Pau Bhaji

Mumbai's most popular street snack - curried veggies and buttery bread rolls.

  • Preparation Time10 mins
  • Cooking Time50 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
1 large potato (230g), peeled and cubed into 1 inch chunks
1 carrot (100g), peeled, cubed into 2.5cm chunks
1 medium sweet potato (180g), peeled, cubed into 2.5cm chunks
200g fresh tomatoes, sliced into 2.5cm pieces
200g cauliflower, broken into florets
1 red pepper (100g), sliced into 2.5cm pieces
3 dried Kashmiri chillies (or hot red chillies)
250ml water
6 tbsps concentrated tomato puree
1 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp ground green cardamom seeds
1/4 tsp dried fenugreek (kasoori methi)
1 tsp ground black cardamom seeds
2 tsps garam masala
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tsps salt or to taste
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp ground cumin seeds
1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
3 tbsps sunflower or vegetable oil
1 large onion (200g), pureed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
75g ghee
Handful chopped coriander
Handful chopped red onions to garnish
White bread rolls, sliced
1) Add the potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, red peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes and red chillies to a pressure cooker filled with 250ml boiling water. Cook over a medium flame for 10 minutes. Alternatively, if you don't have a pressure cooker, boil the vegetables for 15-20 minutes or until very tender reserving the cooking liquid.

2) Coarsely blend the vegetables with a hand blender or in a food processor. Set aside.

3) Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cook on a high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomato puree and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.

4) Add the remaining ingredients except the butter, coriander and red onions and cook for around 20 minutes, adding water if the curry becomes dry. It is said that the longer you cook the bhaji, the more delicious it becomes.

5) Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter and set aside.

6) In a large non-stick frying pan, heat the butter and lightly fry the bread rolls on both sides until golden and crisp.

To serve, stir in the coriander and garnish the curry with chopped red onions and butter. Serve with the golden toasted bread.

Note: Pau Bhaji (or Pav Bhaji) is a popular Indian street snack from Maharashtra. It is popular among locals and tourists in fast-paced cities like Mumbai. Pau (the Portugese word for 'bread' was adopted by Indians during the colonial era. 'Bhaji' in this sense refers to the spicy curried vegetables served alongside buttery toasted bread.

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