Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pav Bhaji

After nearly a week of (rare) sunshine and happy days, we're back to what SF knows best: clouds and fog. Weather like this begs for comfort food.

We're both big fans of Pav Bhaji here (loosely translated to Bread + Vegetables). This was an out-of-the norm day of the week for this type of dinner. We usually turn to this dish when we have a mish-mash of vegetables left over from the week. It's the perfect dish to use up leftovers, you can incorporate pretty much any vegetable and starch into it! It's also the kind of dish that tastes even better the next day, so make sure you make a little extra. It's hearty, healthy, and so, so satisfying. Hence, comfort food.

Every Indian home probably has their own version of Pav Bhaji. So, let this recipe serve as a guideline. Work with it and make it your own. We rarely repeat the exact ingredients and method when making pav bhaji, it always depends on what's in the fridge!


Pav Bhaji
recipe adapted from our mothers :)
4-6 servings

1 onion, divided: 3/4 of it chopped finely, 1/4 of it sliced for garnish
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1/2 inch piece ginger, chopped finely or grated
1 potato, boiled & peeled, and cut into pieces*
1/2 cup frozen veggies, thawed in microwave*
2 tsp pav bhaji masala (can easily find this at an Indian store, or online)
1 tbsp butter
3 oz tomato paste (or 1/2 cup tomato sauce)
salt, to taste
Pav / bread (fluffy dinner rolls are the perfect substitute for actual pav)

Heat oil in pan. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and ginger, and fry until lightly browned. Stir in the thawed veggies and boiled potato. Stir until incorporated. Add pav bhaji masala. Stir. Add butter, and stir until melted and incorporated. Add tomato sauce and salt. Continue to stir, and if the bhaji appears too thick, add water as needed. Continue to heat and stir until desired consistency is reached.

To prepare the pav (bread): in a separate pan, melt butter on and place bread on top. Once it's lightly browned & toasted, and flip once to toast both sides.

Serve with sliced onion, lime wedges, and chopped green chilies.

*Protip: We've found we prefer to boil fresh vegetables and thaw frozen vegetables prior to cooking. This both saves time and eliminates the need to use a pressure cooker to bring the Bhaji together.

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