Monday, March 21, 2011

Pav Bhaji

My first introduction to chaat was only during my college days.There was a chaat shop near the place where me and my friends stayed. I was a regular customer of that shop for their pav bhaji. But I always ate that with a guilt, thinking the bhaji is full of potatoes and nothing else.
When I came to the US, my neighbor was from Gujarat and she was an expert in making all chaat items. She prepared pav bhaji for me once and I asked her how to make it. From then on, this chat is in our dinner menu almost every week. We enjoy it every time but without a guilt knowing that it has a lot of other vegetables making the dish very nutritious. A very good way to sneak in all the vegetables to your kids :-)


1. Carrots- roughly chopped 3 medium
2. Beans - roughly chopped - few
3. Cauliflower- roughly chopped 1/2 flower
4. Cabbage -  1/4 of a small cabbage roughly chopped
5. Potatoes - 2 medium
6. Frozen peas - 1 cup
7. Capsicum -1 finely chopped
8. Onion - 2 medium cubed
9. Tomatoes - 2 large
10. Cilantro- to garnish
11. Pav bun - 1 pack of 6 buns
12. Butter - to toast the buns.
13. Oil - 2 tablespoons
14. Store bought Pav Bhaji Masala - 3 tablespoons/ per taste (I use MDH brand from Indian stores)
15. Salt - to taste
16. Lemon- 1

1. Pressure cook all the ingredients from 1 through 5 till they become soft and mushy. mash it well with a spoon.Add water if needed and keep it aside.
2. In a mixer, grind the cubed onions coarsely and keep it aside.
3. Same way, grind the tomatoes and keep it aside.
4. In a wide pan heat some oil. You can also add butter. I sometimes add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil.
5. Add the ground onion and saute till the raw smell goes away.
6. Then add the ground tomatoes and saute it for sometime.
7. Then add finely chopped capsicum. You need not saute it fully. It has to be crisp. Then add the pav bhaji masala and saute well till it mixes with all the sauted ingredients.
8.Now, add the boiled and mashed vegetables, mix it well with the masala and cook it till it becomes thick. You can add the peas at this stage and cook for sometime.Bhaji is now ready.
9. Toast the pav with butter and serve it with bhaji with chopped onions, cilantro and a piece of lemon.

This bhaji will also go in our tomorrow's lunch box in between two whole wheat breads as a vegetable sandwich.What a healthy lunch :-).

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