According to the responses I got from my Instagram story yesterday, a lot of people dream about food. I’m not the only one who dreams up new recipes and dishes late at night! I like to keep a running list of all the crazy things I’ve come up with in my dreams. Things like a thandai tres leches hybrid cake covered in boondi or a shrikhand creme brulee pop into my head and I keep thinking about them until I make it! Last week I had a dream about a fluffy steam bao bun filled with spicy pav bhaji top with crunchy sev and lemon-y onions. Yesterday, I made that dream come true.
Pav bhaji is an Indian street food that consists of mashed vegetables (bhaji) with a spicy masala and butter all tucked in between a soft buttered bun (pav). For my bao bhaji I substituted the pav for bao buns! I loved this idea, especially since its a cute little pun!
I picked up my bao from my local Asian grocery store from the freezer section, but feel free to make yours at home. Just a warning, it will add an extra hour to your cook time! I ain’t got time for that so I opted for the store-bought stuff since Elara only naps for 2 hours!
For the bhaji, I used chopped tomatoes instead of purée so that my final mix would be nice and thick. I wanted to make sure the bhaji stayed on the bao without running all over the place!
Let me tell you these bao bhajis ended up being amazing! If you’re a texture fiend, this is for you! The texture of the soft bun with the crunchy onions and the pops from the peas was soooo good! I honestly think bao is better than pav! These would be a great addition to your lunch box or your dinner table!