Pao-Bhaji or Pav-Bhaji is a Mumbai snack that is easily available all over the country now. This is as common as the South Indian dosa or the burger these days. Pao-Bhaji is not only very delicious, it can also be eaten as a meal in itself, not too heavy and not too light. What's more, the kids love it and it is indeed a great way of feeding them vegetables without hearing "yuck!". So I really wanted to make this snack for my family. I tried boiling and cooking vegetables, but somehow I could neither get the color right, nor the taste. Last week I met a nice Maharshtrian lady at my office and she taught me her tried and tested recipe for Pao-Bhaji. I would like to share this recipe with you:
Pao-Bhaji Recipe Ingredients
Potato medium size 4
Capsicum chopped 1 cup
Cauliflower flowerets 1 cup
Green Peas 1/2 cup
Beet chopped 1
medium-big Onions finely chopped
2 Tomato finely chopped
2 Green chili chopped
4 tbsp Pavbhaji masala
4 tsp. Salt according to taste
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp. (optional)
Red chili powder 1-1/2 tsp. (according to taste)
1 cup water for boiling vegetables Pao (soft buns)
8-10 Green Coriander chopped Onion ,Cucumber and Lemon on the side.
Wash and peel/chop the vegetables thoroughly with water. Now pressure cook all the vegetables (capsicum, beet, cauliflower, potato, peas) till well done. Mash the cooked vegetables coarsely with a ladle. Heat 2 tbsp butter in a wok (kadai) and fry the green chillies and chopped onions. When the onions turn brown, add chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes become tender. You can also add garlic if you prefer. Now add the cooked and mashed vegetables to the wok and fry for a minute before adding all the spices and salt.
Cook the mixture for 5 minutes and then let it simmer till it becomes thick. Mash any big pieces of vegetables that you may find remaining. The bhaji is now ready to serve, garnished with green coriander leaves. Slit the paos and heat the tawa. Add a little butter to the tawa and roast your paos. Serve with hot bhaji and the salad on the side. If you wonder why your pao bhaji never gets the color of the food stall bhaji, they add artificial color. But you can get good color just by adding beet to it. Try it and you will see for yourself how easy it is to please your family with hot and yummy Pao-Bhaji at home!