Recipe: Quick and easy Maharashtrian Pav Bhaji for a working day meal
- Pav Bhaji is a fast food dish which consists of thick vegetable curry made of potatoes, cauliflower onions, carrots, chillies, peas, bell peppers, and tomatoes, and though the recipe calls for fresh vegetables, one can even use leftover sabzis to make this, and it will turn out just as delicious.
Pav Bhaji is one of the most delicious vegetarian dishes to come from Maharashtra, although it is eaten all over northern India. It's a fast food dish which consists of thick vegetable curry made of potatoes, cauliflower onions, carrots, chillies, peas, bell peppers, and tomatoes, and though the recipe calls for fresh vegetables, one can even use leftover sabzis to make this, and it will turn out just as delicious. Serve with toasted and buttered pav, let the thick bread soak up the yummy, spicy curry -that is topped with a splash of lemon juice and chopped onions - for a quick and easy meal during the week when you're too busy to cook an elaborate meal. If you are health conscious skip the pav with whole wheat or multigrain pav/bread and skip out on potato in the bhaji, making up for it with cauliflower, however, it is the original loaded with butter, and grated cheese if you prefer, that has us salivating. Read on:
2 to 4 tablespoons salted butter plus 4 tablespoons, at room temperature
1 large yellow onion finely diced
½ green bell pepper seeded and diced
½ red bell pepper seeded and diced (optional)
1 tablespoon ginger grated
1 tablespoon garlic minced
5 cups cauliflower florets 1-inch florets
2 large Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 plum tomatoes cored and diced
½ cup frozen green peas
1 cup water
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 to 2 tablespoons paav bhaji masala see Note
1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder see Note
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
12 potato buns
1 medium red onion finely diced
1 lime cut into wedges
Select the high Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the yellow onion, ginger, garlic, and bell peppers and sauté until the onion turns translucent about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, and 2 teaspoons salt; pour in the water; and stir well with a wooden spoon, nudging loose any browned bits from the pot bottom.
Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the Pressure Cook or Manual setting and set the cooking time for 6 minutes at high pressure.
Perform a quick release by moving the Pressure Release to Venting. Open the pot. Select the normal Sauté setting and mash all the veggies with a potato masher. Stir in the tomato paste, paav bhaji masala, red chile powder, and turmeric, followed by 2 tablespoons butter (optional but highly recommended). Cover the pot with a glass lid (or other nonlocking lid that fits), as the bhaji will start to splatter, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, paav bhaji masala, and chile powder if needed. Press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot. Sprinkle with the cilantro.
Just before serving, use the remaining 4 tablespoons butter to spread 1 teaspoon room-temperature butter on the cut side and over the top and bottom of each potato bun. Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over high heat. Add the buns and toast each side until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes each.
Spoon the bhaji onto plates, sprinkle with the red onion, and serve with the toasted buns and lime wedges on the side. Enjoy the labour of your love with your near and dear ones.
(Recipe courtesy Ministry of Curry)