Slow cooked vegetable masala cooked with plenty of butter and served with fluffy buns. It’s no wonder Pau Bhaji is one of India’s most famous street food dishes.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: curry, street food, vegetables, vegetarian
250gpotatoesboiled, peeled and roughly cubed
200gcauliflowerstalks removed and chopped
150gsweet potatoboiled, peeled and roughly chopped
100gcarrotspeeled and finely diced
100gsalted butter + 50g for mashing in once cooked
2dried bay leaves
1large red onionfinely diced
Juice of 1 lemon
For the pau bhaji masala:
2tspred chilli powder
1tspground fennel seeds
1tspground cumin seeds
2cardamom podsseeds crushed
1red onionfinely diced
2large vine tomatoesfinely diced
Lemon wedgesfor serving
Fresh chillieschopped (optional)
For the pau:
12soft white bread rolls
For the bhaji:
In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the pau bhaji masala. It will look like a lot but you will need to use it all, trust me.
Melt the 100g butter in a large, heavy-based pan. Add the onions, bay leaves and salt and sauté until slightly browned, about 10 minutes. The salt will draw out moisture from the onions and help them to brown quickly.
Add the garlic and sauté briefly, about 30 seconds. Next, add in the passata, cauliflower, cooked potatoes, cooked sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, pau bhaji masala and water. Give everything a good stir and cover with a lid. Cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. If it starts to dry out, add more water and continue to cook until everything is very tender.
Switch the heat off and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Now, add the reserved 50g of butter, grab a potato masher and give everything a good mash until it resembles a coarse purée. Adjust the consistency by adding more water if necessary. It should be slightly runny, like lava. Add salt and lemon juice and continue to mash until well incorporated.
Return the pan to the heat with the lid on and simmer over a low heat for 15-20 minutes.
To prepare the pau:
Slather both sides of the rolls with butter and toast in a frying pan until golden all over.
Sprinkle the onions, tomatoes and coriander over the top of the pau bhaji. Serve with more onion, tomato and coriander, as well as extra butter, lemon wedges and the toasted pau. Chilli lovers can also top with chopped fresh chillies if they dare.