February 28, 2015

Pav Bhaji

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Mumbai is the street food. Another reason for that could be the fact that I am synonymous with food. :D For me, Pav bhaji during my childhood has always been the quintessential roadside food with the ‘tang tang’ sound made on the huge tava and a mouth-watering aroma that can make a dead man hungry and drool. This ‘Amul butter’ filled aroma will invite you anywhere within a radius of half a kilometer. Not joking, you will find yourself frantically looking for a Pav bhaji stall or shop. I have categorised this post under Tea time; but though it is a snack, we usually have it for dinner and it’s quite filling with the Pav almost dipped n browned in butter and some bhaaji. Omg writing this post itself makes me drool. One of the fondest memories is with friends, ordering one plate of pav bhaji in restaurants and endless ‘extra’ pavs, not to forget ‘maska maarke’!! :D

When I first tried making Pav bhaji it ended up becoming some random bhaji/sabji; didn’t taste anything like the bhaji of Pav bhaji. That one episode held me back from trying it again at home. Then recently, during a night out/sleepover with friends (and my infant) we were cooking turn by turn wherein I was supposed to make Pav bhaji. I simply tried with youtube videos, esp Nishamadhulika one; and I realised it’s quite simple! My friends and I relished it with our very own Mumbai pavs. That said, there’s nothing like the pav in Mumbai..soft and fluffy. Nowhere else can you find such pavs lest you bake them yourself. Misal pav, anda pav, bhajji pav, kheema pav, vada pav, samosa pav life is all abt pavs here.. haha!! Ok, let’s get back to this post and also my favourite. Hm no wait, my fav is vada pav. Or is it misal pav. Oh no guess I love each one of them dearly. No discrimination.

Cauliflower – 2 cups florets
Green peas – 1 cup shelled
Carrot – 1 cup
Potato – 3 big
Capsicum – 1 cup or 1 big
Tomato – 3 chopped
Onion – 1 cup chopped
Amul butter/any butter – the more the better!
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste Or fresh chopped/grated ginger & garlic
Turmeric powder
Pav bhaji masala – 2 tbs (Everest brand is my fav)
Coriander leaves

How I prepare:
  1. Pressure cook cauliflower, green peas, carrot and potato with little water. I boiled potatoes separately, then peeled and mashed. You may also cut and cook. 
  2. Add butter in pan, then cumin seeds. When they sizzle add chopped onions. Save some for the end. If you forget, chop another one before you serve. Then next time you won’t forget because it tastes amazing with the raw onions.
  3. Next add ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder and salt. Freshly chopped or ground ginger & garlic is better and tastes great, for those who don’t like the flavour of the store-bought.
  4. Then add the capsicum. After about 5 min, add the chopped tomatoes. Mix well and let it cook till the tomatoes are mushy.
  5. Finally add all the cooked veggies including potatoes and combine well. Add a cup of water if the water in which they were cooked is not sufficient.
  6. Add pav bhaji masala. Mix. Now blend the whole thing with a potato masher; most important step to get the right texture for pav bhaji. Time for taste test. Yay!! Yum??
  7. Ok, add coriander leaves and search for the lid. Cover it before you continue to taste test and finish it off!
Heat the pav with butter and serve with raw onions and lemon. Serve the bhaaji very hot with a slice/dollop of butter on it. The butter should be seen melting and floating. :) Squeeze lemon just before having. The already tangy (tomato-ey!) bhaji only turns better.

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