Monday, July 9, 2012

Pav Bhaji: A Mumbai Street Food with step-by-step photos

I have memories of my teenage days attached with this dish. No, I was neither born & brought up in Mumbai nor spent even a month in Mumbai. To set the record straight, I have not even tasted Pav Bhaji on the streets of Mumbai!

During my high school & Pre University days, I and my cousins used to eat masala puri, paani puri, pav bhaji at my town. I did not know how authentic it used to be but honestly never bothered about it! One blue moon day when I went to grocery shopping with my father, I noticed pav bhaji masala. I persuaded my father to buy it for me. He double checked the ingredients (as my mom, grandmom, father are " no" to garlic too!) & finally bought it for me. So, pav bhaji might be my first experiment in the kitchen during my late high school days (of course after maggi!).

I used to follow the pav bhaji recipe as found on the side of pav bhaji masala packet. Later, I started fine tuning it according to our tastes. I have been making pav bhaji from almost 15 years now. Now, I feel I can make a decent pav bhaji. I am still not sure whether it is an authentic recipe or not :)


Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 45 mins

Ingredients: (Serves 5-6)
For the bhaji:
Potatoes: 2 nos, medium sized
Cauliflower: 250 gms
Green peas: A fistful
Carrot: 1 small
Tomato puree: About 2 to 2.5 cups
Onion: 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Capsicum: 2-3 tbsp, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste: 1.5 tsp
Green chillies: 2 nos, finely chopped
Chilli powder: 1 to 1.5 tsp
Pav bhaji masala: 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder: a big pinch
Oil: 1 tbsp
Butter: 1 tbsp
Salt: According to taste

For the garnish:
Coriander leaves: 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Lemon juice: 1 tbsp

For serving:
Pav/Dinner rolls: 12-16 nos
Lemon wedges
Finely chopped onion
a blob of butter
coriander leaves



Method
For the bhaji:
Roughly chop the potatoes, cauliflower, & carrot. Add half a cup of water & 1/2 tsp of salt to the potatoes, cauliflower, carrot and peas. Pressure cook the veggies for 2 whistles.
Meantime, take a broad pan. Heat oil in the pan. When the oil is hot, throw in the capsicum & saute for a minute.

Add the onions & saute until the onions are soft.

Add the ginger-garlic paste, green chillies & saute till the raw smell of the paste is gone (about a couple of minutes).


Add the tomato puree, turmeric, salt & red chilli powder. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes on medium heat. The mixture starts spluttering, so keep a lid 3/4th covered.


Meantime, thoroughly mash the vegetables cooked in the pressure cooker.


Add the mashed vegetables, pav bhaji masala, half a cup of water & continue mashing, cooking & stirring it. The mixture keeps spluttering all over. So, it is better you handle it with a mitt.


Add the butter & keep mashing the mixture.

Finally add coriander leaves, lemon juice & mash it for another couple of minutes.

Heating the pav/dinner rolls:
Cut the pav in half.
Add a teaspoon of butter onto a griddle. Srinkle some pav bhaji masala, coriander leaves on the butter.
Place the pav on the butter & let it get roasted for 30 secs. Flip the pav & roast the other side too.

Serving:
Pour around 1/4th cup or more of bhaji on a plate. Sprinkle coriander leaves on the bhaji. A blob of butter on the bhaji.
Put around a tablespoon or more of finely chopped onion onto the serving plate. Place a lemon wedge.
Finally add the buttered & hot pav to the plate & dig in!


Notes:
  • One should not be able to find the vegetables that go in the bhaji. It needs to be thoroughly mashed. 
  • Be ready to clean the kitchen counter after the bhaji is done, since the bhaji splutters a lot. Be careful while mashing the bhaji too.
  • The bhaji needs to be spicy, tangy & buttery!
  • I have not added any food color to this. So, this is the color you get after cooking the bhaji :)