I have been well and truly spoilt on the food front this week as my other half has had a few days holiday. Time off in his mind means ‘time to experiment with food’. Thus, it has come as no surprise to find him in the kitchen trying out new recipes at every available opportunity. This has meant that I have been treated to a delicious impromptu brunch on two occasions. Excellent.
I have now had the pleasure of sampling both ‘Breakfast Bhaji’ and ‘Pau Bhaji’. These little gems can be found, yet again, in Rick Stein’s ‘India’ book. I really can’t praise it enough, as it gives a great coverage of Indian cookery as a whole, presented in a very user friendly manner. A fine read (the photography is pretty awesome too).
Ever since honeymooning in the Maldives back in 2011, when we were presented with dal for breakfast (it came as part of an almighty buffet bar which incidentally also hosted the tastiest little spicy cocktail sausages and filled omelettes cooked to order every morning – heaven), my husband has become rather partial to a little spice (or a lot) in the mornings. I, on the other hand, like to keep it simple first thing. However, as long as eggs are involved, I’m happy. Which brings me to the lovely ‘Breakfast Baji’.
The full recipes and cooking methods for both dishes can be found in Rick’s book, but for the first one you will need peeled potatoes, peeled carrots, vegetable oil, mustard seeds, a red onion, chilli powder, turmeric, two tomatoes, salt, Garam masala and water. You will also require four eggs and four chapatis (to serve two generously).
I won’t lie, I was skeptical about munching on chunks of carrot and potato for breakfast, but with the runny yolk of the egg and accompanied by a wealth of spice and a fresh chapati, it just worked. Very well. I polished off the entire plate and felt highly satisfied upon completion! This is how it looked before I was let loose on it (I really enjoyed rolling it all up into a wrap style bite):
The second new taste experience was that of the ‘Pau Bhaji’. Admittedly, I did question the absence of any eggs, meat or cheese upon reading the recipe, as it appeared to be a vegetable side dish served in a bread roll…which it essentially was…but again it just really worked.
For this one you will need peeled potatoes, butter, a large onion, tomatoes, cumin seeds, pau bhaji masala spice blend (garam masala, ground fennel, anchor, turmeric and ground ginger), chilli powder, ground coriander, salt and fresh coriander. To serve you will need a couple of large bread rolls, a red onion and a lime.
The Pau Bhaji is eaten as you would a hamburger, but with a heavily buttered roll and also across the bhaji as well. If it wasn’t for the butter, it would be a huge health fest in actual fact. It certainly feels like you are getting your five a day here, with a little naughtiness thrown in along the way. Big flavour for a big appetite. We shall be coming back for more.