- Submitted by Dahlia
(Mumbai Pav Bhaji)
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When I was newly married my sister in law and her family had come to our house to spend their Christmas and New Year with us. My sister in law's daughters are angels and I could never ever resist any of their demands. We went out, did lots of shopping, and went for picnic to the nearby hills and very quickly their 10 day holiday came to an end. I would make their favorite dishes every day, either a snack or dinner or for lunch, something that my sister in law doesn’t make frequently. One of the dishes that they liked it quite a lot and like it till date is Pav Bhaji.
Pav bhaji is a famous street food which has its root origins from the state of Maharashtra. These days it is so famous that it is available in every smallest place across the country. The Pav is nothing but a bun or bread which is toasted crisply with dollops of butter and is had with the bhaji, thick gravy made with all the vegetables.
What makes the bhaji unique is the pav bhaji masala that is used in its preparation. Though most people buy the pav bhaji masala from grocer, we can also make this masala at home. I have shared the recipes for homemade pav bhaji masala below.
Traditionally pav bhaji is prepared using a big iron griddle (tawa). The vegetables are cooked, mashed and flavored in the tawa. At home it can easily be prepared using a pressure cooker and a flat pan. Pav bhaji is more than a snack, it’s a quick meal that can be grabbed on the go since large portions of bhaji are made in advance and simply reheated with a few spices before serving. So, prepare and enjoy this wonderful dish with your family this weekend.
Recipe For Pav Bhaji
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
- Potatoes - 3 (cubed)
- Mixed Vegetables - about 2 cups (Note :- You can use whatever vegetables that you have on hand. My favourite vegetables that I like to add are capsicum, carrot, green peas and cauliflower. Other vegetables that can be added include beetroot, radish, brinjal, zucchini, beans etc.)
- Green Peas - 1/4 cup
- Onion - 1 or 2 (chopped)
- Tomatoes - 3 or 4 (crushed)
- Green Chilies - 2
- Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
- Pav Bhaji Masala - 2 tbsp
- Kashmiri red chili powder - 2 tsp
- Kasoori Methi - 1 tsp
- Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp
- Butter - 4 tbsp
- Oil - 1 tbsp
- Cilantro - for garnish
- Onion - 1/2 (chopped for garnish)
- Lemon Wedges - for garnish
(I was making a bigger batch than mentioned here. That's why I have more potatoes and tomatoes shown.)
- Take a pressure cooker, add the potatoes, mixed vegetables, green peas, green chillies, about 1/2 cup water and salt. Cook for 4 whistles.
- After the pressure goes down, mash all the cooked vegetables using a potato masher or with the back of a thick spoon.
- Heat 2 tbsp butter and oil in a flat wide pan. Add the chopped onions and the ginger garlic paste to it.
- Add the pav bhaji masala, kashmiri red chili powder and kasoori methi.
- Add the tomatoes and let it cook for 8-10 minutes.
- Add the mashed up vegetables and the lemon juice.
- Add 1/2 cup water and 2 tbsp of butter. Let it cook till it becomes a very thick gravy.
- Garnish with chopped onions, lemon wedges, a blob of butter or cilantro. Serve it piping hot with toasted pav buns, burger buns, hot dog buns or white bread.
Homemade Pav Bhaji Masala
- Dry roast 7 dry red chilies, 4 tbsp coriander seeds, 2 tbsp cumin seeds, ¼ tbsp black pepper, ½ inch cinnamon sticks, 3 cloves, 4 black cardamom in a pan till golden brown in medium flame.
- Roast till nice aroma is released. Then add dry mango powder in the same pan and roast for a minute. Switch off the flame.
- Once the mixture cools down completely, grind it to a fine powder in a mixer. Store in an air tight container.
Detailed Steps to make Paav Bhaji
Take a pressure cooker, add the green chiles, potatoes and mixed vegetables. I've taken capsicum, green peas, cauliflower and carrot. Add about 1/2 cup water and salt. Cook for 4 whistles.
After the pressure goes down, mash all the cooked vegetables using a potato masher or with the back of a thick spoon.
Heat 2 tbsp of butter and oil in a flat wide pan.
Add chopped onions and saute till it becomes golden brown.
Add ginger garlic paste to it. I have added kasoori methi and made a paste along with ginger and garlic.
Add the pav bhaji masala and kashmiri red chili powder. Saute for a minute.
Add the tomatoes and let it cook for 8-10 minutes.
Add the mashed up vegetables and the lemon juice.
Mix everything together. Add about 1/2 cup water and 2 tbsp of butter.
Let it cook till it becomes a very thick gravy.
Garnish with chopped onions, lemon wedges, a blob of butter or cilantro. Serve piping hot for best taste.
Toast the buns with some butter before serving.
- Cheese pav bhaji, with cheese on top of the bhaji.
- Paneer pav bhaji, with paneer cheese in the bhaji.
- Mushroom pav bhaji, with mushrooms in the bhaji.
- Jain pav bhaji, without onions and garlic and with raw bananas instead of potatoes.
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