Pav Bhaji Recipe | Pao Bhaji
Pav bhaji is a fast food dish that originated in Maharashtra, India. “Pav” = Bread and “Bhaji” = Vegetable curry. The origin of this dish has been traced to the textile mill workers in Mumbai in 1850’s. The demand for food by traders, merchants and mill workers, working late and at unusual time created a unique supply. The traders were served by street stalls that invented a late-night special: Pav Bhaji. Leftover vegetables were cooked in a tomato gravy and served with buttered loaves. Over a period of time, pav bhaji has been neatly absorbed into Indian fast food. It now has universal appeal.
My first tryst with “Pav Bhaji” was on my first ever trip to Mumbai, back in 1998. Pav Bhaji is synonymous with Mumbai! You get the B E S T Pav Bhaji on the streets of Mumbai!! Traditionally, pav bhaji is prepared on a big tawa/griddle. I have tried to recreate this quick, simple, pocket friendly, versatile dish in the comfort of my kitchen. Pav bhaji may be served as a snack, a light meal or even as a meal in itself! Today, I’m sharing the same old Pav Bhaji, in a new avatar with my friends at Angie’s Fiesta Friday being co-hosted by Laurie @ten.times.tea and Jhuls @The not so creative cook!
This is how I made it!
- 1 small or 2/3 cup Onions, finely chopped + more for garnish
- 2 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste OR 1 tsp each, finely grated ginger + garlic
- 2 Green Chilli, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 small or 1/3 cup Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
- 3 medium Tomatoes, Puréed
- 3 small (1.5″ – 2″) or 2 medium Potatoes, boiled & mashed
- 1 cup Assorted Vegetables, chopped, boiled and slightly mashed (peas, carrots, cauliflower etc)
- 3/4 tsp Kashmiri Lal Mirch or to taste
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 Tbs Pav Bhaji Masala or to taste ( I use Everest Pav Bhaji Masala)
- 1- 1.5 cups Water or as required
- Salt to taste
- 1.5- 2 Tbs Butter (replace with Oil for a vegan version) + more as required
- 6-8 Hamburger buns (small) / Pavs / Slider buns
- To Garnish – Chopped onions, Cilantro leaves(chopped), freshly squeezed lemon juice, butter & more butter 😀
1. In a pan / skillet, melt/heat 1.5 – 2 tbs of butter and add chopped onion. Fry the onions until translucent and add ginger garlic paste. Cook the paste until the raw smell disappears. Keep stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. Add a tablespoon of water if required.
2. Add chopped green chillies and sauté for 15-20 seconds. Add chopped green bell pepper and fry for a minute or two. Add the spice powders** (check notes) – turmeric, Kashmiri red chili powder and Pav bhaji masala. Mix the spice powders well and roast for about 30 seconds.
3. Add tomato purée**(check notes) and cook until tomatoes are fully cooked. To this add boiled and mashed potatoes and veggies. Season with salt** and mix well to form a homogenous mixture.
4. Add water to the above mixture and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 mins. Gently mash the veggies in the pan itself and add more water, if required, to achieve the desired consistency.
5. Add dollops of butter, to make it sinful and turn off the heat. Mix well! This is completely optional! Feel free to add as much butter as you like!
6. Buttered buns / pavs : Heat a griddle / pan on medium heat and butter (as required). Once the butter melts,lay the sliced buns/ pavs and toast until crisp! The buns/ pavs are now ready to be served! Serve crisp, butter loaded pavs/buns with hot bhaji garnished with chopped onions and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice to add extra zing!
Serving Suggestion: Chop up crisp, buttered pavs into small, bite sized pieces & serve with bhaji in individual glasses! Use a wide-mouthed, easy to hold & a not so heavy glass. Use a fork, spoon or a toothpick, long enough to reach the bottom of the glass & you are good to go!
1. Dry spices: You may alternatively prepare a spice paste by adding 2-3 tablespoons of water with the spice powder to avoid them from burning.
2. Traditionally, chopped tomatoes are added and cooked down until mushy. Feel free to replace tomato puree with chopped tomatoes.
3. Be careful while adding salt, if adding extra butter at a later stage.
4. Amul butter tastes the best! Butter makes bhaji better 😛
5. Sources: Live Mint
Enjoy your weekend!
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