Pav Bhaji

BM#102: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : 
Restaurant recipes

Pav bhaji is an easy recipe to make and it’s always a crowd favorite. This and Chole bhature were my son’s regular orders at Indian restaurants when he was younger. He has started sampling more dishes now, but this is still a strong favorite.

I make pav bhaji for weekend dinners every now and then. I usually buy bread from the stores, but the batch you see here is served with homemade bread. My bread baking skills are mediocre at best, so the fact that bread come out nice and soft is a great achievement for me.

The main vegetables in this dish are cauliflower and potatoes, but you can add a lot more veggies too. Sometimes I add a pack of frozen veggies to make it more nutritious. I use readymade Pav bhaji powder for the masala which is readily available in Indian stores. The bhaji is topped with some chopped onions and a squirt of lemon right before eating, this elevates the taste of the dish a lot. The bread is used to scoop up the curry.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves :4-6

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 small green capsicum, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons readymade pav bhaji masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, optional
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 tablespoon each of Oil and butter
  • Chopped onions and lemon wedges, for serving

Method:

  1. Pressure cook potatoes, peas, cauliflower and carrots with water to partially cover it. Cook for 2 whistles or until the vegetables are done. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil and butter in a pan, add the sliced onions and capsicum and sauté for a few minutes until the onions are pink. Add ginger garlic paste. Add the tomatoes and cook. Once the tomatoes are done and soft, add turmeric powder, pav bhaji masala and salt. Mix well. Add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of chili powder if you want to increase the spice level more.
  3. Add the cooked vegetables along with 3/4th of the water in which it’s cooked. Reserve the rest of the water. Using a potato masher, mash the vegetables roughly. I like it a little chunky, so I mash it too much. Bring it to a boil and simmer and Cook until the desired consistency is reached. If the curry is dry, add the reserved water. Taste test and adjust the seasonings.
  4. Serve with pav (bread) and chopped onions and lemon wedges.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

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Aloo paratha

 

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 BM# 102 : Week 3, Day 1
Theme : Restaurant recreations

When we were growing up, the culture of eating outside wasn’t there. In fact, eating outside was considered as a last option when there is absolutely no other way out. There were two main reasons for this -1) there weren’t main clean and neat hotels then. 2) affordability. It was only after we got jobs and moved out of our home, that we started eating out.

My brother moved out when he got a job in Bangalore. The couple of times that I visited him, he had taken me to home style Punjabi dhabas near his place. The fare would be simple – couple varieties of parathas and maybe some curries. We have never looked at the Curries there. We would order aloo parathas most of the time and relish it with thick delicious yogurt and the pickle.

My husband wants a curry for parathas, where as I feel that the curry takes the limelight off the paratha. Aloo parathas are easy to make and there is no one single recipe to make this. Every household has its own variations but the end product is always delicious. If you are making parathas for the first time, it’s a good idea to watch some videos first. And also remember that rolling out rotis gets better with practice. So don’t be disheartened if the first few parathas tend to be a little difficult to make.

Read on for the recipe while.

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Ingredients:

For the dough

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon oil, optional
  • Salt as needed
  • Water for kneading the dough

For the filling:

  • 4 medium potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • 2 teaspoons of oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon aamchur
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  • In a big bowl, add the flour. Add oil and slowly kneed together, adding water in steps to make a dough. Stop adding water when the dough comes together and kneed until it’s smooth.Set aside and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Peel and mash the boiled potatoes. There shouldn’t be any big lumps. Keep aside.
  • You can add all the masalas and the chopped onions to the potato mix directly, but I like to sauté the onions before that. It’s an optional step. Sauté the onions and ginger garlic paste in oil and once the onions turn pink, add the masalas. Turn off the heat and mix it in.
  • Add the mashed potatoes and mix everything well.
  • Take a lemon sized ball of the dough and roll it using a rolling pin into a 4″ size roti. You might have to use some flour to the rolling surface so that the dough doesn’t stick to it. Now Take a lemon sized ball of the filling and keep it in the middle.
  • Bring the edges together so that the filling gets enclosed inside the dough.
  • Seal the edges by pinching together so that the filling doesn’t come outside.

    Roll this again using some flour to a big paratha.

