Pav Bhaji is actually a dish which comprises of two components i.e pav (yeast bread or bun) and bhaji (spicy mixed vegetable mash with loads of butter) which are served together.So on that account the dish is famously known as Pav Bhaji.Pav Bhaji is a popular street food from Maharashtra that has found its way into the restaurants too.The dish is not only popular in Maharashtra but is also popular in many other Indian states as well.Though Bhaji or mix vegetable is supposed to be high on spices but nowadays lots of variations are available from more spicy to less spicy ones and one may also find with cottage cheese too.The typical flavor of the Bhaji is because of the special spice blend with fennel and star anise as its star ingredients which is added to the Bhaji and without which it would not get its peculiar taste.Bhaji is normally served with Pav bun which is basically a pull apart bread made using yeast.However it can always be relished along with any other flat bread like puris and parathas.It is an utterly butterly delicious dish thus one cannot forget adding lots of butter to it so guys please……….do not shy away from butter and stop counting your calories for the time being if you really want to enjoy this toothsome dish.The recipe that I am going to share is of the Bhaji and Bhaji masala(spice blend) which I got to learn from my Mother in law.I served the Bhaji with fresh home baked Pav so I also intend to share the recipe of Pav sometime in the future.So keep checking out my blogs but before that let us make Bhaji first and for that we need to move on to the recipe below to check it out.
Serves: 8 persons
- 1 large onion chopped
- 5-6 garlic cloves
- 2″ ginger piece
- 1/2 cup fresh/desiccated coconut
- 6 medium size tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder
- Salt to taste
- Ghee & butter
- Mixed Vegetables (6 medium size boiled potatoes,1 large capsicum,2 cups cabbage shredded,1/2 cup green peas)
For Bhaji Masala
- 4 tbsp coriander seeds
- 8-10 red chilies or according to taste
- 2 tbsp fennel(saunf)
- 1 tsp cumin(jeera)
- 2″cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp stone flower
- 1 star anise
- 1 petal mace
- 1/2 nutmeg
- 1 black cardamom
- 3-4 green cardamoms
- 1 tsp black pepper corns
- 8-10 cloves
- 1 tbsp dry mango powder (amchur powder)or as per taste
For Bhaji Masala
- Dry roast all the whole spices lightly except dry mango powder and ensure not to burn them.Let them cool down and grind them into a fine powder.
Preparing & Cooking the Bhaji
- Crumble the boiled potatoes.
- Chop the capsicum and boil the shredded cabbage to one whistle in a pressure cooker.
- Boil green peas separately or if they are very tender you can add them without boiling.they will get cooked while cooking the bhaji.
- Blanch the tomatoes and puree them.
- Grind together ginger,garlic and coconut into a fine paste.
- Heat 5-6 tbsp of ghee in a vessel.
- Add in chopped onions and fry them till they are evenly brown.
- Add Kashmiri chili powder and paste of ginger,garlic and coconut.Cook till ghee separates.
- Add 2/3 of the prepared bhaji masala and the pureed tomatoes.Mix well and cooktill ghee separates.
- Now add chopped capsicum,potatoes ,cabbage and peas.Mix well and try to mash the vegetables in the vessel using back of the ladle.Add in little water and adjust salt to taste.The consistency of the bhaji is thick and vegetables are almost like mash.Put on the lid and simmer the vegetables on low heat for 10-15 minutes stirring in between.
- Add in lots of butter(minimum 100 g),mix well and add the remaining bhaji masala.
- Switch off the flame and let bhaji rest for some time before serving.This will allow the flavors to infuse properly.
- While serving heat Bhaji,garnish with chopped coriander and top it with a dollop of butter and serve it with freshly baked pav bun or any bread of your choice along with some sliced/chopped onions seasoned with lime juice.
Tips & Tweaks:
- Vegetables like carrots and cauliflower can also be added.The choice of vegetables is entirely an individuals choice.But follow the thumb rule of using potatoes, tomatoes and other mixed vegetables in the ratio of 1:1:1.The bhaji will taste awesome.
- The Bhaji masala can be prepared in advance and can be stored in an air tight jar.If you want to prepare in larger quantities then you can multiply the proportions.
- While roasting whole spices roast each spice individually if you are preparing in larger quantities to ensure even roasting.
- The quantity of chilies can be adjusted according to taste.
- To get bright red color of the bhaji add some extra kashmiri chili powder in the oil while cooking as I have done.
- I have not specified the quantities of ghee and butter because this dish is all about it.However the quantities can always be altered as per individuals preference.