Mumbai Pav Bhaji recipe – super quick recipe with short-cuts
Sometimes, you just want a quick pav bhaji for a mid week dinner. The spices, the medley of vegetables, the buttered and toasted pav, all work together to hit the spot!
The aroma of this dish takes me back to my home-city, Bombay, where a good pav bhaji was never too far away. I’ve been lucky to live in areas where the nearest pav bhaji was stuff of legends! But where I live in Bangalore, the closest I can get to a kickass pav bhaji is to make it myself.
The one good Pav Bhaji recipe I always resort to, is the one I learnt from my best friend, Preeti. The key trick is soaking a mix of Kashmiri and Bedgi red chillies along with peeled cloves of garlic in hot water, and then grind this to give the bright red colour, without adding any artificial colours, whatsoever. Don’t underestimate the power of the Kashmiri red chilli, yo!
But like I said, when I want quick pav bhaji in a hurry, I need to bypass the time-consuming steps. We are aiming for this dinner to hit the table in <30 minutes - 25 minutes to cook the pav bhaji, and the remaining time to set up, serve etc.
The time consuming pain point is pressure cooking whole potatoes and then trying to peel the hot potatoes. Man, these potatoes take FOREVER to cool down, epecially if you are breathing down their neck expecting them to cool down soon, so you can peel them, mash them and get on with your dinner. But hey, peeling a raw potato takes literally seconds, especially when you’re using an amazing peeler (I have a stash of these). So the time-saving trick is to peel the veggies raw, slice them or chop them and then pressure cook. So the pressure cooking of these veggies is much faster and you can straight mash them up in the cooker, no waiting for them to cool!
Since we are doing a super-fast Pav Bhaji recipe, the garlic gets mashed along with the veggies and we use red chilli powder instead of soaking and grinding the chillies. Another step bypassed.
Also, storing tetrapacks of tomato puree is a real saviour for superfast cooking like this recipe.
P.S. Please use a small 3L or so pressure pan / cooker. This cooks vegetables / rice / dal in minutes and we need full support from this smart gadget when we want curry in a hurry!
Taste verdict: This version tastes almost 95% as good as the longer process, so go ahead and give it a shot. Use a good quality Pav Bhaji Masala!
So are you ready to rock and roll?