Mumbai (also known as “Bombay”) a city that never sleeps, a home to millions of street vendors and a city where the best dishes are found on the city streets. Some of the most famous street foods are pav bhaji (spicy mashed vegetables with toasted/buttery buns), vada pav (just like a veggie burger excluded the cheese/veggies),bhel puri, pani puri and gola. Many of the dishes found on the streets are sweet, sour or really spicy a balance of the perfect taste. Majority of the street food is also vegetarian. I have to admit on my second visit to India, when I saw the street food and the way it was being made I was very skeptical on eating the food. I was always thinking “what if” this happens or “what if that” but finally I couldn’t resist and caved in and indulged into this awesome street food. What an experience ? Loved it !
I know the sound of Bhaji …may not excite you right away to make this recipe, but trust me if your anything like me and love pav bhaji then your going to love this. The tangy taste of tomatoes/onions and garlic sautéed in dollops of butter, masala, fresh coriander leaves and lots of mashed vegetables is close to impossible to avoid. I’ve also heard that now a days the bhaji sold in restaurants come in many different varieties like Cheese Pav Bhaji, Paneer Pav Bhaji, Khada Pav Bhaji.
Well, this recipe came to me when I realized that I didn’t have any pav (buns), but had all the vegetables to make the bhaji. So, that’s when I thought of the Bhaji Paratha and this was a great way to get all the flavors of bhaji into the paratha. These parathas can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and also a great lunch box tiffin idea. If you have kids that are picky eaters then this would absolutely be a great idea.
1 big green capsicum diced into small cubes and de –seeded
½ cup carrots diced into small cubes
½ cup green bean cut into small pieces
2 medium sized potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
½ cup green peas
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup water
4 medium sized tomatoes
1.5 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2 onions finely chopped
2 tbsp pav bhaji masala powder
1 and ¼th tbsp kashmiri red chili powder or as required
1 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch of asofoetida (hing)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2-3 springs of coriander leaves chopped finely
Salt to taste
Pressures cook the potatoes, green peas, cauliflower, carrot and green beans. Add a very small amount of water and let it pressure cook for 2-4 whistles. Until soft and tender.
Mash the vegetables with the help of masher and keep aside.
Take a heavy bottomed pan place on medium high heat. Add oil once hot add jeera and asofoetida sautéed for half a minute. Now add in onion and cook for 2 minutes until onions turn pinkish color. Keep stirring.
Add chopped tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste. Keep stirring and allow them to cook for 2-3 mins until tomatoes are cooked and raw smell of ginger/garlic is gone.
Now add in all the masalas: pav bhaji masala, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt to taste. Combine all the masala and add in 1 tbsp of water to avoid masala from burning. Let it cook for about 2 mins.
Add mashed vegetables to the onion/tomato mixture and mix it will till combined. Use the help of the masher to combine and mash never thing together.
Squeeze some lime juice and add in coriander leaves. Mix all nicely.
Finally, add in the butter mix and do a taste test and adjust to your liking.
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for paratha and mix will.
Add in the bhaji mixture and knead do as you would for roti. Add warm water only if necessary or atta is dry. Once dough is knead apply a very small amount of oil to the palms of your hands and rub all over kneaded dough and cover with towel and let it rest for 5 mins.
Heat a griddle (tawa) on medium high and let it warm up.
In the meantime make small tennis size balls similar to chapatti. Dust it with some flour and roll out each ball similar to making chapattis but not too thin.
Once the griddle (tawa) is hot place paratha on it and let it cook once small bubbles appears flip to other side.
Pour few drops of oil on top and spread all over. Repeat on both sides. Press both sides slightly with a spatula or flipper. Cook till both sides are golden brown.
Spread ghee (butter) all over paratha and serve hot.
Adjust the spices to your liking. If you like it more spicier adjust the chili powder.