Pav Bhaji, a famous street food of Mumbai, is now popular throughout India where butter laced dinner rolls are served with a spicy mashed vegetables and lots of raw onion and butter on top. Here I am sharing step-by-step process of making Mumbai Style Pav Bhaji at home. It is also pronounced as Pau Bhaji.
Though it is a snack item but I won’t mind to have it for dinner. While dining out, we sample a variety of dishes and cuisines, which I then attempt to recreate in my home. Pav bhaji is a dish which I started eating frequently after my marriage and the taste of the dish just bowled me out.
Sometimes I wonder how a specific food gives an identity to a place. This is exactly the same case for Pav Bhaji or Mumbai. When we talk about Pav Bhaji, we can easily relate Mumbai and vice versa.
Why is it called Pav Bhaji?
The name of the dish is very significant which has the local connection hence it became the trademark of that place. In Mumbai dinner rolls are called ‘Pav’ and in Marathi vegetables are called ‘Bhaji’. So together the dish is called Pav Bhaji. It is also known as Bhaji Pav.
History of Pav Bhaji is quite interesting. Portuguese came through Western Ghats and they have significant contribution in West Indian Cuisine. Dinner rolls or Pav entered Western region with Portuguese and well established there.
It was heard that in 1850s Pav Bhaji was originated. There were Textile mills in Mumbai where lunch time was very less so the workers had to finish their lunch fast hence a quick fix meal (which we call fast food) was started and later street vendors started selling them.
Is Pav Bhaji spicy?
As we know the spice level of Maharashtrian cuisine is high, Pav Bhaji is not exceptional. However, lots of tomato is used in the bhaji and excess tanginess is balanced with the level of spice. If you are unable to eat spicy food you can reduce the quantity of spice.
Few years back I tried making them at home and it was tasty but something was missing in my recipe. Last October I went to my sister’s house Mumbai and there I ate the exact restaurant style pav bhaji prepared by my sister.
I just noted the recipe and tried it at my kitchen. It was Mumbai style Pav bhaji. Still I could not make out what was wrong in my earlier recipe. Never mind I got the best recipe of Mumbai style Pav Bhaji.
What are the vegetables you can use in Pav Bhaji?
Usually, people say put any vegetables you have in your pantry. However, Mumbai pav bhaji recipe calls for a specific combination of veggies.
Commonly used vegetables in bhaji include cauliflower, potato, green pea, capsicum, onion, tomato, etc. You can also add carrot, French beans, cabbage into your bhaji.
Can I cook and store the Bhaji in the refrigerator?
You can definitely cook the bhaji in advance and keep it in a air tight container and store in the refrigerator. While serving re-heat the bhaji add some butter on top and serve with butter smeared fresh pav buns.
Can I make vegan version of Pav Bhaji?
Yes, you can definitely make vegan version of Pav Bhaji. You can replace the butter with vegan butter to make the vegan version of Pav Bhaji.
How to serve Pav Bhaji?
In a plate, keep the bhaji masala, 2 pavs and serve it along with chopped onion and lemon wedges. Top the bhaji masala with a dollop of butter (optional).
Mumbai Style Pav Bhaji
- 1 cup Cauliflower florets, blanched and later boiled
- 2 no Potatoes, boiled and mashed medium
- ½ cup Green Peas
- ½ cup Capsicum, finely chopped
- 2 no Onion, finely chopped medium
- 2 tablespoon Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
- 10 pods Garlic, finely chopped
- 1½ cup Tomato, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon Pav Bhaji Masala
- 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- a pinch Food Color (Red) (if you are using liquid color few drops)
- Salt to taste
- 1-2 tablespoon Butter
- 2 tablespoon Refined Oil
- 6-8 nos Ladi Pav
- 3 tablespoon Butter
- ½ cup Onion, finely chopped
- 2 Lemon, cut into 4 pieces
Making of Bhaji
- Heat butter and refined oil together in a pan and add cumin seeds.
- Next add chopped onion and garlic. Stir till they are translucent.
- After that add capsicum and stir for few minutes.
- Chopped tomato goes next in to pan and cook until the raw smell disappears.
- Next add the dry spices including salt pav bhaji masala powder, red chili powder, food color and cook for few minutes.
- Now add the boiled vegetables (cauliflower, potato, green peas). Add little water and cook for sometime.
- Take a masher and mash all the vegetables along with masala. Adjust the salt.
- Finally, add chopped coriander leaves and ready to serve with pav.
Preparation of Pav
- Slit 2 pavs vertically and keep aside.
- Heat a large skillet or pan, add 2 tsp of butter and slit open the pavs and place on it.
- Cook until they turn light brown and crisp on both the sides.
- In a plate, keep the bhaji masala, 2 pavs and serve it along with chopped onion and lemon wedges. Top the bhaji masala with little butter (optional).
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