Pav bhaji is a famous Mumbai street food which is liked by all just like the other street foods. My whole family, even my in-laws are so fond of it, that we almost make it once a week, either as a snack or as a meal. My interest in making pav-bhaji is two folds, one is that it makes whole family happy and the other is that my grumpy kids won’t come to know which vegetables have been added in the bhaji 😉 Smart mother!!! Infact, mothers are always smarter than the kids 🙂 .
Bhaji is an amalgam of a variety of vegetables and spices cooked with loads of butter. It is a very versatile dish. You can make it the way you like it. You can adjust the amount and type of veggies to suit your taste and liking. Moreover, these could be mashed to a consistency according to your liking. It could be kept pasty or chunky. There are number of pav bhaji masala powders available in the market, which add to the taste and flavor of this unique blend of veggies. You may choose any of these masalas or can make your own pav- bhaji masala.
Pav-bhaji , these days, is not only a street food, but can also be served at parties. In fact, in weddings these days, it is one of the sure to serve dishes. So what are you waiting for…. Feast your guests and kids with this irrestible, mouthwatering delicacy of Mumbai.
Stepwise pictorial Description of Pav-bhaji
Wash and boil potatoes in a pressure cooker for 1-2 whistles. After the steam releases on its own, take these out and let them cool. Once these get cooled down, either mash or grate these and keep aside.
Chop all the veggies to a very fine size in a blender. Steam carrots, cauliflower, beans and peas till these get softened.
Take one teaspoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan. Addition of oil prevents the butter from burning. When the butter melts, add cumin seeds. Once these start spluttering, add finely chopped onions and minced garlic till the onions become translucent and raw smell of garlic goes off. My onions become a bit browned as I became busy a while talking to my cute daughter.
Then add tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes. When it thickens a bit, add chopped capsicum and cook for another 2-3 minutes till it gets softened but a bit crunchy.
Stir in the spices i.e. turmeric, chili powder, pav bhaji masala and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add steamed vegetables and mix well. Finally add boiled and grated potatoes and mix with rest of the mixture.
Add water and salt and let it cook for few minutes.
Mash with a potato masher or using the backside of a large spoon into a texture you like – with small chunks or smooth with no chunks at all. Let it cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Add lemon juice and mix uniformly. Taste for the salt at this stage and add more if required. Turn off the flame. Bhaji is ready for serving.
Cut the pav horizontally. Heat butter on a tawa, sprinkle a little pav bhaji masala and place the buns or pav on the tawa and shallow fry on both sides. and place the buns or pav on the tawa and shallow fry on both sides.
Serve bhaji garnished with coriander, chopped onion ,lemon and a dash of butter along with butter toasted pav.