Pav bhaji is a popular Indian street food consisting of a flavorful vegetable curry served with a soft buttered bun, known as pav. It is a delicious and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you’re a pav bhaji fan and want to make it quick and easy, here are five hacks that will help you up your cooking game and save time in the kitchen.
Pav Bhaji is a favorite dish that originated in Mumbai and has gained popularity worldwide. It is made by cooking a medley of vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, peas and bell peppers, which are then mixed with spices to create a rich and flavorful curry. The dish is usually garnished with chopped onions, cilantro and lemon juice before being served with butter and toasted pav buns. Now, let’s discuss some exciting pav bhaji hacks that will make your cooking experience easier and more enjoyable.
Hack 1: Time Saving Tips
Prepare vegetables in advance
To save time, you can cut the required vegetables for pav bhaji in advance. When you have some free time, wash, peel and cut potatoes, cauliflower and other vegetables needed for the meal. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and when you’re ready to cook, just take them out and proceed with the recipe. This will significantly reduce your cooking time and make the process more efficient.
Using a pressure cooker
Another time-saving hack is to use a pressure cooker to cook vegetables. After sauteing onions and spices, add chopped vegetables with little water and pressure cook for few minutes. The high-pressure environment inside the cooker will cook the vegetables quickly, allowing you to enjoy your pav bhaji in a fraction of the time it would take with traditional cooking methods.
Hack 2: Enhancing the Flavor
Add butter and spices
Butter is a key ingredient that gives pav bhaji its rich and savory taste. Although the traditional recipe calls for a large amount of butter, you can adjust the amount to your liking. Additionally, don’t shy away from experimenting with spices. Apart from the basic pav bhaji masala, you can add a pinch of additional spices like roasted cumin powder, red chili powder, or garam masala to enhance the flavor profile of your dish.
Using homemade pav bhaji masala
While store-bought pav bhaji masala can be convenient, making your own masala at home can take the flavor of your pav bhaji to the next level. Roast and grind a combination of spices like coriander seeds, cumin, cloves, cinnamon and black cardamom. This homemade masala will add a fresh and aromatic touch to your food, enhance its taste and make it stand out from the crowd.
Hack 3: Healthy options
If you’re looking for a healthier pav vaji option, you can substitute a few ingredients. Instead of using regular potatoes, opt for sweet potatoes or a mix of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes to lower the carb count. You can add more vegetables like carrot, beetroot or zucchini to increase the nutritional value of the dish. These swaps will not only make your pav bhaji healthier but also add interesting flavors and textures.
Use whole wheat buns
To make your pav vaji meal even healthier, consider using whole wheat buns instead of regular white buns. Whole wheat buns are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index, making them a healthy choice. These will provide you with sustained energy and will make you feel fuller for longer while complementing the taste of pav bhaji.
Hack 4: Creative Variations
Add cheese or paneer
For a twist on the classic pav vaji, try adding some grated paneer or paneer (Indian cottage cheese) to the curry. Melted cheese or paneer will give the dish a creamy and delightful texture, taking it to a whole new level of deliciousness. This variation is perfect for cheese lovers who want to add an extra dimension of richness to their pav vaji.
Trying different toppings
While pav bhaji is traditionally served with chopped onions and coriander leaves, you can experiment with different toppings to suit your taste. Some popular options include grated cheese, sev (crunchy fried noodles), finely chopped tomatoes or a dollop of yogurt. These toppings will not only attract attention but also enhance the overall taste and texture of your Pav Vaji.
Hack 5: Leftover Pav Vaji Ideas
Making pav bhaji rolls
If you have leftover pav vaji, don’t let it go to waste. A creative way to use leftovers is to make Pav Vaji Rolls. Heat the leftover pav vaji, spread it on a roti or tortilla and roll it tightly. You can enjoy this snack on the go or pack it in your lunchbox for a delicious and satisfying meal.
Using pav vaji in sandwiches or sliders
Another way to reuse leftover pav vaji is to use it as a filling for sandwiches or sliders. Toast some bread slices, spread a generous amount of pav bhaji and add some chopped vegetables and cheese. Grill or pan-fry the sandwich until the cheese melts and you’ll have a mouth-watering meal in no time.
Pav Bhaji is a versatile and delicious dish that can be prepared quickly and easily with these simple hacks. By preparing in advance, increasing the flavor profile, exploring healthy options, trying creative variations and using up leftover pav vaji, you can elevate your pav vaji experience to new heights. So, don’t hesitate to experiment and make this iconic street food your own.
Can I make pav bhaji without using butter?
While butter adds richness to pav bhaji, you can use a healthier alternative like olive oil or ghee if you prefer.
What vegetables can I use in pav bhaji?
The classic pav bhaji recipe calls for potatoes, cauliflower, peas, and bell peppers. However, you can add or substitute other vegetables like carrots, beans, or beetroot based on your preference.
Can I make pav bhaji without using a pressure cooker?
Yes, you can cook pav bhaji without a pressure cooker. Simply cook the vegetables in a covered pot until they are tender.
Can I use store-bought pav bhaji masala?
Yes, you can use store-bought pav bhaji masala if you don’t have the time or ingredients to make your own. However, homemade masala will give you a fresher and more authentic flavor.
How long does pav bhaji stay fresh?
Pav bhaji is best enjoyed immediately after cooking. However, you can refrigerate any leftovers and consume them within 2-3 days for optimal freshness.