Recipe excerpt from:
The Vegetarian Reset: 75 Low-Carb, Plant-Forward Recipes from Around the World
by Vasudha Viswanath
Originally from the streets of Mumbai, pav bhaji is a crowd-pleaser that consists of a one-pot spicy vegetable mash (bhaji) served with soft dinner rolls (pav), garnished with a squeeze of lemon, chopped onions, cilantro, and often, dollops of butter! In my version, yellow moong dal works wonderfully as a substitute for starchy potato, lending the bhaji a nutty but creamy flavor. Served with toasted zucchini bread, this makes a hearty and delicious meal with no compromises! I often serve the bhaji over bread like a sloppy joe, so you get it all in one dreamy bite.
To Veganize: Sub any neutral-flavored oil for the butter and use Vegan Zucchini Bread
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup / 150g diced red onion
- 1 medium plum or Roma tomato (4 oz/110g), diced
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp ground coriander seed
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1⁄4 tsp cayenne
- 2 cups / 200g roughly chopped cauliflower
- 3⁄4 cup / 120g frozen green peas
- 1 small red bell pepper / capsicum (4 oz/110g), diced
- 1⁄4 cup / 30g yellow moong dal (or split red lentils), soaked for 30 minutes and rinsed
- 1 tsp salt
- 2⁄3 cup / 160ml water, plus more as needed
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 6 slices Zucchini Bread (approximately 2 oz/55g each; page 14)
- 2 tsp butter
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro / fresh coriander, for garnish
- 4 lemon wedges, for garnish
Step 1: Heat the butter in a large saucepan (for which you have a lid) over medium-high heat. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the diced onion for garnish and add the rest to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, coriander, paprika, cumin, and cayenne. Mix well and cook until well incorporated and the tomatoes break down and start oozing, 3–4 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water to deglaze the pan if necessary.
Step 2: Add the cauliflower, peas, bell pepper, moong dal, salt, and water, and mix. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, adding more water if needed, until the lentils are done, 20–30 minutes.
Step 3: Mash the vegetables and lentils together using a potato masher or pulse a few times with an immersion blender (the bhaji should still have some texture). Add the lemon juice and mix.
Step 4: Toast the bread in a skillet at medium heat using 1/2 teaspoon butter per slice. Serve the bread with bhaji. Garnish with cilantro and serve with the reserved chopped onion and lemon wedges.