There’s a strong tradition in countries with high population metropolitan areas (such as India) of street food. This is economical food, using ingredients for their ease of availability and affordability. While America doesn’t really have a huge tradition of ‘street food’ per se (unless you count the food truck craze of the last decade or so), there’s a lot to be learned from street food in other cultures, easily incorporated into a modern American kitchen. Pav bhaji is a street food using the most ubiquitous of ingredients, white bread, specifically a type of roll. This pav bhaji recipe is essentially an economical, tasty and spicy quick and easy vegetarian curry (I have other curry recipes too).
Pav bhaji (depending on how you feel about butter; you could omit it if you want) is fairly nutritious. The basis of the sauce is freshly cooked vegetables, blended and simmered with Indian spices (there’s abundant evidence that spices have a number of health benefits, particularly for their anti-cancer properties).
Saute the chopped onion, carrots and cauliflower in a little oil in a nonstick pan, until they begin to soften.
At this point add chopped tomato and peas. Continue to cook.
Add the pav bhaji masala. For mine I used equal proportions of cayenne pepper and garam masala (here’s my garam masala recipe). You want the pav bhaji to be assertively spicy.
Next, add the vegetable mixture to a high sided glass or container and blend with an immersion blender (pretty much one of the most useful tools you could have in any kitchen). Be careful not to splatter any hot sauce on yourself. Blend until smooth.
Add the vegetable mixture back to your pan, add a little butter and the chopped bread (if you toast the bread just a bit before you add it then it won’t get so soggy). Mix quickly and serve warm. Easy!
If you like this pav bhaji recipe be sure and check out some of my other curry recipes. I’m a self-admitted curry freak.
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- a few knobs of cauliflower
- 1/2 cup peas
- 2 small tomatoes, diced
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups chopped white bread rolls