Bust out the mortar pestle! Pound it. Grind that. Blend this. Mix those two together and then dry roast. Oooh wee! I remember my mom, perennial hostess with the mostess, going through the rigmarole of making a bevy of homemade masala mixes to be used for her grand Diwali dinners. She practically invented the concept of DIY.
As a seasoned cook and a cook who seasons well, I, too, appreciate homemade spice mixes. I’m all about that DIY life! Rather, I tend to say that in fear of experiencing the wrath of Pinterest gods.
But real talk, friends? Sometimes I don’t want to do it myself. Sometimes I’m all about that GSETDI (get-someone/something-else-to-do-it) life. And this attitude of mine will get me far this Diwali season, just you see. Better yet, join me!
So check it: Every Diwali, my friends and I get together to celebrate, complete with themes and the whole shebang. This year, it’s Indian street foods. Friendsgiving has nothing on us!
Our annual celebration comes with a caveat though: No one person should be weighed by the daunting task of feeding a huge crowd—there is typically about 15 of us in our group. And so as potluck traditions go, each of us is in charge of bringing one dish and a libation of our liking.
Don’t have traditional pav? No worries! You can always use slider buns or mini potato rolls. I used Hawaiian style rolls because the slight sweetness rounds out the spiciness of my bhaji. Other genius options are focaccia or ciabatta rolls, which pair wonderfully with the butternut squash and basil!
Whether you go the traditional route or squash tradition this year, turn to Shan to help you create your favorite dishes.
Happy Diwali! Live that spicy life!
Butternut Squash Pav Bhaiji
Makes 12 to 16 pavs
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small red onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon garlic paste
- ¼ teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 pound frozen butternut squash, thawed and diced
- 1 scant Tablespoon Shan Pav Bhaji masala
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Handful fresh basil, leaves only
- ½ teaspoon ghee
- Pav of your choice
Heat butter in a skillet over high heat for approximately one minute or until butter is browned. Add onions, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Next, add garlic and ginger paste; cook for 1 minute.
Add butternut squash to skillet and stir. Reduce heat/flame to medium and coarsely mash squash. Cook for 3 minutes. Add pav bhaji masala and salt, stir, and cook for 3 more minutes.
Meanwhile, stack basil leaves, roll them tightly and slice it perpendicular to the roll.
Remove skillet from heat/flame; stir in ghee and cut basil. Serve hot with buttered pav.
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