Thursday, December 10, 2009

Anniversary special Pav-bhaji and Fruit salad

We celebrated our wedding anniversary last week. The menu was pav-bhaji and fruit salad. 'A' is a big fan of pav-bhaji and I had not made it in a long long time. Needless to say his pick was pav-bhaji. I had two cans of evaporated milk sitting in my pantry for about a year :P and their expiration date wasn't that far. Luckily I had plenty of fruits and also a can of mango pulp, so the obvious choice for a dessert was fruit salad.

I generally use only six veggies - Potatoes, onions, tomatoes, cauliflower, green peas and peppers. Most of the times I use bell peppers, but I love the flavor of pablano peppers. Whenever I use pablanos, I roast them in the oven and take the skin off, and then finely chop them. I also add some tomato sauce/paste (basically some tomato puree).

To make bhaji simply follow these steps -
1. Peel potatoes and cut them into big chunks. Cut cauliflower and bell peppers. Put everything together along with green peas, cook until they become soft and then mash them.

2. In a pot add a couple of tablespoons of butter and about a teaspoon or two of regular cooking oil.

3. Add ginger-garlic paste and pav-bhaji masala (I use everest brand).

4. Add chopped onions, tomatoes and some tomato sauce, and let cook until tender. Add remaining veggies, salt, red chilli powder and mix well. Cook for another 10 minutes.

5. Top it off with finely chopped onion and cilantro. Add some fresh lemon juice if you like and serve with any bread of your choice.

I used the following ingredients to make bhaji (serves 4).
3 medium potatoes
2 cups cauliflower florets
1/2 cup green peas
2 pablano peppers (roasted, peeled and finely chopped)
2 medium onions
2 medium tomatoes
8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 Tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 Tsp red chilli powder
3 Tbsp pav-bhaji masala
We were in a mood for a chewy bread, so I served it with french bread. You can simply toast it in the oven or butter the bread and lightly toast it in a skillet until golden brown.

Fruit Salad
Fruit salad is probably the simplest dessert you can ever make. All you need to do is peel and cut fruits and drop them in the milk. I used the following ingredients.
2 cans of Nestle evaporated milk (12 oz cans)
1 cup half and half
3 cups Alphonso mango pulp
3 bananas
1 apple
2 cups grapes (each cut into half)
1 cup pomegranate arils
1 orange
1/2 cup sugar (or as needed)

Start by mixing evaporated milk, half and half, mango pulp and sugar. Then add the fruits, mix well and keep it in the fridge for about an hour. Serve cold.

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