Two words that comes to my mind when I think about pav-bhaji are “Aamchi Mumbai” and “Sukh Sagar”. It’s a little restaurant in chowpatty beach, South Mumbai. Though I am not a big fan of that particular beach in Mumbai, there is always a prompt “yes” to dig into the pav bhaji from Sukh Sagar.
I decided to make my version of the Sukh Sagar Pav-Bhaji and overwhelmed when it tasted great and just likes theirs.
Every Indian store sells the Pav bhaji powder, its a 15+ spices ground into fine powder. The brand that I use is Everest.
Its simple and easy to make and a great made ahead food. If the Bhaji is ready, all you got to do it toss the pav (bread) in a hot pan with butter and all ready to please the crowd.
The Ingredients you will need are:
3 medium potatoes (cleaned, peeled and chopped to large pieces)
4-5 medium florets of cauliflower
1/2 cup of carrots, roughly diced
1/2 cup of peas
2 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion
1 large tomato
2/3 cups of green bell pepper/ capsicum
1 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp or to taste Salt
Pav Bhaji Masala
1 tbsp Butter
Chilli powder- Optional
For the Pav:
I used Fresh store-bought pav. Potato rolls great substitute for the Indian Pav
Pressure cook the potatoes, Cauliflower, carrot and peas with turmeric powder and little salt. Add water to the veggies till all are kind of submerged. Cook for about 3-4 whistles.
Mean time, in a large heavy bottom pan, Heat the oil and add the ginger-garlic paste and chopped onions. About 1/4 tsp of salt helps the onions cook faster. Once the onions are cooked, add the tomatoes and let them cook on medium heat till the onions and tomatoes cook well and become like a paste. Add the capsicum that has been roughly chopped to small chunks.
If you like your pav-bhaji spicy, go ahead and add the chilli powder at this time. The store-bought masala has chilli powder in it. Avoid the chilli powder separately if you prefer a mild bhaji.
Once the Pressure is released, Using a potato masher mash all the veggies when they are hot. Do not discard the water/stock.
Once the onions-tomatoes gravy is ready, add about 1.5 to 2 tbs of the pav bhaji masala, 1 tbs of butter and mashed veggies. Mix all well. The potato masher comes in handy to bring everything together. Use the water that was used to cook the veggies to dilute the masala to the consistency as per your preference. Check for salt and adjust. Note: The bhaji tends to thicken up a lot cause of the potatoes. Add boiling water to bring it to the right consistency.
For the Pav:
Heat a Pan and generously add butter. Place the pav on it till it gets a light brown on both sides.
The way it’s served:
The Pav is served with the bhaji which is topped with chopped onions, fresh cilantro/coriander leaves, a squeeze of lime/lemon and some butter that melts quickly into the bhaji