Saturday, July 29, 2006

Pav Bhaji

It's raining in good ol' I wish I could enjoy the rain!! This brought on a surge of memories of rain....smell of wet earth... rain drops falling on my head and splashing my face... chill in the air..... drinking HOT masala chai sitting at my old window seat with my hands wrapped around the hot cup... eating a SPICY pav bhaji.. walking along the wet seashore (chowpatty).... looking at people sheltering under trees, shop awnings... dogs shaking 1000000's of raindrops from their wet bodies.... picking up a poor little wet kitten shivering at the curb and cuddling it under the umbrella...
Yes, I do miss the rains....!!
And I miss Mumbai Pav-bahji... my favorite type of street food.
Originally sold as street food in Mumbai (and still is) it is one of the most popular of fast food and still ranks very high as compared to the burger joints!A medley of vegetables and spices with a generous dollop of butter, is eaten with pav (buns of unsweetened bread) lightly toasted in butter with a slice of lemon and some finely chopped onion.
I remember my childhood trips to a then famous joint opposite V.T (now C.S.T) station, 'Cannon' where we would wait impatiently for our turn to eat the mouth-watering pav-bahji! One joint where I thoroughly recommend eating is 'Achija' in Ghatkopar (E), on 60 feet road in Mumbai. The taste of pav-bhaji is the best I've eaten (and I can hardly wait to return to India and eat it)! Imitation is the best form of flattery.... here is my imitation :)

Pav Bhaji
3 potatoes
1 bell pepper
1 ½ cup of cauliflower florets
2 large tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic- I have the large ones (can use garlic paste)
¼ cup green peas
2 onions
4 tsp. Pav-bhaji Masala (available in Indian stores, MDH, Everest, Badshah..)
1 tsp. Red chilly powder (optional)
Salt to taste
Butter(loads of it!!)
4-5 tbsp. Oil
Fine chopped cilantro
Pav / slice bread

Boil the potatoes and vegetables (separate). Peel and mash potatoes, mash vegetables
Chop the onion and tomatoes. Peel and crush garlic (finely)
In a wok / kadhai, heat oil add the crushed garlic, add onions and let it cook till onion is soft.
Add chopped tomato and cook till tomato is very soft and can easily be smashed with the back of the spoon. Add Pavbhaji masala and red chilly powder (optional), mix well.
Add vegetables and potato, mix thoroughly add half a cup of water, salt and cook well for 3-4 mins.
Heat a flat griddle, apply butter and lightly toast the pav/ slice bread.
Serve hot with a slice of lemon and fine chopped onion on the side.

Here's how it turned out...
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  1. Dear Manasi,
    Congratulations !!! Extremely well written if the recipe given by you turns out to be half as good as your piece it should really make delicious pav-bhaji.

    I want more.

  2. Dear Manasi,

    Congratulations !!! Daal Dhokli is worthy successor to your Pav Bhaji. We are looking forward to your next exploration.Good Luck.

  3. Thanx for stopping by :I'm looking fwd. to some more exciting stuff too! :)

  4. Hey Manasi,

    I'm a huge fan of Cannon Pav Bhaji and believe me till date the taste lingers in my mouth.

    Your recipe was very helpful and followed it to the T....Thanks....

  5. any inside on how to make red chilli chutney @ Canon...stall...that was just yummy..with onion..


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