There is no better way of making someone eat a variety of vegetables in a more appealing manner than cooking Mumbai’s speciality dish – pav bhaji. Pav is a simple white bun and bhaji means vegetables, mixed vegetables in this case. Amazing pav bhaji can be prepared without much hassle by pressure cooking vegetables in a pressure pan with the right blend of ingredients. In restaurants they tend to put a whole lot of butter, so at home we can control the amount of butter / ghee we want. Let me know what are your thoughts on this recipe!
Ingredients (4-6 servings)
1 onion, chopped
1 capsicum, deseeded, diced
1½ cup cauliflower florets or 1 potato, peeled, diced
¼ cup green peas
¼ cup split lentils (masur dal), rinsed
1 carrot, peeled, diced
4 tomatoes, diced
8 small garlic cloves/3 large cloves, mashed
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp dried coriander powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp ghee/ butter
Salt as needed
Coriander leaves, chopped
- Heat ghee in a pressure pan. Add mashed garlic and allow it to turn light brown on medium heat. Then add the chopped onions. Let the onions caramelize to a light brown color.
- Prepare the vegetables while the onion is caramelizing. Start with tomatoes. Dice the tomatoes; deseed the capsicum and dice it. Peel and dice the carrots and potato or cut the cauliflower into florets keeping ½” stalk for each floret. Wash and drain the green peas and cauliflower florets. Rinse the split lentils with water.
- Once the onion has caramelized, add the tomatoes and sauté for 2-3 mins.
- Then add the dry powders except salt and sugar, and sauté till the ghee begins to separate.
- Now, it’s time to add all the vegetables & lentils to the pot. Mix well so that the vegetables are coated with the masala. Cover the pressure pan and let the vegetables absorb the flavors for a minute or two.
- Then add about 1cup of water and let the water come to a boil. Place the lid and turn up the heat. After the first whistle, lower the heat to allow the vegetables to cook under pressure for about 7 minutes. Then turn off the heat and wait till the pressure pan cools on its own. If you wish to cook vegetables in a stock pot, you can do so by using water just to cover the vegetables. To help the vegetables especially the ones that take long to cook such potato and carrots can be cut into smaller pieces. That way all vegetables can cook at the same time rather than having some overdone or others underdone.
- Once the pressure is off, remove the lid and using a masher to mash the vegetables to a desirable consistency. Some may like their pav bhaji more homogenous while others may prefer it chunkier.
- Season with salt and sugar and add chopped coriander leaves. Mix well and continue to cook the pav bhaji on low heat. Adjust the taste with additional red chili powder if you like it spicier.
- Garnish with a dash of ghee/ butter and cilantro sprig.
- Serve with warmed up bread with / without butter/ghee and a salad made with onions and tomatoes. Whole wheat buns are also available in stores. Check out the recipe for traditional salad.