Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pav Bhaji

I was clicking through the archives over at Fat Free Vegan (in my humble opinion, one of the two best vegan blogs on teh interwebz) and found Susan's recipe for pav bhaji. Admittedly, I had no idea what pav bhaji was, I just knew that it looked delicious.

A quick google/wikipedia search concluded that pav bhaji is the Indian response to the Big Mac. A "fast-food" available in metropolitan areas of India, for our purposes pav bhaji can be considered a curry-on-a-bun (although I haven't a clue how accurate this is - could just be my ethnocentrism assuming the filling can be labelled a curry).

Can I just take a minute to give props to India, where decent vegetarian fast food isn't just a dream, it's a reality? Be advised though, if you happen to be hanging out in metropolitan India, that while the majority of pav bhaji are vegetarian, not all are vegan. Butter, yogurt and cheese can sometimes be included among the ingredients.

If you aren't heading to India anytime soon, you can very easily make pav bhaji on your own stove (see Susan's blog for details). It will more than help hit your daily veggie quota (potatoes, green beans, bell pepper, peas, carrots, garlic, onions, cauliflower). It also may require a trip to your local Indian grocer to find pav bhaji masala and red chili powder. While you're there, explore the aisles because everytime I visit I always seem to find something new to add to our kitchen repertoire.

And yes, those are totally whole wheat hot dog buns being used as "pavs". I guess I lose points for lacking authenticity?

The only issue that we had with this is that I thought I'd be adventurous and put a little too much fresh chili pepper in. And it happened to be on a day that it was a sweltering 32C, so we were pretty much on fire for the remainder of the evening. As a result I think I'll save this recipe for the fall and winter months.


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