Sunday, July 31, 2011

Street food

In my regular perambulations through Curry Hill on the way to yoga*, I pass this run-down Indian convenience store that has a sign in the window advertising pav bhaji. I looked it up... and immediately started salivating. Mashed-up vegetables served in an aromatic tomato gravy with buttery rolls? Um, yes.

Pretty brown outside...

...soft, fluffy inside!
I used whole wheat flour for the rolls and pulled back on the butter somewhat (although I did finish the sauce with an indulgent tablespoon of butter on top of the olive oil I'd already sauteed everything in). While I had no paneer and didn't feel like making it, I looked at the mushrooms, eggplant, and cauliflower in the fridge and selected cauliflower as the "main" ingredient.

I also didn't have pav bhaji spice and didn't particularly feel like buying it... so I made some! And then added other spices on top of that, of course. The final list: lime zest and lime juice (to substitute for the more traditional green mango powder), turmeric, chili powder, asafoetida, kasoori methi, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel seed, cumin, black pepper, coriander, mustard seed, and salt. Minced garlic, ginger, and Thai chilies ended up in there as well.

Despite the fact that I forgot to use the chopped fresh cilantro and didn't have a protein to add, this was pretty much the best thing ever. Again: mashed vegetables in an aromatic tomato gravy! With rolls**! Why wouldn't it be? And it's not difficult to create besides. Go make it.

*That makes me sound like a pretentious white chick obsessed with Indian culture. I'm not. Really. Promise.
**Yeah, I wasn't sure how slightly sweet, buttery rolls would work with this, either. They did. So well. Oh, so well.

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