What pizza is to Italy or the hot-dog is to America, pav bhaji has the same connotation to western India.
Pav bhaji or pao bhaji is a specialty Indian dish with origins in Mumbai and Gujarat. In Marathi pav means bread (the term derives from the Portuguese “pao”) and bhaji means a curry and vegetable mix. The serving of pav bhaji consists of the bhaji (a potato based curry) and the pav (bread) garnished with coriander and chopped onions. Pav is a meat-less dish, which is high in carbohydrates and fats (if served with butter) and bhaji is high in carbohydrates and proteins.
The origin of this dish is traced to the heyday of the textile mills in Mumbai. The mill workers used to have a short break for lunch. A full lunch which was not rushed probably needed more time than what was available. A light lunch was also preferred given that physical work followed immediately. A vendor understood this and came up with this dish using items or parts of them available on the menu. The role of Indian bread or rice was taken up by pav and the curries that usually go with Indian bread or rice were amalgamated into just one spicy concoction-the ‘bhaji’. Thus was born– the celebrated pav-bhaji!
– Source wikipedia
Well thats the facts on Pav Bhaji. Apart from that, the beauty of this is, it is so easy to prepare at home with most of the ingredients easily available. And its quite favorite at home as its so filling and so tasty. I prefer to make it often as my daughter likes it a lot. She is so fussy about Vegetables, that I am glad I have this handy as she doesn’t get to see the Vegetables.
I make bhaji with mashed potatoes, peas, beans, carrot, cauliflower. Another Vegetable that can add extra zing is Beetroot.
We normally make it for dinner as we can relax and enjoy this simple yet yummy dish.
Serves : 4
Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Cuisine : Maharashtrian
- Pav Bread
- Butter for roasting
- 1 cup – Potatoes
- 1/2 cup – Carrots
- 1/2 cup – Beans
- 1/2 cup – Cauliflower
- 1/2 cup – Peas
- 2 big – Onions
- 3 big – Tomatoes
- 4 pods – Garlic
- 2 tsp – Pav Bhaji Masala
- 1 tsp – Chilli Powder
- A pinch Turmeric Powder
- Salt to taste
- 50 gm – Butter
- 1 tbsp – Cooking Oil
- Coriander Leaves for garnishing
Method to prepare:
- Clean and cut all the vegetables. Pressure cook them. Once they are cool, mash them to paste.
Its ok to have one or two pieces in their original shape…but if you have a kid who refuses to eat anything in shape of a Veg, then take my advice and mash to real paste with nothing recognizable. Kids are smart you see, they will see through these tricks.
- Chop Onions, Tomatoes finely. Crush the garlic, this gives a nice taste to the gravy.
- Heat a pan, add butter and oil. Add onions, sauté till they are nicely gold in colour. Then add garlic.
- Once onions are done, add tomatoes and salt. Once its well cooked and soft, add Pav bhaji masala, chilli powder, turmeric powder. Cook on high flame for few mins, till the masala gets mixed well. Pav bhaji masala can be made at home or can be store bought.
- Then add the mashed Vegetables, allow it to simmer for a few minutes.
- Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and add butter on top.
- Roast the pav in a pan with butter and serve the bhaji with slice of onion and lemon.
Great dish for kids. Enjoy!