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Pav Bhaji – An iconic Mumbai Street Food

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Ingredients

10 medium sized Boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes
1/2 cup Boiled and lightly mashed green peas
3-4 medium sized Finely chopped onions
1 big Finely chopped capsicums
4-5 medium sized Finely chopped tomatoes
6-8 pieces Minced garlic
1 tbsp Butter
2 tsp Kashmiri red chili
2 tsp Badshah Pav Bhaji masala
1 tbsp Oil
1 whole squeezed Lemon juice
Salt as per taste
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
8-10 Pav

Pav Bhaji – An iconic Mumbai Street Food

Cuisine:
  • 40 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • Medium

Directions

Pav Bhaji is the second-best thing that happened to Mumbai- the first thing of course PAV. Now the story and origin of the term Pav or Pao varies. But all I remember is that the term Pao was introduced to us by Portuguese who called their fluffy bread as “Pao”. Well not going in much detail about the origin of Pav as it hardly matters!!…but just want to thank who ever has introduced it. Mumbai is the heart of the city where meals can be brought for as cheap as Rs 5/- Pav vada and cutting chai. A city that never sleeps and always eats!!

Mumbai city runs on dreams and hope. It is a home to plenty and for it is just not a city but an emotion. I am born and bred in this vibrant and lively city. There is something magical about this place which never sleeps-literally!! Here the street food is very famous and it is available at any wee hours of the day and night. Pav bhaji is one of those dishes that is liked and relished by each and every one. It is the quintessential street food that is available at every nook and corner. It was originated in Mumbai and people all over the country has adapted it eventually. But you will never find the same taste as we get it in Mumbai. Yes!! Mumbai Pav bhaji tastes the best in the whole world-wide world. You have to eat to believe that. Well Mumbaikar’s going to love me on that note!!

The ubiquitous pav has become as much a part of Mumbai’s culture as the local trains and the beaches. Just utter the word ‘pav‘ and a range of delicious food items flash through your mind right from the humble vada-pav to the more sophisticated Indianized garlic pav. This dish has an interesting history. Mumbai was originally full of mills and the labor class. The workers had very short lunch breaks and the time was not enough to sit down and complete lunch. On the other hand, they couldn’t eat something very heavy quickly as it would make them lethargic and slow down their work. So, the pav bhaji was devised by roadside vendors. It is actually an extremely healthy dish, although today it is categorized as fast food with dollops of butter. Initially, the bhaji was just a mash of multiple vegetables spiced up to add flavour and accompanied with pav. It was filling and healthy. We aren’t really complaining about the butter today though. If you can see the butter dripping from the pav, nothing like it! There are hundreds of variants of pav bhaji available today right from cheese pav bhaji to Chinese pav bhaji. Though there are hundreds of stalls in Mumbai, places like Sardar Pav Bhaji (Tardeo), Achija (Ghatkopar), Cannon Pav Bhaji (CST) and Maruti Pav Bhaji (Vile Parle) are considered to be the best places for the dish.

Information source www.indiatimes.com.

Those who have not tasted Mumbai pav bhaji is definitely missing on something. But the good news is that I am going to share the recipe with you all. My recipe is exactly how the street vendors make it here in Mumbai. They make it on Tawa and don’t use many vegetables…We are not here to make a Mix vegetable here right!! I have noticed so many people making pav bhaji adding as many vegetables available in their kitchen pantry and then whining about not getting the taste like the street vendors make it. Today i am going to unveil that secret. To be honest I make the second-best pav bhaji in this world. The first best my mom makes it. She has taught me the authentic recipe and over the years I have made and mastered in it. Also, umpteen number of times I have observed the bhaiyaji’s making them in front of me. So yes guys you are going to have the best recipe here.

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Steps

1
Done

Take a non-stick pan and add oil in it, once oil is hot add butter and minced garlic and saute on a medium flame till garlic turns brown in color.

2
Done

Add the onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Once the onions turn brown add capsicum and sauté for 1 more minute till they are tender. Stir in between

3
Done

Now add the tomatoes in the onion and capsicum mixture and cook for 3 to 4 minutes till the tomatoes are mushy.
Add salt, pav bhaji masala and kashmiri red chili powder at this stage and mix well.
Let all the spices simmer in the gravy for 4-5 minutes while stirring in between.

4
Done

Add the mashed green peas, mashed potatoes in the gravy and mix well.
Add 1/2 cup of water in the mixture and mix it well till all the water is absorbed in the vegetables.

5
Done

Add lemon juice in the bhaji and mix well and cook for another 1 minute.
Finally garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and dollop of butter and serve it with pav.

6
Done

For the pav or bread:-

Slit 2 pav’s vertically and keep aside.
Heat a large tava, add 2 tsp of butter and slit open the pav’s and cook on a medium flame till they are light brown.

7
Done

Serving suggestions-

Your pav bhaji platter should be like this…
Place hot bhaji … 2 pav’s… ¼ cup of onions…a lemon wedge and a papad.
Top your bhaji with a dollop of butter and sprinkle fresh coriander leaves on it.
Thumps up or any cola drinks goes perfect with Pav bhaji.
Tips-
You can adjust the spices as per your taste.
You can add more garlic if you are a garlic lover.
More butter if you are not calorie conscious.
I would not advise to use cauliflower as many of them use it as it may dominant the aroma of Pav bhaji which I personally do not like it and most of the vendors don’t use it either.
You can either smash it completely or leave some small pieces that is called a khada pav bhaji.
Grate plenty of cheese on the bhaji and relish the cheese pav bhaji.
Hope you guys enjoy cooking this recipe.

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