Happy belated new year to all fellow bloggers!
It feels like decades ago since I last visited my blog. With homecoming, family reunions, all to soon tear-jerky farewells and then readjusting back to routine, it was pretty much impossible to even think of extracurriculars, which in my case, is my beloved blog.
However, I am back and I am excited for the various recipes I have planned for the year!
So, this particular recipe is close to my heart, because it reminds me of home. Pav bhaji is a very popular street food / fast-food dish from Maharashtra (a state in India), which consists of a vegetable curry (bhaji) and soft, buttery bread rolls (pav).
The vegetable curry is spicy and mashed, and served with chopped onions, cilantro, lime wedges and a dollop of butter (the more the better). I have this dish gazillion time every time I am home; be it homemade, or roadside, or cozy cafes. It is so damn good!
For Christmas last year, we went to this place called SpiceKlub, in Mumbai. It is relatively new and known for its unique way of presenting food. Definitely worth visiting, if you happen to be in Mumbai (bear in mind though that you need to book at least 1-2 weeks in advance; they fill up very very quickly). If you are not in Mumbai, you can always instagram them or check their site; the menu is worth a glance.
So anyway, one of the dishes we had was pav bhaji fondue! The spicy vegetable mash was creamy and cheesy, was served in an airy, puree form. I think it was the aeration that gave it a fluffiness that melted in the mouth. Such a simple concept, yet so novel.
No points for guessing, one of the first dishes I tried to make once back in Singapore was an attempt to recreate pav bhaji fondue.
Here goes my first recipe of 2016.
Try it. Seriously. It is finger licking good stuff.
[Inspired from: SpiceKlub, Mumbai]
- Garlic: 1 large clove, crushed
- Red onion: 1 small, diced
- Green bell pepper: 1 medium, diced
- Tomatoes: 1 large, diced
- Oil: 1 tbsp
- Pav bhaji masala: 2 tbsp
- Milk: 1/8 cup
- Cheddar/Mozarella cheese (optional): a generous sprinkle
- Salt: to taste
- Cilantro: 1/4 cup, finely chopped
- Lime: 1/4 wedge (for garnishing)
- Bread (of your choice): Toasted, cut into cubes
- Heat oil and add garlic. Sauté till aromatic
- Add onions and cook under low flame till onions become translucent
- Add bell peppers and continue sautéing till they become tender
- Next, add tomatoes, and mix all the vegetables under medium-low flame
- Add salt and pav bhaji masala at this point
- Continue cooking for atleast 10-15 minutes; the longer it cooks, the more flavour gets imparted
- Taste the gravy and adjust as required
- Switch off flame and cool the curry
- Once cooled, blitz it to a smooth puree
- Transfer the puree into your fondue pot or a serving bowl
- Add milk into the blender jar and swirl, to allow it to mix with the leftover gravy
- Add this to the main puree, along with cheese
- Mix well, for the cheese to adequately melt (reheat again, if needed)
- Before serving, garnish it with fresh cilantro, lime wedges and diced onions (optional)
- Serve hot with warm toasted bread pieces
- Enjoy !
- Be careful when you blitz the bhaji: It needs to be lukewarm, yet not too hot, else you may end up having gravy coated kitchen walls
- Adding cheese is optional: If you are diet conscious, omit it. The dish tastes just as fabulous without the cheese
- To make the fondue richer, consider cooking the puree in butter and/or serving the fondue with a dollop of butter on top
- The recipe does not call for chilli powder because the masala is quite spicy. However, you can add it in if you want an extra spicy kick