A very favourite snack, the Pav Bhaji was originally invented, prepared and appreciated in Mumbai in the 19th century, when textile mill workers used this particular dish as lunch. Since then the food has infiltrated every street and corner of India. It is loved by all and different variations of the recipe are prevalent in different parts of India. Whatever be the combination of ingredients or the steps followed to prepare this food item, it is essentially always a mix of mashed vegetables wrapped in spices served with a special bread called “pav” layered with butter.
The famous Mumbai pav bhaji recipe includes the following as ingredients: chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, lemon juice, boiled and grated potatoes, chopped green chillis, chopped capsicum, chopped fresh coriander leaves, ginger garlic paste, mashed peas, salt, pav bhaji masala (probably the most important ingredient), the special bread called “pavs” and Nutralite.
The steps to follow in the bhaji recipe include:
- On a pan, Nutralite is heated along with oil. Onions are then added. This is to be sautéed for a while. A nice golden colour appears. The green chilli and the ginger garlic paste are to be added next to this and then the whole thing is stir-fried for a minute on the pan.
- Half amount of tomatoes are then added in the pan. It is then stirred and cooked in medium heat for few minutes. The purpose of this step is to separate the fat from the masala.
- The capsicum, mashed green peas and the grated potatoes are the next to go into the pan along with some water (about a cup). This is brought to a boil and simmered for around 10-12 minutes. While simmering the whole vegetable mix is pressed hard with the back of a big spoon to mash and mix the whole preparation.
- Next the pav bhaji masala is added into the mix. The rest of the tomatoes are added into the pan as well along with some salt (to taste). This is again cooked on medium heat and it is stirred for about a couple of minutes. The mixture is let to grow thick gradually acquiring an even consistency. Then some coriander leaves, some lemon juice and a spoonful of Nutralite are added on the top for garnishing.
- The bread or the “pavs” are slit not slicing through entirety. The bhaji is added in the middle of the two halves and a little butter is applied on the outer surfaces of the pavs which is then roasted on low heat on a tawa and served hot.
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