Sunday 1 March 2015

Pav Bhaji

Pav bhaji is a snack that originated in Maharashtra, but has become popular all over India. Pav bhaji essentially means bread and vegetables. The masala used for making the vegetable preparation is different and is now widely available under many brands. Like everyone, my family also enjoys this delicious snack and hence, I make it as often as possible. With changing times, pav bhaji recipe has also evolved with the addition of paneer, cheese, dry fruits or mushrooms. Nonetheless, the traditional bhaji is my favorite and I learnt this recipe from our erstwhile cook years ago. Though pav bhaji is a road side snack in Mumbai, it is so tasty and filling that you can eat it as a meal. Mainly potatoes and tomatoes are used for this preparation. Nonetheless, I prefer to use a mixture of vegetables, which works well for me. Just give it a try.

Ingredients: (Serves three)
Potatoes –2 no, cut into small cubes
Tomatoes – chopped, 3 no
French beans – 4 no, cut into small cubes
Carrot – 1 no, cut into small cubes
Onions – 2 no, finely chopped
Cauliflower florets – ½ teacups or 100ml measure
Green peas – shelled, 2 tablespoons
Oil – 2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Sugar – 1 teaspoon (optional)
Coriander powder – 3 teaspoons
Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
Kashmiri chili powder – ½-1 teaspoon (adjust to taste)
Pav bhaji masala – 1-2 teaspoons (adjust to taste)
Pav bread (twos) – 6 no
Butter – 3 tablespoons
Lemon – ½ fruit, cut into smaller pieces
Coriander leaves – chopped, 1 tablespoon

Pav bhaji

Method: Chop onions finely; divide into two portions and keep aside. Chop tomatoes finely. Wash, peel (if needed) and cut other vegetables into small cubes. Separate the cauliflower florets. Combine all the vegetables in a vessel, add ½ teacups (100ml) of water and pressure cook for 6 minutes (6 whistles). Once the pressure subsides, remove the vessel from the cooker and mash the vegetables very well with a ladle. Keep aside.
Pav bread

Heat oil in a kadai, add cumin seeds and when they start to sputter add onions. Sauté till they start to brown. Now add the mashed vegetables and ½ teacups (100ml) of water. Add in coriander powder, cumin powder, Kashmiri chili powder, salt and sugar. Mix well and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Now add pav bhaji masala and mix well. Simmer for 2 more minutes and then switch off the fire. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Pav bhaji masala

Slit the pav horizontally as shown in the picture below and apply butter on the cut surface. Heat the tava on medium flame and cook the pav till the cut surface become golden brown and crisp. Turnover and cook the outer surface as well. Add more butter as required. Repeat the process with the remaining pav pieces and keep aside.

Toasted pav bread

How to serve: Place the pav on a plate and serve with bhaji, chopped onions and a lemon piece. 

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