Wednesday 6 April 2016

Pav Bhaji.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Or as the Mother calls it, glorified mashed potato.
But before we talk all things mash, big news! I am officially on the road! Having passed my test way back in 2014, I finally have a car, alhamdulillah.

After plastering it with those luminous green passed stickers, I've been taking it out everyday for practice spins. So far and alhamdulillah, so good.

On the first day, my biggest worry was a huge contingent of builders who decided to park their giant white vans at the entrance to the street I was trying to squeeze into. Today involved meeting the binmen!! I'm almost embarrassed to say that I actually parked up and waited for them to move on instead of squeezing past them too! I did manage quite a "busy" road too along with a torrential downpour that included hailstones! All I can say is that I now have a new-found respect for good drivers everywhere. 

Onto today's recipe - pav bhaji. Have you guys ever tried it? I had never until last year and then a few days ago. It's an incredibly popular Indian street food. Pav means the bread rolls that you serve it with. And the Bhaji, is spicy mashed potatoes with marrowfat peas and lots of butter. Basically, it is the butter that makes the dish. Make it, scoop it up with buttered rolls or serve as a side like you would mash! Enjoy!

Mashed Potato, previously: extra smooth and creamy mashed potatoes // real mashed potatoes

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Potatoes
2. Butter
3. Cumin Seeds
4. Onions
5. Tomatoes
6. Garam Masala
7. Ground Amchoor (Dried Mango)
8. Ground Turmeric
9. Ground Ginger
10. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
11. Ground Coriander
12. Salt
13. Marrowfat Peas
14. Fresh Coriander (I ran out but if you have it, put it in!)

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, let us prepare our potatoes. Take 4 medium Potatoes.

Peel them.

Slice them into large chunks.

Put them into a large pan and cover with cold water. 

Bring to a boil.

Then, turn the heat down to medium-low and leave the potatoes to cook for about 10-12 minutes until tender.

Drain well.

And, mash!

Set aside until needed.

Next, let's make our masala. We'll begin with butter, cumin seeds and onions. Always a good beginning.

Take 2 medium Onions. Peel and dice them.

In total, this recipe uses 125 gram Butter. We will be using it in stages so begin with 50 grams of the Butter in a large pan over a medium heat.

As it's melting, add 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds to it. This will help the seeds to release all their delicious oils.

Let the two sizzle together until fragrant.

Then, throw in the diced onion.

Give it a stir.

Let it cook for about 10-15 minutes over a medium-low heat until the onions are golden and soft. Give it a stir every now and then.

During this time, we can prepare our 4 Tomatoes.

Dice them up.

And, when the onions are ready, add them to the pan.

Stir-fry for a few minutes until the tomatoes are well combined ...

... and begin to break down.

Next, the spices! Now, you can use a ready-made pav bhaji masala blend but I did my own at home. Take:
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1/4 teaspoon Ground Amchoor (Dried Mango)
1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
3/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Salt

And, add to the pan!

Along with 25 grams of the Butter.

Stir-fry until the spices are fragrant and well combined.

Next, add in the mashed potato from earlier.

Mix in really well.

Add in another 25 grams of the Butter. Told you this recipe was all about the butter!

Let it melt through and mash everything together for about 5 minutes.

Next, take 1 x 300g tin of Marrowfat Peas. These are super cheap and are available in most supermarkets.

Drain the peas and add to the pan.

Mix in and mash with the back of a spoon as you go - about 3 minutes.

Finally, in goes another 25 grams of the Butter.

One final mash, melt and stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Add in Chopped Fresh Coriander, to taste. I didn't have any but would have definitely put it in.

Serve straight away with more butter on top!

I had a coriander garlic butter in the freezer so used that.

Serve with soft bread rolls, lime wedges and red onion rings.

Scoop up the buttery, spicy potato with the bread and enjoy!

We also used the potato as a side dish for this chicken along with steamed mangetout and kale.

Full Written Recipe:

Pav Bhaji – Spicy Mashed Potatoes with Marrowfat Peas.

Prep Time: About 20 minutes.
Cook Time: About 45 minutes including boiling potatoes.
Serves: About 4 people.

4 medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
125 grams Butter
2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
2 medium Onions, peeled and diced
4 Tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
¼ teaspoon Ground Amchoor (Dried Mango)
½ teaspoon Ground Turmeric
¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger
¾ teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 and ½ teaspoons Salt
1 x 300g tin Marrowfat Peas, drained
Fresh Coriander, as needed

To Serve
Soft Bread Rolls
Soft Butter
Lime Wedges
Red Onion, sliced


First, mash the potato. Place the potato chunks into large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer on medium-low until the potatoes are soft. This should take about 10-12 minutes. Drain them well and mash. Set aside.

Next, make the masala. Heat 50 grams of the butter in a large pan. Add the cumin seeds and fry for a minute until fragrant. Then, add the diced onion. Cook for about 10-15 minutes over a medium-low heat until the onion is soft and golden.
Next, add in the diced tomatoes. Stir-fry for a few minutes until the tomatoes are well combined and beginning to break down.
Then, add in all the ground spices and salt along with 25 grams of the butter. Stir-fry until the spices are fragrant.
Next, add the mashed potatoes. Mix it in really well then add another 25 grams of the butter. Let it melt through and mash everything together for about 5 minutes.
Then, add in the drained marrowfat peas. Mash them into the mixture with the back of a spoon for about 3 minutes.
Finally, another 25 grams of the butter. Let it melt through and then taste for seasoning. Adjust the salt, if needed. Stir through chopped fresh coriander and remove from the heat.

To serve, pile high into a bowl. Add more butter / coriander garlic butter on top and eat with bread rolls, red onion and lime wedges. You could also use the mashed potato as a side with chicken or fish.

{Adapted from Rick Stein's India}

This Time Two Years Ago:
This Time Three Years Ago:
Chicken Spinach Burgers with Chilli Wedges

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your pav bhaji,


Spice Enthusiast
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