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Mashed Vegetable Curry with Toasted Buns (Pav Bhaji)
Pav bhaji, a much-loved fast food in India, is like a vegetarian sloppy Joe. Fragrantly spiced cooked vegetables are mashed to a chunky pulp and served with buttered pav, or soft rolls, for making open-faced sandwiches and mopping up the curry. The dish is such a mainstay that spice blends, called pav bhaji masala, exist to make the seasoning simpler. For our version, in addition to ground turmeric, we use whole coriander, cumin and fennel, and we crush them only lightly so they lend some texture to the curry. You can pulse the seeds all together (rather than one spice at a time) in an electric spice grinder or bash them in a mortar with a pestle. If you’re sensitive to chili heat, you may wish to seed the serranos before chopping them.
pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
pound cauliflower, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
01In a 12-inch skillet, combine the potatoes, cauliflower, peas, 1½ cups water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cover and cook until the cauliflower and potatoes are fully tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash the mixture with a potato masher until almost smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and cover to keep warm; wipe out the skillet.
Oh boy, this is SUPER delicious. Mine definitely did not end up looking like the lovely picture on the recipe (mine looked kinda like tan baby food) but it was SO good that it might be a new go-to recipe because it is 1) super quick and very easy, 2) vegetarian (I'm not vegetarian but like a lot of people, trying to make more meals meatless), 3) naturally gluten free (if you skip the rolls) and as I am celiac I DO have to abide by this one, and 4) the combo of spices used in this recipe is one of my favorite ever. Milk Street uses the coriander/cumin combo often and I love it. I really hope people do not overlook this one!