- Quarter of cabbage, shredded
- 3 to 4 florets cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 1 Japanese eggplant or ½ of large eggplant, peeled and ½ inch diced
- ½ dhoodhi (Indian squash), peeled, deseeded and ½ inch diced (optional)
- 2 medium russet potatoes, boiled and mashed
- 2 large red onions, finely diced (reserve ½ cup for serving)
- 3 large Roma tomatoes, ¼ inch diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons canola oil or butter
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
- ¾ cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2 teaspoons pav bhaji masala
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, for serving
- 1 lime, cut into quarters for serving
- 6 soft buns (pav), any kind
- Butter for brushing on buns
- Combine cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, eggplant and doodhi in a large microwave safe bowl or large soup pot or Dutch oven. Cook vegetables in microwave (7 to 8 minutes) or stove top (10 to 12 minutes) until soft. Vegetables will release some liquid, keep that liquid. Mashed vegetables with potato masher and set aside. (You can use same soup pot or Dutch oven to make bhaji. You can transfer cooked and mashed vegetables to mixing bowl).
- Heat oil or butter on a medium high heat in a large soup pot or a Dutch oven until oil is shimmering and butter is melted, 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium, add garlic and sauté it until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onions and sauté them until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Next add all dry spices except pav bhaji masala and sauté with onions and garlic for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sauté them until softened, 2 minutes.
- Add mashed potatoes and combine with sautéed vegetables. Let potatoes warm through before adding rest of mashed vegetables, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add rest of mashed vegetables, season with salt, stir and cover with a lid. Let bhaji cook for 7 to 10 minutes on low heat until flavors meld, stirring frequently. If bhaji is sticking to bottom, add some water. Uncover, add peas, pav bhaji masala and let bhaji cook for 5 to 6 minutes on low heat.
- Spread butter on buns and toast them on a griddle or frying pan until light golden brown but still soft.
- Serve hot bhaji with pav (buns). Garnish individual serving of bhaji with 1 tablespoons of cilantro. Serve reserved onion and lime on side.