I don’t think vegetarian food is tasteless. In fact I think it is vastly under-rated and I think it can be as tasty as the cook wants it to be. I never chastise vegetarians for uprooting living, thriving greens (keerai), leaves, roots and all, for yanking cute little carrot tops out of their homes, for coldly cutting off all water to the rice paddy fields to let the plants dry so that they can be killed (ouch)/ harvested. To me, a chicken’s life is as precious as a turnip’s as a cow’s as fenugreek greens’ as a dinasaur’s as a carrot’s.
I amped up my Chicken Kheema bhaji with potatoes, peas and capsicum. Diced mushrooms or finely diced cauliflower would be lovely too. It can be varied any which way. Make it your own.
Chicken Kheema Pav
- Pav buns – 2-3 sets of 4 pav buns
- Chicken Kheema – 450 gm
- Green peas – 1 cup
- Potatoes – 2 medium peeled and diced
- Capsicum – 1 seeded and diced
- Onion – 2 medium sized chopped fine
- Ginger-Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
- Green chilli – 1 chopped fine
- Tomato – 1 large pureed
- Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
- Red chilli powder – 2 tbsp
- Pav Bhaji Masala – 1-1/2 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Butter – 2 tbsp + 4 tbsp
- For the kheema, heat up a thick bottomed pan or kadai. Add oil and when it is hot, drop in the cinnamon stick. Wait until it turns fragrant.
- Add the chopped capsicum and fry for 1-2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. To the same pan, add the chopped onions and green chilli and fry until the onions turn translucent.
- Add the chicken mince and cook until they’re cooked through and slightly browned – a good 4-5 minutes, scraping once in between.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and tomato puree, mix well and cook for a minute. Add in the chopped potato and peas. Add the spice powders – red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and pav bhaji masala. Pour in about 2 cups of water. Mix well and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or till the potatoes are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. Alternately you can stir boiled mashed potatoes at this stage if you don’t want to cook potatoes along with the chicken mince and you prefer a more homogenous texture.
- Open, stir well, taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in a dab of butter if you wish. Alternately you can top each serving of the kheema with a dab of butter. Switch off. Stir in fried capsicum.
- Slice pav buns across, smear butter and toast the buttered side on a hot tawa until golden – 1 minute. Serve hot with chicken kheema mince garnished with chopped onions and a lemon wedge. Enjoy.