The fresh light as air buns go very well with a mixed vegetable curry that is slow cooked and mashed. A street food from the western part of India, this dish is great for any meal— breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is a lovely snack as well.
For the pav (buns):
Milk 1 1/4 cup
Yeast 2 tsps
Sugar 2 tsps
All-purpose flour (maida) 2 cups
Whole wheat flour (atta) 1 cup
Salt 1 tsp
Butter 2 tbsps + 1 tbsp
For the bhaji (vegetable curry):
Potatoes 2 large, peeled and diced
Peas 3 cups
Cauliflower 1 small, cut into florets
Tomatoes 3 medium, chopped
Green chillies 3, minced
Capsicum 1 medium, diced
Onions 2 medium, sliced and 1 small, minced
Ginger 1” piece
Garlic 5 cloves
Coriander leaves, a big bunch, minced
Oil 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Butter 1 tbsp
Coriander powder 2 tsps
Red chilli powder 2 tsps
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Garam masala 1/2 tsp
Amchoor powder (dry mango powder) 1 tsp
For the pav:
Take one cup of warm milk in a bowl and add the sugar and yeast. Mix and let it prove for 5 minutes.
Sieve the flours and salt together and add to the yeast mixture. Mix to form a dough. Add 1/4 cup of milk to the dough and work it on a lightly floured surface for 10-12 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoons of softened butter and knead the dough till it is soft.
Put it into a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours. It should double in volume by now.
Punch down the dough and divide into 12 balls.
Arrange them on a greased baking tray and brush with melted butter.
Cover and let it rise again for 20 minutes.
Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 20 minutes. Brush the hot buns with melted butter. Let them cool in the tray.
Pull the buns apart when ready to serve.
For the bhaji:
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the cumin seeds.
When the seeds stop sputtering, add the sliced onions.
Sauté till the onions turn a light brown. Crush the ginger and garlic in a pestle and add to the onions. Sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the diced potatoes and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets, peas, capsicum and tomatoes.
Add the salt, coriander powder, red chilli powder, amchoor powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and cumin powder.
Mix well. Add 3 cups of water and cook on high flame till the water boils. Reduce the flame, cover the pan and cook till the vegetables are cooked.
Mash the the vegetables with a potato masher but don’t make it completely mushy.
Cook till the vegetable medley is thick. Garnish with butter, minced onions, green chillies and coriander leaves.
Serve with the pull-apart buns.