Ahhhh…pav bhaji…spicy, buttery, and filling. I just can’t get enough.
Pav Bhaji has very meager origins – as a melange of left over vegetables for a quick meal in the working class – and because of that, it’s generally very dense in carbs and calories. Pav Bhaji started out on the west coast of India (Gujarat and Maharashtra), and meager origins notwithstanding, this delectable street food can now be found all over India and enjoyed by almost all who taste it.
The words “Pav” and “Bhaji” literally translate to “Bread” and “Vegetables” but there’s a little bit more to it than that. Traditionally, with potatoes as a base and the liberal use of butter both in the Bhaji and all over the Pav, you can’t really call this dish healthy. However, I’ve made an attempt at slightly healthier version. Let me tell you a little about it.
When I was a kid, my idea of Pav Bhaji was quite different than what you’d find at the restaurants. My mom had adapted her Pav Bhaji recipe to be less homogenous in texture – I guess the family just didn’t like “mushy” foods – and this allowed us to see and feel the texture of the various vegetables in the dish. My recipe is a lot more like that. I’ve reduced the dollops of butter, added more veggies, and even made my own Pav (eggless bread). Check that recipe out…mmmm! If you prefer a more homogenous texture, just use your potato masher and mash the cooked vegetables until you get the texture you’d prefer. You may also want to add a tad bit more water. Voila!
Soooo, while my pav bhaji might not look traditional, it certainly tastes very good and it’s a little healthier too. (Just look at the nutrition facts below). Recently, I served it to my grandfather and parents and they’ve given this recipe their stamp of approval. I hope you do too! (Please review!)
PS – I was so eager to take these pics and start eating that I forgot to garnish the Pav Bhaji with onions and cilantro before scarfing. Definitely don’t forget that very important step when you recreate this.
|2 tbs Butter|
|1 tbs Jeera (cumin seeds)|
|4 Whole Dried Chili Peppers|
|1 Vidalia Onion (finely chopped)|
|8 cloves Garlic (minced)|
|1 tsp Ginger Paste|
|1 Bell Pepper (diced)|
|4 Roma Tomatoes (diced)|
|2.5 tbs Pav Bhaji Masala|
|1 tsp Chili Powder|
|Salt to Taste|
|3 Potatoes (microwaved with water or boiled to soften/cook before peeling and chopping)|
|15 Baby Carrots (chopped)|
|1/2 cup Frozen Peas|
|1/2 cup Red Onion (diced)|
|2+ tbs Coriander (Cilantro) (Chopped)|
|1 Lemon, cut in wedges|