Just thinking of the smell of buttery and scrumptious Paav Bhaaji makes one’s mouth water ! Paav Bhaaji is a very popular street food especially in Mumbai, Pune and other big cities in India. It is a mixed vegetable dish that is served with buttered and toasted little bread rolls. Made on a huge griddle, it’s unique aroma of spices is sure to draw huge crowds!
My version is a Paav Bhaji spread, served bruschetta style, on a platter, has been a hit at many cocktail parties! It is a healthier recipe with much, much less butter than the original recipe,without compromising the taste.So it still draws huge crowds around the table!
It is easy to make and can be made in advance.Set it up on your party table and your guests can help themselves by topping the toasted bread canapes with the Paav Bhaaji mixture and optional toppings like chopped onion, cilantro and lime juice.Yum!
Paav Bhaaji Platter
makes about 2 cups of the Bhaaji spread
For the Paav/ canapes-
- Canape bread or sliced Italian bread- buttered and toasted until golden brown.
For the Bhaaji spread-
- 2 medium Russett potatoes washed, peeled and cut into 8 pieces
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 1 teaspoon oil plus 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 small onion, diced fine
- 1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste or 1 clove of garlic and 1/4 inch ginger peeled and grated
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Paav Bhaaji masala such as Everest
- salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sour cream
- In a saucepan combine the potatoes, a pinch of salt and water.The water should be enough to cover the potatoes.Bring the water to a boil, lower heat and let it cook partially covered, until potatoes are almost cooked,about 7 or 8 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower florets and green peas and let it cook until vegetables are all cooked.
- Drain the vegetables,reserving the water . Mash all the veggies together.
- In a fry pan,heat the oil and butter on medium heat. Add the finely diced onion and stir fry it until translucent,about 2 minutes.
- Lower the heat to low,add the ginger garlic paste,tomato paste and the paav bhaji masala and stir it to awaken the flavors for a minute or so, on low heat so the mixture does not burn.
- Add the reserved liquid from the drained vegetables or 1/2 cup water,stir and let the mixture cook on low for about 5 to 6 minutes.This helps deepen the flavor!
- Add the mashed vegetables,salt,sugar and lemon juice and stir well. If the mixture is too thick,add a couple of tablespoons of water and let it all heat through, to combine the flavors.
- Remove from heat,stir in the sour cream and serve.
- You may top the Bhaaji with chopped onion and cilantro or serve it in a separate bowl with lime wedges too!
Tips and Variations
- If you have a green pepper on hand, you may add 1/2 of a small green pepper to the boiled vegetables too. I finely dice the other half and fry it with the finely diced onion in step 4.
- The Bhaaji can be made in advance and can also be made in a big batch and frozen.If freezing it, stop at step7.When ready to use, defrost and reheat in a microwave.,then add the sour cream and serve.
- This makes a mild Bhaaji. If you like it spicy ,add more of the paav bhaaji masala