Husband in the Kitchen: Spicy Pav Bhaji (Preparation time: 45 minutes; Serves:4)

Guest Blogger: Amit Rajvanshy

I cook like once a year and most often, just to cajole her…like making up for something ‘terrible’ that she ‘thinks’ I did. This Sunday, The Mount Fuji in her was waiting to explode. I certainly thought she was overreacting to a couple of ‘things’, but I suggest you decide who was right
  • Saturday afternoon, we were at a restaurant in the City and she felt ‘embarrassed’ about my rumble-y belch. My burp may have ruffled the Richter scale on the West Coast a bit, but I certainly thought she over reacted – is it really something to be THAT embarrassed about, huh?

  • Earlier I had finished both the plates of appetizers forgetting to offer her any (honestly I just forgot we were together, happens when I eat). This irritated the crap out of her. Now come on, could she not have asked me to share – we are married – there are no formalities

  • Much earlier, the previous night, she could not sleep because I snored - a bit too loud (I agree). She almost throttled me in the morning- GOSH! Notwithstanding she is a light sleeper, she blamed ME for her staying awake the whole night – is it fair – what can I do if she does not want to sleep?

  • The list of her Saturday lectures was long….. “Look at yourself, you weigh 200 pounds and can’t help eating junk, when will you learn?”….…”Why did you leave clipped nails in the washbasin?”, “When will you stop drinking 5 cups of coffee every day? Don’t you know it’s so bad for your health?”…………”You spend money like water. I should apply for welfare and food stamps and live a better life than we do”…..and on and on and on…

I desperately needed a peaceful Sunday and had to ‘reset’ her temperature. I cooked up this tried, tested, time perfected, master chef recommended, ‘guaranteed to please your wife/boss’ OR money back, recipe.
I am sharing this secret with you, my fellow brethren, to use this recipe in ONLY in the most TOUGH situations, like the one I was in. This is broadly the same recipe that is on the back of Badshah brand Pav Bhaji Masala pack. It yields a typical street food like taste; this recipe is a bit different from others, guess that is why it tastes better.

Don't get scared of the long list, most of the ingredients are commonly available in any Indian kitchen!!

  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 2 carrots
  • ½ cup french beans
  • 1 cup cabbage
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 2 capsicum, finely chopped
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 garlic pod, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp (a pinch) asafoetida
  • 3 tbsp pav bhaji masala (Badshah, as I mentioned earlier, lends the best taste)
  • ½ turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ garam masala
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp amchur powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lemon's juice
  • 1 onion. finely chopped for garnish
  • A handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped

  • Boil all the vegetables  (except capsicum and potatoes) with adequate water in the pressure cooker; boil the two potatoes separately

  • Grind/ mash the vegetables (don't mash them into a paste; let them remain granular for a better texture) - also if you discover that the water was excess, discard a bit

  • Mash the potatoes and set aside

  • In a wok, heat oil, add asafoetida, cumin, and ginger-garlic paste, followed by finely chopped onions and capsicum. Once the onions turn translucent, add tomatoes and throw in all the spices

  • Let the spices cook with the tomatoes for about ten minutes on medium low flame, stir occasionally

  • Now introduce the boiled vegetables (don't add potato yet), and let it cook for another 6-8 minutes

  • Add mashed potatoes and cook for another 8-10 minutes, remove from heat and add lemon juice, mix, add a dollop of butter if you like

  • While serving add coriander leaves and finely chopped onion

  • On a girdle (tawa), heat butter and heat the pav (cut them from center), facing inwards and turn them around in a minute and heat till golden brown


Nitin said…
Great blog Amit...although I enjoyed the prelude much more than the recipe ;-)