Spicy Vegetable Tawa Pulao (Vegan)


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dsc_0973Vegetable Pulao is a dish that you will find in every decent Indian cook’s repertoire.  It is so easy to put together and its a one pot dish!  Plus what I like about making pulao is that you can vary the amount or types of spices, use different combination of vegetables to come up with variations of the pulao so that it is never boring.  A vegetable Pulao is one item that always features in our potluck dinner gatherings with friends. It is one solid dish around which other curry dishes and appetizers truly become ‘sides’ but they all work perfectly well to complement each other !

In our home, at least every now and then on a weeknight, I tend to go the Pulao route. Mainly because of its ‘one pot’ quality.  This past week when I thought of making the pulao mid-week for dinner, I wanted to make a variation. So I thought of the famous ‘Tawa pulao’ which was popularized by Pav Bhaaji stalls(vendors) in Mumbai.  But it has quickly gained acceptance in other reputable restaurants too now. Tawa Pulao uses a large griddle (Tawa)  to cook the vegetables using the spicy Pav Bhaaji masala and then cooked rice is mixed with these vegetables on the same griddle along with lots of butter. Another unique thing about the Tawa pulao is that the vegetables having being cooked on a griddle along with loads of butter tend to be a bit crispy/crunchy on the outside and have tons of flavor! I used extra virgin olive oil to replace the butter.

dsc_0973Pan Bhaaji masala is an unique blend of 15-18 different indian spices like cumin,coriander,dry mango,ginger etc.  Tomatoes or tomato paste is one key ingredient when cooking the vegetables. Since I am avoiding tomatoes I used a few cranberries to get the tartness. And then on a whim, I decided to lightly sweeten the cranberries in maple syrup and threw in these sweetened cranberries also to top the pulao and to give it a thanksgiving feel 🙂

Spicy Vegetable Tawa Pulao (Vegan)

  • Servings: Serves 4-6
  • Time: about 45 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup long grain Basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for 15 minutes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (You can add fresh minced ginger too additionally)
  • 1/2 cup onion sliced
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup capsicum (green pepper) slices
  • 1/2 green beans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 small potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp sea salt (as needed)
  •  2 tbsp Pav Bhaaji Masala ( I used Everest Brand)
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sweetened cranberries and sliced almonds for garnish

Method:

Fill a large cooking pot with water and keep it for boiling.  Add a tsp of salt to the water. Drain the washed and soaked rice and add the rice to this boiling water. Cook rice on medium uncovered for about 8-10 minutes or until rice is tender but not too overcooked.

Drain rice immediately using a large strainer.  Keep drained rice aside to cool (uncovered)

In an other large bottomed cooking pot, heat the oil. Then add the onions and sauce for 2-3 minutes. Next add all the vegetables including the potato and saute for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Next add the cranberries and the salt and spices. Mix well so that all vegetables are well coated with spices. Cover the pot with a lid and let cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.  Now check to see if the vegetables are cooked – they should be al dente – that is still retain a bit of crunchiness. Now add the cooled rice to this vegetable mixture slowly a little bit a time and  also drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil on top and continue to throughly mix the rice and the vegetables taking care not to mush up the vegetables. Check for seasoning – add salt or pepper as needed.

Serve Pulao warm topping with sweetened cranberries and sliced almonds on top!

To make sweetened cranberries:

In a small pot, add 1 tbsp water, pinch salt and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Add about 8-10 cranberries to this and cook on low for 2-3 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated and cranberries turn plump. Turn heat off.

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Tawa Pulao

 

 

 

 

Mumbai Vada Paav with home made Paav


Mumbai Vada PaavOne of my favorite street foods in Mumbai is the  ‘Vada Paav’ or the poor man’s burger which is made with potatoes and chick pea flour.  Vada Paav is as basic to Mumbai as cheese burger is to America.  It is the most ubiquitous street food in Mumbai and you can find it almost at every street corner, at railway stations, near temples, next to parks and of course outside schools and colleges and offices. I am sure every Mumbai-ite will have a favorite joint that they solemnly swear by that makes the best ones in town! I do too! Whenever I visit Mumbai, I absolutely have got to have the vada paav from our  local street corner  vendor in the suburb of Chembur whose dry garlic chutney powder is the ultimate – the bomb! My dad indulges me by going out to get a parcel (vadapaav wrapped in newspaper) for me !

