Now for the non-Indians here, paav-bhaji is simply bread and vegetables.
Making the bhaji was pretty easy (recipe to follow) but the challenge was in finding the right bread to replace the paav. We found none, so I scoured the net for a recipe and found a good one on The Spice Cafe, bought all ingredients and baked some gorgeous paav/bread.
Although I must tell you right here that the recipe was not fool-proof and needed tweaking here and there. I'll tell you all about it - below.
OK well here first is the recipe for the Paav/bread:
- 1 cup bread flour+ 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 tbs maple syrup (or sugar)
- 1.5 tbs. butter (melted)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbs. melted butter to brush
1. Mix the dry ingredients together, better to sift them together. Then add in the maple syrup, butter and salt. Warm the milk a little before adding to this dough.
2. Knead this into a dough, you could need a bit of butter on your hands to knead it soft.
3. Leave it to rise for 1.5 hours.
This is the kneaded dough.
And after the 1.5 hours this is how it looks. It rises quite well.
Now you have to beat the dough, idea is to take out all the air in it!! Once you do this roll it out into 'baguette' like shapes and cut into about 12 pieces. You can choose to make less, meaning that you could have larger rolls but few numbers. I chose to do more number and small size b'coz we are using whole wheat flour, and it is not the easiest thing to bake...so just to be on the safe side.
So that's how the rolls look like, put them on a greased oven tray. (Notice the small cute one...that was a special one for my son). You have to let these sit for 15 minutes before you chuck them in the oven, this way the rise and merge at the joints...forming the 'laadi-paav' effect.
Pre-heat the oven and bake at 375 F or 190 C. for 15 minutes. I baked them for 15 minutes, and then brushed them with butter and set the oven to 200 C and baked for further 10 minutes. This way I got wonderful, golden, soft, and had a nice 'net' like look once you cut them.
Here are the beauties, hot out of the oven.
And here is my pot of yummy, mouth watering "bhaaji"
The recipe for the bhaaji is from here
I did tweak it a bit, I did add onion to the bhaaji, but before I added the onion, I added garlic followed by capsicum (finely chopped). After the onion and capsicum were nice and soft, I added 1/2 can of tomato puree, and 2 medium sized tomatoes chopped. This was followed by the 'paav-bhaji' masala (I used Everest) and red chili powder. The hint here is that 'less is more'.
Then came in the boiled veggies that were boiled in a pressure cooker.
Salt was added, some butter was thrown in for effect!!
Another great hint would be to chop the vegetables as fine as you can, that way later you don't have to stick your hand into the boiling pot to crush any huge chunks.
This finally is how our plates looked. The white thing in the small bowl is kheer. Again it is my version and it's super simple to make. But kheer recipe some other time.
oops...this picture was taken before I added the coriander leaves on top as garnish!!