This past weekend was wonderful. I spent three and a half days at my brother, Kunal’s, home with his wife, Kinjal, and their little baby, Sonia. Chirag came too, and we surprised my dad, who had a long layover between flights. I cannot describe how truly great is was to have the whole family together after such a long time. Also, having a 3-month old baby around makes every day so much better. I have officially become that creepy aunt who is obsessed with her niece, but I can’t help it! I just love her so much!
Anyway, the weekend was spent playing with the baby, and endlessly chatting with Kinjal, and of course, eating! Kinjal is literally a super mom — she spends her days caring for Sonia, who at 3-months is the most adorable handful, but she also spent the weekend baking cookies and making delicious meals for us. I was so grateful to get such lovely homecooked meals during my visit, and I know Chirag was too.
One of the best meals we had was pav bhaji. This meal is a staple for our family. It is super easy to make, really satisfying, and everyone always loves it. Whenever we are all together, there’s a good chance we’ll be having pav bhaji for at least one meal. Kinjal and I made it for dinner on Saturday, but it’s one of those meals that you can make in the morning, or the day before, and just reheat it when you’re ready to eat. Leftovers keep really well for about 3 days in the fridge, or a week in the freezer. You can also use leftover pav bhaji to make a toasted sandwich, which is super yummy too! The bhaji is a mixture of cooked vegetables and spices which is packed with nutrients and flavor. The bhaji is served with pav, or lightly toasted, buttered buns. Together, they make an “Indian Sloppy Joe” of sorts!
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
3 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 3-4 cups) and boiled until soft
1/2 cup carrots, chopped and boiled until fork tender
1/3 Tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 green chilli peppers, slit lengthwise (optional)
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. red chili powder
1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
Salt, to taste
2-3 cups tomato puree
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp pav bhaji masala, or more to taste (see notes)
1 Tbsp butter, or butter substitute
1 Tbsp lemon juice, or more to taste
6 low-fat hamburger buns, lightly buttered
- In a large bowl, mash together potatoes, cauliflower and carrots until combined. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, and add onions and chilli peppers. Saute until onions start to become translucent, about 3 minutes. Add turmeric, red chili powder and ginger-garlic paste, and saute for an additional 2 minutes, or until onions are soft.
- Add cooked onions and chilli peppers to potato mixture, and stir to combine. Season with salt. Stir in tomato puree, frozen peas and pav bhaji masala until well combined.
- Return seasoned potato mixture (bhaji) to the large pot, and simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Just before serving, stir in 1 Tbsp butter and lemon juice.
- In the meantime, toast buns (pav) on a stovetop griddle, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides. Serve the pav and bhaji together, with sliced onions, lemon juice and/or spicy mango pickle.
Pav Bhaji Masala is a premixed blend of spices that can be found in an Indian grocery store. Alternatively, you can make your own using this recipe.