    Cook the paratha in heated pan and brush it with some ghee. While the paratha is cooking on the stove, you can start rolling and filling the next paratha.

    Once the bottom is cooked, flip it and cook the other side too. Brush with more ghee if you prefer. Take off the heat once it’s cooked and set aside. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

  • Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

    Peas, potatoes, carrots in Olive oil and lemon sauce

    BM# 97: Week 4, Day 3
    Theme : Flavors of Greece

    I had initially selected a date and chickpea rice recipe for today’s post. But I changed it in favor of this simple stew. This recipe in the book The Foods of the Greek Islands. The author mentions that on the islands, this is a classic vegetable stew made with wild fennel. The recipe had dill instead, but I skipped it since I didn’t have any at home. The stew can be a main dish with some feta cheese and bread on the side.

    I served to my son when we was back from school and he didn’t like it at all. I was just done with cooking the stew and unfortunately, the vegetables weren’t done when I served it to him. I had to cook for some more time to get it right and it was perfect for our dinner. It had a mild fennel flavor infused with lemon and was very delicious.

    The recipe uses a lot of olive oil, about 2/3 cups. I couldn’t bring myself to use that much so I reduced it a lot. The end result was still yummy. The stew needn’t be watery, though we prefer it that way.

    Ingredients:

    • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
    • 3 large potatoes, diced into 1.5″ cubes
    • 4 cups green peas*
    • 3 carrots, diced into 1″ slices
    • 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
    • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
    • 1/3 cup lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup dill, finely chopped
    • Salt and pepper

    * Green beans is a substitute for the peas and so I used 2 cups peas and 2 cups beans.

    Method:

    1. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add the onions and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add in the sliced fennel and sauté until its soft.
    2. Add the potatoes, cook for 4-5 minutes. Add 1.5 cups of water/stock along with the peas and beans, carrots, crushed fennel seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat. Cover and let the stew simmer for 15 minutes.
    3. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water or stock, remaining olive oil (the recipe used 1/3 cup, I used only 2 tablespoons), 1/4 cup chopped dill and all of the lemon juice. Cook for another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and done. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup dill on top and serve warm with some bread and feta cheese on top.

    Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#97

    Githeri – Kenyan Bean and Maize dish

    BM# 96: Week 4, Day 2
    Theme : Southern Hemisphere

    Like I mentioned yesterday, I landed up in the Kenyan Masala tea recipe when I was checking out a recipe for Githeri. Githeri is a Kenyan dish with maize (white corn) and beans and a bunch of vegetables. The vegetables and even the kind of beans can be customized to your preference.

    I read about the recipe first at Mireille’s blog and then visited Mayuri’s blog where Mireille had originally chosen the recipe from. This recipe uses white corn and not yellow corn. Mireille has suggested canned white hominy or Choclo Corn (South American white corn) for this. I used the canned white hominy for this.

    I used black beans (that’s what I had today), but you can use black eyed peas, kidney beans, pinto beans, butter beans or a mix of whatever kind you have in your pantry. The choice of vegetables are left to you. Mayuri mentions that for Starchy vegetables, potatoes, plantains, sweet potatoes, yuca are commonly used. The consistency can also be adjusted to your preference. Some of the recipes I looked at mentioned adding coconut milk or cream, but I didn’t add any today.

    Read on for the recipe.

    Serves : 3-4

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup black beans, soaked overnight and cooked separately
    • 1 cup white corn
    • 2 tablespoons oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped finely
    • 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped finely
    • 1″ piece of ginger, finely chopped
    • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (or puréed)
    • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    • Pinch of turmeric powder
    • About 15 beans, cut into 1″ pieces
    • 1 carrot, diced
    • 1 large potato, diced
    • 1 cup of spinach, roughly chopped
    • Salt and water as needed

    Method:

    1. Soak the beans overnight and cook it separately. Drain and set aside.
    2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add chopped ginger, garlic and onions. Sauté until the onions turn slightly brown. Add the tomatoes, salt and the spices. Mix well and cover and cook until the tomatoes are very soft and mushy.
    3. Add the beans, maize, diced potatoes, carrots and beans. Add 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the pot and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are done.
    4. If needed, add 1 (or even more) cup of water if it is too thick. Add the spinach and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Taste test for salt and adjust if needed. Serve hot!

    Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#96