Saturday, July 22, 2006

bombay pav bhaji

"pav" is bread and "bhaji" is mashed vegetables. put the two together with butter and lots of spices and what you get is one of bombay's best known fast foods. sarkar's and sukh sagar are two popular places in the city for buttery, garlicy, spicy pav bhaji which is lip smackingly delicious. imli in london does a pretty decent version.

to make at home in a pinch i've found a tarla dalal recipe from her chaat cookbook that hits the spot every time. a few key ingredients are butter (do no substitute with oil!), kashmiri red chillies and everest brand pav bhaji masala. i'm not very particular on the bread to accompany the bhaji - i use whatever is available freshly baked in the store whether it is a sourdough submarine or a hamburger bun.

prep time: 15 min
cooking time: 20 min
serves: 4

for the pav
8 pieces of bread
4 tablesppons butter
1 teaspoon pav bhaji masala (optional)

for the bhaji
1 1/2 cups potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 cup cauliflower, finely chopped
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup capsicum, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups tomoatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 1/2 tablesopons pav bhaji masala
1/2 teaspoon black salt
4 tablespoons butter
salt to taste

to be ground into a chilli-garlic paste
3 to 4 kashmiri chillies, soaked in warm water
4 to 6 cloves garlic

for serving
1 large onion
4 lemon wedges
1 tablespoon chopped coriander

1. boil the cauliflower, peas and carrots till they are soft. drain out the excess water.
2. heat the butter in a large pan, add the onion and capsicum and saute for 2 minutes. then, add the prepared chilli-garlic paste and saute till the onion softens.
3. add the tomatoes and simmer till the oil separates.
4. add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, pav bahji masala, black salt and salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. add the boiled vegetables and potatoes and mash thoroughly using a potato masher, adding 1/2 cup of water if required
6. slice each bread into 2 horizontally. apply a little butter to each side and sprinkle with a little pav bhaji masala, if required.
7. heat a large tava and cook the pav on both sides till the pieces are lightly browned.
8. serve the hot bhaji on 4 individual plates and top with the onion and coriander.
9. serve with the hot pav and lemon wedges.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lulu,

I have been to your blog a couple of times but never left a comment. Your blog is interesting and the reason I keep coming back are the wonderful vegetarian recipes that u make.I am a vegetarian so it is nice to see when others blog about their wonderful creations. And not to forget u share the same name as my husband.

8:16 pm  
Blogger lulu said...

hi shobitha,
thanks for your comment. glad you enjoy the recipes. i have to confess that i'm a bit confused about your last sentence. is your husband's name lulu?! never heard of a man with that name. or else, you somehow know my last name which i am a bit surprised about because it is not mentioned anywhere in my blog. you have me all curious now...

10:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lulu,
In India the elders in the family have a fancy for pet names besides the first name. For the rest of your life, family and friends know u by your pet name rather than your first name.Strange but true.My husband's pet name is lulu. Supposedly there was a English cricketer by the name David Glower during the 80's and 90's. His pet name was lulu too. His aunt fancied that name and named my husband after the cricketer.So is lulu - your first name or blog name?

5:11 am  
Blogger lulu said...

hi shobita,
thanks for feeding my curiosity :)
great story! lulu is my pet name which has in fact become my name and identity in real life though it is not my legal name.

7:50 am  
Blogger Sumitha said...

Thanks for the pav bhaji recipe Lulu,I have to try it soon!

1:05 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:51 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

This recipe looks great. I cooked the whole traditional thanksgiving meal on thursday for 10 people and now I am craving some spicy real mumbai food. I am going to try this recipe tonight. Will let you know how it goes! Thanks...

5:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi lulu
tried ur av bhaji recipi manier times an got many compliments..thanks a lot..its really a nice receipi

7:32 pm  
Blogger manisha0_0 said...

Dear Lulu,

I love the detail in your blog post.

I would like you to have a look at pav bhaji recipe

and try it out for sure. It give that authentic street wala taste.

We have two common things, I am from mumbai and now love London :).


2:25 pm  
Anonymous Mohini said...

Great Blog.
I was wondering if anyone has had the chance to visit Mum's Kitchen in Watford Indoor Market?
A friend of mine discovered it last Saturday and i can't shut her up about it. Their Samosas are out of this world.
Apparently they have their grand opening tomorrow.
I will report back and let you know what i think. Proof in the Pudding...

11:30 pm  
Anonymous Reshmi said...

God i used to love this receipi and used to follow it . then for a while i was out of pav bhaji world.when i wanted to cook again i searched google for u .. I am so happy i got u back :)

10:20 pm  

Post a comment

<< Home