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August 31, 2022

Mumbai Street Food with a Twist - Low Carb Pav Bhaji

Before the pandemic, my mom and I used to plan family get togethers where we strategized the menu days in advance. No one wanted to be stuck in the kitchen all and not enjoy the party. 

Post pandemic is different because we are still taking precautions and not really having those big parties. Although, whenever my husband and I visit, my mom serves new or fusion dishes for us. They are like "one pot meals". We don't want her to be stuck in the kitchen during our visit either. 

Examples of the "one pot meals" are tomato bath, spinach rice with tofu, biryani or pav bhaji. The last time we visited my parents, my mom made Pav Bhaji. 

Pav Bhaji is a street food sold on Mumbai beaches and quick office lunch on the curb side carts. It is a thick vegetable curry called bhaji which is served with a bread roll or bun called pav. It is commonly made with potato, onion, tomatoes, carrots and chilies. My mom make the dish with a twist, a healthier twist by adding riced cauliflower. 

I used to think eating healthy meant sacrificing taste but with a few tweaks any dish can be made healthier. By incorporating riced cauliflower and reduced the number of potatoes, we reduced the carbohydrates without losing the flavor. Check out the recipe below. 

Ingredients for bhaji (bhaji means vegetable stuffing):

- 2 medium size potatoes, cooked, peeled and roughly mashed
- 10 oz Kirkland Riced cauliflower, frozen
- 3 ripe wine tomatoes, chopped or ground coarsely
- 1 medium onion, chopped finely
- 1 Tbsp Pav bhaji masala
½ bunch Cilantro, washed and chopped finely
- 1 tsp whole cumin
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt (or as per your taste)

- 1 medium size Red onion, chopped finely
- 1 Lime, cut into quarters

Ingredients for Pav (bread)
- 1 packet of Mumbai Pav (it is typically available in Indian Grocery store), alternately try hamburger buns
- Butter or margarine, for spreading on bread before toasting

Cooking instructions for Bhaji:

1) Heat oil in a saucepan and add cumin. When it sizzles, add chopped onion and sauté it until the onions are translucent. Next, add chili powder and turmeric powder and stir for 10 seconds. Follow with crushed tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes until the mixture is cooked and becomes a gravy. 

2) Add the riced cauliflower, mashed potatoes, pav-bhaji masala and salt. Then add 1/3 cup of water, mix well and cook the bhaji mixture for 5 to 7 minutes under closed lid until it starts bubbling. Taste the bhaji mixture and adjust the salt and masala as needed. 

Bhaji made using Cauliflower Rice

3) Remove from heat, add the cilantro and transfer into a serving dish. 

Now, prepare the Pav (bread):

Spread margarine or butter onto each pav/bun and toast on a heated flat pan until golden brown.

 Arrange the toasted pav slices on a plate and serve with bhaji. 

Happiness with a bite of Pav Bhaji

 Enjoy this Mumbai street food by placing a scoop of bhaji on the toasted pav. Spread the bhaji evenly on the pav. You can sprinkle chopped red onions and add a bit of lime juice. 

We hope you will make this for your next get together whether it's with friends or family. It's mighty tasty and you don't have to worry about the calories. Happy eating!

If you try this recipe, let us know in the comments. We would love your feedback.