Thankfully I am married to a Mumbai-ite too who shares my passion for Vada paav and so we end up making it quite often in our kitchen:) This time I went one step ahead and decided to make the Paav (bread rolls) also at home. Omg! The home made rolls came out so perfect – very much like the freshly baked Paav you get in the streets of Mumbai.

Eggless PaavSo much better than the store bought burger buns or dinner rolls. Nothing like having hot potato vadas stuffed inside freshly baked rolls! And with the 3 different chutneys – red chili garlic chutney, green coriander chutney and tamarind date chutney slathered generously on them – I was in heaven!

Vada Paav

Linking to Throwback Thursdays. Also Linking to Fiesta Friday where 2 of my favorite co-bloggers – Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Apsara @ Eating Well Diary are co-hosting this week. Cheers!

Mumbai Vada Paav

  • Servings: Makes about 12 patties and 20 bread rolls
  • Time: about 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 4-5 small green chillies, chopped fine (use less for mild hot)
  • 5-6 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4 large potatoes (or 5-6 medium), boiled, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves chopped finely
  • 1 tsp lime juice

For the chick pea coating:

  • 1 cup chick pea flour or gram flour (besan)
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
  • pinch baking soda
  • about 1 cup water

Method:

Heat a wok style pan or kadai and add the oil. When hot add the cumin, onions, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. Stir fry for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat or until the onions are browned. Add salt and turmeric and stir well. Add the mashed potatoes and stir to incorporate the onion mixture with the potatoes. Add the cilantro and the lime juice.  Turn heat off and let this stuffing cool for about 15-20 minutes.

Take the cooled stuffing and make patties / balls.  Set them aside on a plate.

Heat a deep frying pan with oil.

Make the batter by mixing all the ingredients listed under batter except the water in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the water little bit at a time to get a smooth mixture without lumps. Batter should be thick to get a thick coating on the patty.

When the oil is hot, dip each patty in the batter to coat evenly and deep fry until golden on both sides. Drain well on paper towels to remove excess oil.

Home made Bread Rolls or Paav recipe (makes 20 rolls):

Adapted from thebakerupstairs

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast (I used active dry yeast)
2 tablespoons sugar (I used cane sugar)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
about 4 cups flour, more or less as needed
3 tablespoons ice cold water, for brushing on top

Method:

In a stand mixer bowl, add the warm water, yeast and sugar. Leave covered for 5 minutes until foamy. Then add 3 cups of flour, the salt and the oil. Start the mixer to bring the dough together. Continue adding little bit more flour at a time about 1/4 cup until you get a sticky dough. The dough should be formed but its should be sticky to touch. That’s when you stop adding the flour. Cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F ( 200 deg C)

Then punch the dough (the dough would have risen by now) and break into about 20 pieces. Line a baking tray (13 by 9 inches) with parchment paper. Place the rolls in the tray and keep aside for  an additional 15 minutes at room temperature to rise.

Brush the rolls with ice cold water and place the tray in the oven and bake at 400 Deg F for about 12-15 minutes (check after 12 minutes) until the tops are golden brown.

For assembling the Vada Paavs:

Take a bread roll and spread with green chutney on one side and tamarind chutney on the other side. Place the potato patty in between and top the patty with the dry garlic chutney. (See recipes for all 3 chutneys given below)

Home made PaavEggless Paav batata vada

IMG_2767Recipe for green chutney:

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tbsp peanuts (or roasted chana dal)
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut(optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2-3 tbsp water

Add all ingredients to food processor and blend to get smooth paste.

Recipe for dry garlic chutney:

  • 8-10 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup coconut grated
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp peanuts, roasted
  • 4 dry red chillies
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tiny (penny size ) piece of tamarind
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Dry roast separately the garlic, the coconut and the sesame seeds until brown.

Transfer all ingredients to a food processor/dry grinder and blend till coarse.

Recipe for tamarind date chutney:

  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • quarter size piece of tamarind (pit removed) soaked in 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp cumin powder

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you get a smooth puree

 

Mumbai Vada Paav