May 20, 2015

pav bhaji (vegetable stew) with naan


This Indian stew is amazing!  Pav bhaji is a mish mash of vegetables that is simmered in onion and tomato sauce and spiked with a variety of spices.  This version is a bit healthier than the traditional one, replacing the butter with olive oil.  It is hearty and full of so many different vegetables that you won't even miss the meat, however if you would like to add some... lamb or chicken would be perfect.  The recipe serves more than usual, but I wanted the leftovers and it just made things easier with some of the veggies like the cauliflower. 

Prep is important, because once you start cooking the recipe moves quickly, so make sure that you have everything chopped and diced before beginning.

Servings 6-8
Total Time 1 hour

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped (reserve 1/4 cup for serving)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 inch ginger root, grated
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 20 green beans, chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets (20-25 florets)
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1, 28 ounce can pureed tomato (I recommend Mur Glen or Pomi)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon paprika 
  • 2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons course salt
  • freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • naan bread to serve

1.  In a dutch oven, or large pot, over medium heat, add the oil.  When hot add the onion (don't forget to reserve some for serving).  Once it turns translucent, 5-6 minutes, add the ginger and garlic, cooking for another 1-2 minutes.

2.  Add the potatoes, carrots, beans and peas and cook covered until they are beginning to become tender, 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently.

3.  Stir in the cauliflower florets, bell pepper, sugar, turmeric and paprika powder.  Cook for 3-4 minutes more.

4.  Add the chopped tomato and tomato puree, mix well, add two cups of water and cook covered till the vegetables are completely cooked, 25-30 minutes.

5.  Mash the mixture with potato masher. Add the garam masala, salt, and mash some more.

6.  Allow the bhaji to simmer for five more minutes. If you feel the mixture is too thick then add half cup of water and allow the mixture to cook for a couple of more minutes.

7.  Serve topped with cilantro and naan on the side.  Enjoy!!!

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