I have made many pau-bhajis in my time...for me, it is the ultimate way to start off the weekend, a perfect meal for a football game night, an impromptu dinner when I am running late or as a take along for beach parties and picnics. I have also experimented with different masalas and ways to get that *perfect* bhaji flavor...but to no avail. Until....I browsed through Nupur's blog -'One Hot Stove'. There was a section on street foods that particularly caught my interest. She talks about the famous Mumbai Pau bhaji and how she learned to make it the right way! I knew I had to try it...and so I did. It was PERFECT in every way! The great thing about this is that there are no onions in it..yep, that's right, no onions are used to saute the pau-bhaji- they are used only as a garnish. All the flavors come from the tomatoes and garlic......The recipe is amazingly easy...and the taste, well to quote my husband K , " this is the best Pau-bhaji that you have made in all the years that we have been married"......Need I say more, Ladies and Gentlemen?
So, on with the recipe, just to let you know, I did make some changes to suit my family's tastes.You can add or omit ingredients of your choice. Click on Nupur's blog link above to get the original recipe.....
1 large cauliflower, 1.5 cup peas, 1 large potato, 1 green bell pepper-chopped, 1 medium jalapeño-chopped, 1/2 cup chopped eggplant, 5 or more juicy Roma tomatoes, Olive Oil, Ginger-Garlic paste, salt, Pau-bhaji Masala- I use a mixture of Baadshah and MTR brands.
Cook the cauliflower, peas,potatoes and eggplant in the pressure cooker until soft. Set aside.
In a large pan, heat some oil and add the chopped bell pepper. Saute for some time, around 5-6 minutes. Now add the ginger-garlic paste and jalapeño, cook further until the raw smell is gone. Now add the chopped tomatoes to this mixture. Cook until the tomatoes and bell peppers have almost formed into a paste. Add the pau-bhaji masala now and saute some more....Now add the cooked veggies. Add the salt, have a taste, and adjust the masalas to your liking. Cook for 5-10 minutes more and serve hot with paus and sliced onions/cilantro on top......enjoy it like I do - with a fizzy soda on the side.