Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pav Bhaji (Mumbai Juhi beach style)

"Pav Bhaji" literally means bread and vegetables and is the quintessential Mumbai street food. Pav bhaji has a very interesting history. It originated way back when the textile mills flourished in Mumbai. The reasons were firstly the mill workers got very little time to have their lunch and secondly they could not afford to have a full lunch because that would make them very sleepy and they had to return to physical work. A vendor realized this problem and he came out with his own concoction. He replaced the traditional roti or rice with "pav" and replaced the curry with a spicy vegetable called "bhaji" and thus "Pav Bhaji" was born.

Pav Bhaji can be prepared in numerous ways. But, I like it the way it is prepared in Mumbai Juhu beach. Last year when I was in Mumbai, I visited Juhi beach and ordered one plate of Pav Bhaji. While I was standing waiting for my order, I was keenly observing the way it was being prepared. I tried it a several times at home and it came out really good tasting just like the Juhu beach style. So here goes the recipe...

Ingredients :

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 5

1 big onion finely chopped
2 medium sized potatoes
1 big capsicum finely chopped
1 cup peas boiled
1 cup cauliflower
3 tomatoes finely chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped
4 tbsp Badshah Pav bhaji masala
salt to taste
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves chopped
1 tbsp fenugreek leaves
2 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch of asafoetida
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
10 Pav bhaji bread or dinner rolls
lime juice

Method :

  • First boil the potatoes and cauliflower together with some salt in the cooker and keep aside.
  • Take a big frying pan, and heat some butter in it. To this add the chopped onions and green chillies and fry nicely till they are slightly brown in colour.
  • Then add 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp pav bhaji masala, 2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves, 1 tbsp fenugreek leaves, 1/2 lime juice, 1 tsp red chilli powder and fry nicely for about 5 minutes. Then take it out in a plate and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add some more butter. Then add chopped capsicum and some water and fry nicely so that the capsicum gets softened and cooked.
  • Then add the tomatoes and ginger garlic paste and fry nicely.
  • Then add the mashed potatoes, cauliflower, and boiled peas. Mash it nicely and mix it well with the tomato mixture.
  • To this add 3 tbsp pav bhaji masala, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt to taste, 1/2 lime juice, freshly chopped coriander leaves and mix and fry nicely again.
  • To this add the onion mixture which was kept aside and fry again very well.
  • Add a little water and mash well and fry nicely.
  • Adjust the seasoning and garnish with coriander and finely chopped onions.
  • Serve this with masala pav, onions and lime wedges.

Method (Masala Pav) :
  • Take a frying pan and heat a tbsp of butter. To this add 1 tsp pav bhaji masala, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves. Fry this nicely.
  • Take horizontally split pav or bread and roast them on the pan so that they soak the masala and became soft.

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