So, this time I ordered their Paneer Pav Bhaji and just l-o-v-e-d it - I mean loved it. I love paneer any way you make it - and this was just awesome. And of course it was almost floating in butter - which makes is even more awesome. (Did I tell you about the few pounds I gain every time I visit India?!)
So, this is my attempt to make something similar. This is no match compared to the original at Sadguru - but probably the best here this side of Los Angeles! I haven't had this anywhere here! I have to bow down to Sadguru's people for making this awesome dish! Thank you!
Before I start off my rant on the paneer pav bhaji, I have to tell you that I tried to make fresh pav bread at home this time. But, my biggest mistake was that I decided to make this for dinner at 6:15 - and we all eat dinner latest by 8. So, I admit - I did not really plan well. The bread did come out ok - but not as soft as I expected. I did not give enough time for the yeast to rise. I did take a million pictures to provide step by step instructions - but I'm not going to do that this time for the pav. Its not perfect and hence I will not give you that recipe. I promise - I'll make it again soon and will make sure I do it correctly. And will then blog about it.
Here's a quick look at the bread going into the oven to get baked.
Let's start with the paneer bhaji. I used store bought paneer for this. I'm a fan of home made paneer but I wanted the perfect shape for this dish and hence bought a pack of paneer.
Cut paneer into long thin slices.
Then chop them again into small cubes.
Fry the small cubes in about a tsp of ghee separately for about 5 mins. They should not turn red or brown yet. But, this frying will get rid of any raw smell and will also make the paneer a little more soft.
This is the color we need - as you can see, most of it is still white.
In a pan, fry chopped green chillies, ginger and garlic for a min. Add a tsp of ajwain and fry till brown. This provides a lot of flavor to the bhaji. Then, add finely chopped onions to this. Saute for about 3-4 mins.
Then add a whole bunch of finely chopped tomatoes - I used about 7-8 small roma tomatoes.
Add a little bit of water to this and let it cook well. Add salt, a pinch of turmeric powder and about 2-3 tsp of pav bhaji masala. Let this boil well.
When the bhaji has boiled well and the tomatoes look completely cooked, use a hand blender and blend this a little. Just do a quick 3-4 blends - we don't want to make this into a thick mushy liquid like a soup. You still should have a few pieces of onion and tomatoes left in here for texture.
Now, add the cooked paneer in here and mix well. Let this cook in simmer for about 10 mins. All the flavor from the bhaji will get into the paneer and make the paneer totally awesome!
When its almost done, add ghee or butter at this time. I added just about 1 tbsp of butter. But, if you want the original taste and flavor - close you eyes, ask for forgiveness and dump that butter in.
Now, that's almost done. Don't you want to just eat this??
Here's my bread out from the oven. It certainly looks good.
Another shot of it - as always I'm obsessed with taking pictures!
Add some fresh chopped cilantro to the paneer bhaji.
Serve hot with pavs. Add chopped onions on top of the bhaji for an authentic taste.
Another view - more obsession!
Enjoy! Peace Out!