After a hectic day, fast foods are the best option for dinner item. I think with our changing lifestyles most of the families now prefer food that can be prepared and served quickly for supper, though personally we prefer an Indian fast food to anything else as most of it have veggies and are filling OR sometimes I indianise the western dishes too ;). Our meal style includes variety of items like gojjavalakki (type of poha), mandakki oggarane (puffed rice item), vegetable pasta, veg burgers, cutlets or sometimes just a minestrone soup with garlic bread. Easy to cook and exciting to eat :)! This is 1 such item that we generally prepare for our evening meal – its Pav Bhaji.
Pav Bhaji is a famous maharashtrian food – Mumbai’s Pav Bhaji can set anybody’s taste buds tingling. I first tasted this as a kid in Pune on our visit to my aunt’s place during Summer Vacation & had just luved it :). It is available in most of the metropolitan cities in India and also can be found on the menu of most Indian restaurants abroad.
Pav means bread and Bhaji means the vegetable dish – In simple terms Pav Bhaji consists of a spicy vegetable mix in tomato gravy with bread, garnished with cilantro+ finely chopped raw onions+ lemon juice.
I am sure there are varieties of versions of Pav Bhaji prepared in the same family with different tastes.
Commercially bhaji is made on a flat pan called tava and mixing and mashing of the bhaji is done with a masher rather than a ladle. Then the gravy is allowed to simmer on the pan, this is served hot with a dollop of butter on the top. Pav is also roasted on the same tava with sufficient butter and masala.
My style of preparing Pav Bhaji @ home is here –
Spice Level – Mild spicy
For the Pav:
6 Pav or white soft rolls
Butter – 3 tbsp
For the Bhaji:
Tomatoes - 2
Onions – 2 (1for the puree, 1for sauté)
Finely chopped capsicum -1/2
Green Peas -1/3 cup
Sweet corn - 1/3cup
Finely chopped cauliflower + beans = 1cup
Boiled & mashed potato -1medium size
Giner garlic paste- 1tspn
Turmeric (haldi) – ½ tspn
Pinch of asafetida
Pav bhaji masala -1tbspn
Red chilly powder - 1tspn(i prefer using kashmiri mirch as it gives out good color)
Cilantro – 1tb spn
Lemon – 2 wedges
Finely chopped onion -1
Preparation of Bhaji:
- Heat butter in a pan. Add ginger garlic paste, haldi, hing and sauté the chopped onions on a low-medium heat.
- Later add chopped capsicum and fry for about 2min.
- Next add rest of the vegetables, mix well and cook till tender.
- Meanwhile blend tomatoes and onions into a smooth puree and keep aside.
Blend in this puree and mashed potatoes in the pan mixture and cook for about 7-10min on low-medium flame. You can add some water to get the desired consistency (Make sure the mixture doesn’t catch the bottom, keep stirring occasionally).
- Using a masher, mash the vegetables slightly. I prefer to have some chunks so I don’t mash it completely.
- Then add salt, pav bhaji masala and red chilly powder. Mix well and cook for another 5min or so. Lastly garnish with raw onions + cilantro + lemon juice.
Slit open the pav, apply butter in the inside portion of the pav and roast both sides on the hot skillet till golden brown.
Serve Pav Bhaji in a plate, bhaji topped with finely chopped raw onions – cilantro, lemon juice and dollop of butter!
My SIL, who also enjoys experimenting food suggested that while roasting Pav, you could also add a teaspoon of pav bhaji masala to the melted butter and roast the pav for a spicy flavor.
Outside India it might not be easy to get Pav, in that case you can substitute with white soft rolls or dinner rolls or any other bread.
Generally the bhaji gets excess and enters the fridge for leftovers day – It tastes best when heated the next day and served with rotis or chapattis for a change!
Thus we enjoy Pav Bhaji as a satisfying meal, hope you would do the same. Feel free to suggest any variations or tips or your versions too!
This recipe has been submitted in the Event 'Sunday Snacks - Chaats/Indian Street Foods'