. Lightly butter the pav and toast on a tava (flat top griddle) until lightly browned, serve together with the bhaji & enjoy!
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