Pav Bhaji is one of the famous street foods of Mumbai. The first time I had pav bhaji was at juhu beach. The spicy mashed vegetable mix with the buttery bread and the tangy onions is a perfect combination and an explosion of flavors.
I have tried for a long time to perfect the pav bhaji to have it the same taste as restaurants and street vendors. Follow the below recipe and it will take you back to a roadside stall in Mumbai 🙂
Potato: 3 medium
Cauliflower: 125 g
Green peas: ¾ cup
Onion: 2 finely chopped
Tomatoes: 5 medium sized
Green pepper (capsicum): 1 medium sized
Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp
Green chilies: 2 finely chopped
Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
Chili powder: 1 tsp
Pav bhaji masala: 2 tbsp
Kasuri methi: ½ tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Cilantro/coriander leaves: 3 tbsp chopped
Butter: 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
I have used frozen peas in this recipe which cooks faster. If you cannot find fresh or frozen peas, dried ones can be used too. If using dried peas, soak them in water overnight (minimum 8-9 hrs.) and pressure cook for 8-10 whistles.
Wash the vegetables well.
Peel the potatoes and chop into quarters. Pressure cook the potatoes with green peas and cauliflower. Cook for 5 whistles or until well cooked. Mash the cooked vegetables to a paste (preferably with a masher).
Cut the tomatoes into quarters and crush it (do not make it into a paste).
In a pan, heat ¼ tsp butter and sauté capsicum (green pepper) with a pinch of salt for 2 mins on medium heat. Transfer it to a bowl.
In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp of butter and add cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add the chopped onions and green chilies (add little salt for faster cooking). Cook till the onions are translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell goes away.
Add crushed tomatoes and sauté till oil separates.
Add chilly powder, salt, turmeric powder, pav bhaji masala. Mix for 2 mins on medium heat.
Add the mashed vegetables and mix. Add the cooked capsicum and add enough water to get the right consistency. Cover and cook for 5 mins.
Add cilantro (coriander leaves) and kasuri methi (crushed gently in the palm of the hand). Add the remaining butter and mix and cook for 2 more mins.
To prepare buns/pav
Slit the pav/buns horizontally leaving one end intact.
Heat butter in a pan. Open the pav and toast it just for a minute.
Optional: You can sprinkle pav bhaji masala and salt with the butter for toasting the pav.
To prepare the onion mixture
Chop two onions. Add 1 tsp of chopped coriander/cilantro leaves and finely chopped tomatoes (1). Add ½ tsp of lemon juice and salt and mix well.
Ready to serve with toasted bun/pav and tangy onion mixture.