Pav Bhaji

A few days back my 3 year old daughter with enthusiasm asked us, when we will take her to see a place called, Mumbai.  Puzzled, we explained to her that she was born in Mumbai and that someday we will go back. Having lived in Delhi for almost two years now, she has no memories of her first year of childhood in Mumbai.  We later learnt that at school, the theme for the week was to learn about ‘The State of Maharashtra’. The school had organised, cultural activities centred on ‘Maharashtra’ and she was asked to bring along in her tiffin the famous Mumbai dish ‘Pav Bhaji’.

Re-kindled with the memories of Mumbai, I took this chance to make the Pav Bhaji for our breakfast too! Thoughts of the days when we had a great time enjoying the yummiest kind of street foods (the Galli khana!) still linger in us.

The term ‘Pav Bhaji’ means bread/buns served with a spicy concoction of various vegetables-‘the bhaji’. This speciality of Mumbai is a fabulous dish which is commonly a chat-patta (spicy) street food served by road side vendors, who prepare the spicy mixed vegetables, on the spot on a big tawa (griddle) placed over large stoves and then serve it with hot, buttered and toasted buns/bread rolls.

I gave it my best shot to replicate the taste of the ‘Mumbai Pav Bhaji’ , so go on to taste and try the exciting ‘Pav Bhaji’ in your kitchen too!

Ingredients for Pav Bhaji

  •   4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
  •   ½ Cup shelled Peas
  •    ¼ Cup French Beans chopped
  •   1 medium Carrot peeled and cut into cubes.
  •    ¼ Cauliflower cut into flowerets (optional)
  •   1 medium Green Bell Pepper/Capsicums seeded and diced
  •    2 medium Onions finely chopped
  •   1 small Onion finely chopped for garnishing the Pav Bhaji
  •   4 medium Tomatoes finely chopped
  •   ¾ Stick or 100gm Butter (divide into 2 portions)
  •   1 dab Butter to top Pav Bhaji
  •   2 Tbsp Dry Pav Bhaji Masala (available at stores, use your favourite brand)
  •     1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder( Add this if spice is required)
  •   1 Tsp Cumin Powder
  •   1-2 Cups Stock from Boiled Vegetables
  •   1 Tbsp Cilantro/Coriander Leaves chopped finely +1 Tsp for garnishing
  •   Juice of 1 Lime/Lemon
  •   Salt to taste
  •   10-12 Small Pavs/6 Kaiser Rolls (Use rolls that have least amount of sugar) these rolls should be slit in halves.
  •   ½ Stick of Butter for Tawa(griddle) toasting the Pavs/Rolls.

Method:

  • Pressure cook potatoes, beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower (2 whistles should be fine).
  • Once the pressure is released separate stock and Vegetables. Save the stock.
  • Mash the boiled vegetables slightly. Keep aside.
  • in a pan heat ½ of the butter, add onions. Sauté till pink.
  • Add the diced/chopped green bell peppers and sauté for another 2 mins.
  • Now add the boiled and mashed vegetables. Mix well and keep the prepared vegetables aside.
  • In another pan add the other half of the butter, chopped tomatoes, dry pav bhaji masala, cumin powder, red chili powder and salt as required. Fry this masala for a few mins.
  • Mix the prepared vegetables that are kept aside with the fried masala.
  • Add stock and mix well. Simmer for few mins.
  • Stir in juice of I lime/lemon and the chopped cilantro.

Method for Tawa toasted Pav:

  • On a hot skillet add some butter immediately place the slit pav/roll over that and let it brown for a min. Turn and do the same for the other side.
  • Repeat with the rest of the rolls.
  • Serve hot with Pav Bhaji

To Serve Pav Bhaji:

  • On a serving platter put Bhaji (mixed vegetable), garnish with chopped onions, cilantro/coriander leaves, dab of butter and a lemon wedge.
  • Serve hot with tawa toasted pavs/rolls.
  • Enjoy your ‘Pav Bhaji’

Preparation Time:45 minutes

Serves:4

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