My love affair with pav bhajee or pav bhaji started several years ago, when I ate it at one of the stalls at Mumbai’s iconic Juhu beach. It is one of the most popular Mumbai style street foods which can now be found across metro cities in India even in high end restaurants. A delicious and wholesome mix of assorted veggies like potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower, green peas and capsicum along with plenty of onions, ginger and garlic are mashed on a griddle and flavoured with a quintessential spice mix known as pav bhaji masala. This spicy vegetarian sabzi is served with a baked Indian bread roll called pav which is toasted along with a good dose of butter. This vegetarian Indian classic is an all-day hit – works great as a meal and even as a snack. It’s one of the best ways to feed your kids plenty of veggies that too with a smile.
Boil, cool, peel and grate potatoes. Wash and finely chop tomatoes. Wash and grate cauliflower. Peel, wash and finely chop onion. Peel and wash ginger, garlic and grind to a fine paste.
Wash, halve, remove seeds and finely chop capsicum. Wash, remove stems and finely chop green chillies.
Clean, wash and finely chop fresh coriander leaves. Wash and boil the green peas in salted water till soft, drain and mash lightly and keep aside. Cut lemon into wedges.
Heat oil in a pan and add three fourth quantity of chopped onions. Sauté till light brown. Add chopped green chillies and ginger garlic paste. Stir-fry for half a minute.
Add half the quantity of chopped tomatoes and cook on medium heat for three to four minutes, stirring continuously or till oil separates from the masala. Add chopped capsicum, boiled and lightly mashed peas, grated cauliflower, grated boiled potatoes and one and a half cups of water.
Bring it to a boil and simmer for ten minutes, pressing with the back of the spoon a few times, till all the vegetables are completely mashed. Add pav bhajee masala, salt and the rest of the chopped tomatoes. Cook on medium heat for two minutes, stirring continuously.
Heat half of the butter in a thick-bottomed pan or a tawa. Slice pav horizontally into two and pan fry in butter for half a minute, pressing two or three times or till pav is crisp and light brown.
Garnish the bhajee with chopped coriander leaves, remaining butter and serve hot with pav accompanied with remaining chopped onion and lemon wedges.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient.
His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.