Pav Bhaji

I absolutely LOVE pav bhaji. I wan’t interested in trying it originally, I was like what? Indian food that you eat with bread bread?  Not the bread I associate with Indian food, naan, roti, chipati, etc., but regular ole rolls. So I was never interested when we went to Surati Farsan (best chaat place in LA and SD). There were so many other good chaats that I didn’t try this one. But one night, Tejas’s cousin, Falu’s, made pav bhaji and it was so amazing.

Fresh tomatoes, potatoes, onions and other vegetables mashed into a rich gravy with a special masala and served with buttered toasted buns (pav), diced onions, and cilantro. It is so incredibly satisfying.

So last night our friends Crystal and Gaurav came over and we had pav bhaji with some dahi puri as an appetizer. Dahi puri is really similar to papri chat, but uses the puffed puris instead of discs. Crystal is going all over India for 3 months this Summer, I am so jealous!

2-3 tablespoons butter (this is not a diet food)
4-5 small onions diced
1-2 green bell peppers diced (optional)
3/4 cup cauliflower finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3-4 tablespoons pav bhaji masala
1 teaspoon black salt
3-4 medium potatoes peeled chopped
8 small tomatoes
1/2 cup peas (optional)
2 tablespoons or so tomato paste
2-3 tablespoons or so more butter (this is not a diet food! but it does make a lot, so it isn’t soo bad)
1 finely diced red onion
Cilantro chopped
Dinner rolls split in half (sourdough rolls are great and the closest to the “pav” you get in Bombay)
More butter for the rolls

  1. Heat up the butter and saute the onions and bell pepper until they are translucent.
  2. Add the cauliflower and continue to cook until the cauliflower gets soft.
  3. Add the tumeric, chili powder, pav bhaji masala, and black salt, and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Meanwhile boil the potatoes until super soft.
  5. Blend the tomatoes in a food processor or blender and add to the vegetable mixture.
  6. Add the potatoes, peas, tomato paste and salt.
  7. Mash everything with a potato masher and add more butter.
  8. Let it cook down for a while, the longer it cooks, the better! Leftovers are even better!
  9. Near the end of cooking, slice the dinner rolls, lightly butter one side and cook them on a griddle or in a pan until a little brown.
  10. Serve with the diced onions, cilantro, and buns. You can even add a little butter on top.

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