Making something special out of seemingly nothing
For my “Meals Kids LOVE Around the World” series, I really wanted to incorporate recipes from around the world. So, I was thrilled to get a submission from Vinanti for Indian pav bhaji.
Vinanti and her two boys Avik and Aarav live in Houston, Texas. Originally, they were from India. Pav bhaji is Avik and Aarav’s favorite dish. According to Vinanti, pav bhaji is essentially a spiced vegetable mash served with dinner rolls and red onions. Vegetables are cooked until soft and then mashed up with various spices before being served.
Vinanti started making this dish for her children because her father used to make it for her growing up. Now, Vinanti’s children are the second generation to enjoy homemade pav bhaji. Avik and Aarav love how fluffy their mom’s vegetable mash is.
Normally, the family would use store-bought dinner rolls. But, when COVID-19 closed many stores and meant people had to stay at home, the family decided to bake their own dinner rolls from scratch. Now, making dinner rolls together is their favorite family activity. As soon as the family starts smelling yeast in the oven, they all get very excited.
Vinanti thinks this dish is great for kids because it is full of vegetables and easy to make. All you need to make this dish are potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower, and onions. But, claims Vinanti, parents can add any vegetables they want their kids to try. The best part is that kids will have no idea what vegetables are actually hidden in the mash.
I love pav bhaji, so I was super excited to make it for myself and a child. I think that pav bhaji is one of the simplest “kitchen sink” type dishes that you can make. It really can take any leftover vegetables that you have. Best of all, you don’t need a full spice cabinet to make this dish. Instead, you can use a premade “pav bhaji” spice mix. I love how the vegetables meld together with the spices and fresh bread. I think that many people worry about making Indian food for their children because Indian food tends to be very spicy. One trick that I like to use to make this dish more kid-friendly is adding extra lemon juice, yogurt, and sugar to the mix after it is as spicy as I want. I only add this to the child’s portion so that we can both enjoy our own spice levels.
I had to give this to a child to try, so I gave some pav bhaji to eight-year-old Penny. Penny had never tried pav bhaji. She likes the flavors a lot and does think the pav bhaji is a little bit spicy. However, she says the bread mellows down the spice quite a bit. Overall, Penny would definitely try this dish again and recommend it to other kids.
SHARE THE LOVE
This Puerto Rican pasta is made with heart, soul and spam
Belgian sour cherries and meatballs are the new spaghetti and meatballs
Don’t let this uncommon combo throw you off, this sandwich slaps