Recipe: Pav bhaji (Spiced mashed vegetables with soft rolls)

(Mel Melcon, Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Servings: 10

Note: From Preet Kamble of Bombay Bite. Cumin seeds, pav bhaji masala (spice mix), ginger-garlic paste and Indian red chili powder are available in Indian markets and in the Indian food sections of selected grocery stores.

2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced


1 carrot, peeled and diced

1/2 cup chopped cauliflower

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/4 cup peas


2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 1/4 cups diced onions, divided

1 teaspoon pav bhaji masala

1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste

1/2 teaspoon Indian red chili powder

2 tomatoes, finely chopped

3 tablespoons butter, divided

1 teaspoon lemon juice

10 small soft dinner rolls

20 serrano chiles

10lemon wedges

1. Combine the potatoes, carrot, cauliflower, bell pepper and peas in a large (3 1/2--quart) saucepan. Add 2 3/4 cups water and one-half teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Cook on medium-high heat until very tender, about 30 minutes. Do not drain. Use a potato masher to mash the vegetables and the liquid together to make a fine paste. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the cumin seeds and fry until they sputter, about 1 minute. Add 2 1/2 cups diced onions and fry until translucent.

3. Add the pav bhaji masala, ginger-garlic paste, salt to taste and the chili powder. Stir to combine. Add the tomatoes; stir and cook 4 minutes. Add the mashed vegetable paste to the onion-tomato mixture and mix well. Cook 5 minutes.

4. Add the butter and lemon juice. Stir to combine.

5. Remove the vegetables from the pan, spooning into a serving bowl and leaving about a tablespoon of the mixture in the pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and stir to incorporate as it melts. Place the rolls cut side down in the pan and cook in the butter-vegetable mixture until lightly toasted.

6. To serve, garnish the mashed vegetables with cilantro leaves. Serve with the toasted rolls, chopped onions, whole serrano chiles and lemon wedges.

Each serving: 209 calories; 5 grams protein; 30 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 9 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 160 mg. sodium.