Friday, 28 January 2011
Pav Bhaji (Mashed Veggies in a Spicy Curry and Bread Rolls)
This is my version of the famous Bombay street food. Deliciously spicy vegetable curry, served with chopped onions and a lemon wedge and fresh-out-of-the-oven bread rolls or pav.
I used a prepared spice mix for this dish, as its probably one of the best brands of mixes around, its called Everest Pav Bhaji Masala , and I honestly don't think anything I could make at home would match up to the quality of this one.
The actual dish is fairly easy to make. Its definitely spicy, but you could tone down the spice by using less of the spice mix, plus cook the onion-tomato-spice mixture for a longer time, as it helps absorb the spice better.
Its also the condiments that make this dish unique. You have to have lemon wedges and chopped raw onions on the side. I used a few spring onions too, and they were delicious. Splash of butter on the bhaji. I also used plain oven bottom bread rolls in place of the Bombay pav, and they work really well.
There are many really good recipes for Pav Bhaji around. This is the one that I make at home, and I have made a few variations to suit what we get here, and our spice tolerance level. Its by no means super authentic, but it does taste really good.
1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced to a paste
1/2 inch ginger, minced to a paste
1 green chilli, chopped fine (optional)
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 or 3 tbsp Everest pav bhaji masala or any other kind of pav bahji masala
2 cups steamed chopped vegetables (I used 1 potato, 2 carrots, big handful of peas, 1/4 head of cauliflower chopped fine, 1/2 yellow pepper and 6 - 7 mushrooms, sliced)
1/2 cup water (use the water the veggies were steamed or boiled in)
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
4 bread rolls, split and buttered
1 lemon, quartered
1/4 onion, chopped
1 spring onion, chopped
Heat the oil, and fry the onion for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the ginger and garlic, and chilli, if using, and saute for another 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, turmeric and pav bhaji masala, and cook for at least 15 minutes, stirring ocasionally until the masala is fairly dry and the oil starts to separate from it.
Add the veggies and the water, and stir together. Simmer for another 5 minutes, adding a little more water, if required. Using a masher, coarsely mash the vegetables together into the curry.
Season to taste. Sprinkle over the fresh coriander and stir together.
To serve, shallow fry the buttered bread, butter side down for roughly a minute or two, until lightly coloured. Serve the bhaji topped with a splash of butter, with the fried bread, chopped onion and spring onion and the lemon wedges on the side.