Mrs Patel’s Pav Bhaji
Pav bhaji is one of my favorite fast food Indian dishes. This vegetarian dish comes from Maharashtra in India and it consists of a thick vegetable curry usually prepared in a buttery sauce and onions and served with a soft bread roll.
I usually get this dish from Namaste Restaurant or from Saravana Bhavan. The latter is a worldwide chain that serves some of the best Southern Indian dishes and pav bhaji happens to be one that I usually order (along with a few other dishes!).
We recently had the pleasure of hosting Pastor Niral Patel‘s mother in Kechara Forest Retreat. During her stay here, she was kind enough to teach some of my students how to make this dish. So I had it filmed and recorded for you.
I wish to share her recipe with you to encourage vegetarianism. We should never hurt animals and the easiest way to stop doing this is to lessen our consumption of meat. So please try this recipe for yourself and let me know in the comments below how you found it.
MRS. PATEL’S PAV BHAJI
- 8-9 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3/4 (three quarters) of medium cauliflower, cut into florets (roughly the same size as the potatoes so they cook at the same rate)
- 1 large aubergine, cubed (roughly the same size as the potatoes so they cook at the same rate)
- 500g frozen mixed vegetables
- 1/2 (half) garlic bulb, minced
- 6-7 small red onions, diced
- Ginger, thumbsized, minced
- 10 bird’s eye chilli (chilli padi), sliced
- Knob of unsalted butter (approx. 25g)
- 3 tomatoes, grated (without skin)
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pav bhaji masala
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1/2 tbsp turmeric
- Juice from 1 large lemon
- Oil for frying
- Coriander for garnish
- White bread
Part 1 – mashed vegetables
- Put into a pot the potatoes, cauliflower, aubergine and mixed vegetables. Cover with water until just above the vegetables, then bring to a boil. Boil for approx. 25 minutes or until cooked.
- When the vegetables are cooked to slightly softer than al dente, check the water level. If there is a lot of water, remove it and set it aside. You may need this water to thin out the pav bhaji later, without losing flavour.
- Mash the vegetable mixture with a potato masher until it has the consistency of thick rice congee.
Part 2 – onion-tomato paste
- In a food processor, blitz the garlic, onion and ginger into a paste. If you don’t have a food processor, finely chop the ingredients together.
- Fry in oil until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Combine the grated tomato and tomato puree, then add it into the frying pan with the onion-ginger-garlic mixture. Stir well to combine.
Part 3 – combining Parts 1 and 2!
- Put the mashed vegetables back onto the stove and on a low-medium heat, add in the onion-tomato paste from Part 2. Stir well to incorporate.
- Add the sliced bird’s eye chilli. Stir well to incorporate.
- Add the spices – pav bhaji masala, garam masala, turmeric, salt – and stir well to incorporate. Make sure the spices are really stirred in and dissolved.
- Add a knob of butter to the pot of boiled vegetables and stir until incorporated.
- Add the lemon juice and stir well to incorporate. Taste it and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If the mashed vegetables are too thick, thin down the mixture with some of the vegetable broth retained from Part 1.
- Garnish with coriander, and serve with buttered bread that has been toasted in a dry frying pan (no oil).
HOW TO MAKE PAV BHAJI
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