Is it really a medley?
Yes, it is! If vegetables could sing, this would be a Mozart symphony! While, I was doing my internship in Mumbai, India, one of my favourite things was to walk up to the Chaupati beach in the evenings, eat chaat (another fantastic street food) and pau bhaji followed by kulfi (Indian ice cream). These were the only three things that the vendors on the beach served and these were so so good! If you are ever in India, and happen to visit Mumbai, a trip to Chaupati beach is worth the to try these delicacies.
Even though pau bhaji is originally from Gujrat, a state on the Western coast of India, where people are mostly vegetarian and abstain from drinking, you can find it in most large cities in India. Pau means soft bread roll and bhaji means dish. The dish is made from four vegetables cooked with onions, tomatoes, herbs and spices in a wonderful medley and is eaten with soft bread rolls toasted golden with butter and served with onions and limes on the side.
- 4-5 medium size potatoes 2-3 inch in diameter
- 1/3 medium size cauliflower grated (use only florets and discard stems)
- 1/2 cup peas fresh or frozen
- 1 green bell pepper seeds removed and finely chopped
- 5-6 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2- inch fresh ginger finely chopped
- 2-3 medium size onions finely chopped
- 3 to tomatoes finely chopped
- 4-5 green chillies finely chopped
- Hanful fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
- 2 tbsp pau bhaji masala can be found in any Indian grocery store
- 2-3 tbsp ghee or cooking oil
- 12 small-size soft bread rolls (pau)
- 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 sliced lime
- Salt to taste
Boil the potatoes so that they are cooked. Once the potatoes cool down, peel and mash the potatoes and set aside.
Boil the peas in salt water for 10 minutes. Drain the water and mash the peas.
Heat the oil in a large pan or a wok. Once the oil is hot, add ginger and garlic. Stir for a minute and add the onions. Turn the heat to medium low.
Cook the onions for about ten minutes, stirring to make sure they don't burn, until onions are translucent.
Add 3/4th of the tomatoes and chillies. Cook until the oil starts leaving the side of the pans, about ten minutes.
Add potatoes, cauliflower, peas, bell pepper and salt. Add two cups of water, mix everything together and turn the heat to high.
Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat to low.
Simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring to make sure that mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the remaining tomatoes, pau bhaji masala, coriander leaves and mix everything together.
Heat the skillet.
Slice the rolls horizontally and butter both sides of the roll.
Grill the rolls on the skillet until they are golden brown on both sides (add more butter on the skillet if needed).
Serve with lime slices and chopped onions (please don't skip on these!).