Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!
How are you all doing? This week has been a week full of Indian food and I am in love with how my home smells like whole spices. It’s like you walked into a typical Kerala Restaurant that serves “Meen Curry” and “Kappa”. That reminds me, I need to buy some fish, this Malayali has been living for way too long without fish.
So I peeped into my fridge yesterday and it looked like some one else lived in my house for a week! NO really! I have no idea how I landed with half a head of cauliflower, 3 carrots and a few beans at the bottom of my vegetable tray. So obviously that wasn’t enough to make one separate dish with, then I decided to make a ‘kichidi’. Simply add some rice, dal and chop up all of the remaining vegetables in the fridge and put it all into a pressure cooker, give it 4 whistles and there it is! But then I had to remind my self that no one in my house was ill so why put the entire family through the horror of eating what resembles what my infant son would have had a few months ago?? So thats when I realised we could also add a few more vegetables and turn this into something everybody loves. Pav Bhaji. I am quite sure that this dish was invented by some one who wanted to clean their fridge out too! :p
Now the “Pav” part, that is the fun part. Cause its about making and baking the bread. I mean what is more relaxing than kneading dough, playing peek-a-boo with my son when the dough rises and that smell, ahh, that smell of sweet yeast when it bakes! yay!! So many people have a love affair with Indian spices, but for me, my best friend’s in my kitchen are “Yeast” and “Butter” These two ingredients make magic.
Now let me give you the definition of Pav Bhaji. Pav Bhaji is the ultimate balanced meal. Bread = good, tomatoes = good, potatoes = good, all the other vegetables = good, butter = excellent , spices = oh yeah!!
So this my friend is what I considered healthy street food. You do need to buy the Masala from the shop. You can make it your self too, but no I do not know the recipe to that and I am not going to bother making it. Cause every shop has it! Like I just had to go to the shop that sells loose cigarettes and tic tacs and even they have it 😛 So do try it out and let me know how it goes. Btw people are going to tell you how you can add beetroots and raw bananas and al that, I say, try it like this and the next time go ahead and add your additions! Hey the world is your oyster!! And yeah I made my Pav with whole wheat flour just cause I think its healthier.
How to make ze “Pav” / Bread
- Whole Wheat Four – 2 cups
- Yeast – 2 tsp
- Milk – 1 cup ( warm)
- Water – 3 tbsp (warm)
- Sugar – 3 tsp
- Oil – 3 tbsp
- Salt – 1tsp
- In a cup add the water and sugar. Stir to combine. Then add the yeast and set aside to foam
- While the yeast is feeding on the sugar, pour the flour and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer and fix the dough hook
- In another cup, add the milk and oil and give it a nice stir
- Now once you see the yeast has foamed well turn your mixer on and slowly add the yeast + water mixture
- Then add the milk + oil mixture and crank the speed up to medium and let the dough mix till it form a nice sticky ball
- While that happens, grease a nice big glass bowl and set aside
- Once the dough is ready, plop it onto a flour dusted counter and knead with your hand for 5 mins
- Then drop the dough into your greased glass bowl and set to rest
- You want the dough to double in volume and this could take 1 – 2 hours depending on how hot or cold your room is
- Once the dough has risen, punch the dough down wards to release the air and then roll out the dough into a nice long log. Then cut the log into 9 equal parts ( 9 coins)
- Prepare your baking tin with oil or butter and set aside
- Now roll these 9 coins into balls and set against each other as shown in the photos. Leave space between the balls cause they are going to sit for another 20 – 30 mins for a second rise
- Once you have all your balls roll out and into the pan, cover the pan with a warm wet towel and let it set in a warm place
- Pre heat your oven to 200C
- After 30 mins you will see that the balls have risen again. Take off the cloth and brush the top of the balls and sides of the pan with oil ( you could use butter too)
- Pop the tray into the oven and bake for 30 – 40 mins or till you see the top of the pav/ bread become nice and golden brown
- When you tap the bread it will sound like a hard knock but that’s just the crust.
- Take the pan out of the oven and set aside to cool
- Then take them out of the tray and cut into 9 pieces. Your Pav is ready!
How to make the “Bhaji”
- Potatoes – 200 gms (cleaned, skinned and chopped)
- Cauliflower – 300 gms (cleaned and chopped to medium flowerets)
- Carrots – 200 gms (cleaned, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces)
- Peas – 100 gms (I used the frozen kind)
- Capsicum – 200 gms
- Beans – 200 gms
- Onions – 300 gms (chopped fine)
- Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 heap tbsp
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
- Tomatoes – 250 gms (chopped fine)
- Coriander Leaves – ½ cup (chopped fine)
- Salt – to taste
- Pav Bhaji Masala – 3 tbsp
- Chili Powder – 2 tbsp (according to taste)
- Water – 3 -4 cups (depending on the vessel)
- Firstly you wanna make sure that all your vegetables are of the same size, so that way they take the same time to cook
- In your pressure cooker add potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, peas, capsicum and beans. Pour as much water as required to soak the vegetables. Add 1 tsp of salt and cook for 3 whistels. If you do not have a cooker, just boil the vegetables till they are nicely cooked and mash-able
- While that happens, in a large kadai, heat oil and when the oil is hot add the cumin seeds. Add the chopped onions as soon as the cumin seeds begin to pop
- Fry the onions till they are pink, then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears
- Next add the chopped tomatoes to the onion garlic mix and fry for a minute. Then add the chilli powder and the pav bhaji masala and fry till you see oil leaving the sides of the mixture
- By this time your vegetables should be ready. Take them off the stove and mash the vegetable with a potato masher or the back of a nice big spoon. I like to bite little bits of potato and peas so I do not mash it all the way
- Now add the mashed vegetable to the tomato onions fry in the kadai and give it a nice mix