Pav Bhaji can be savoured whenever one feels like it. The preparation is simple but the trick lies in the awesome, aromatic blend of spices in the masala. Each household may have their own signature recipe. It can be prepared with a combination of assorted vegetables of your choice. When I see the Pav Bhaji being prepared at the entrance of a restaurant or a wayside stall, I just can’t help but go ahead & have some. I love the sight of the bhaiyya with the huge cast iron tawa, those colorful vegetables & the packets of Amul butter around him. I enjoy watching him sauté the vegetables, mashing them, adding those wonderful aromatic spices, mixing them with dollops of butter, dishing out the sizzling mix of vegetables & the pav fried with enormous amounts of butter. The sounds of the cast iron ladle on the tawa is sweet music to the ears. The most delectable Pav Bhaji we enjoyed was when we went on a holiday to Karla Resort at Malavli but unfortunately the stall no longer exists.I love making it at home too. Here’s this amazing recipe for you to try & enjoy..
· 3 cups Cauliflower florets
· 2 med. Potatoes (boiled & mashed)
· 1 cup Green Peas (fresh or frozen)
· 2 med. Capsicum (diced)
· 3 cups. Tomatoes (chopped)
· 2 cups Onions (chopped)
· 2 tsps. Garlic paste
· 1 tsp. Ginger paste
· 4 tbsps. Pav Bhaji Masala Pwd.
· 1 tsp. Red Chilli Pwd.
· 1 tsp. Garam Masala Pwd.
· ½ tsp. Chaat Masala pwd.
· ¼ tsp. Turmeric Pwd.
· 1 tbsp.Vegetable Oil
· 4 tbsp. Butter
· Salt to taste
· A pinch of Sugar
· ¼ cup fresh Coriander leaves (chopped)
· 2 Limes (cut in quarters)
Wash & boil potatoes in their jackets till soft. (I boil them in a pressure cooker).
Peel the potatoes & mash them so that there are no lumps.
In a pan sauté onions with vegetable oil on med. heat till soft.
Add ginger garlic paste, chopped tomatoes & sauté.
Add capsicum, cauliflower ¼ cup green peas, sauté & cook till tender.
Cool the mix & blend in the blender till smooth.
Then heat 2 tbsps. butter in a pan on med. heat.
Pour the mix from the blender & sauté.
To this add chilli pwd., turmeric pwd., pav bhaji masala, garam masala pwd., chaat masala pwd., a pinch of sugar, salt to taste & stir well.
Then add mashed potato; keep sautéing & mashing it together till it is a smooth mixture adding water as required.(Be alert as the mixture can spurt while it boils).
Now add the remaining peas & some chopped coriander, 2 tbsps. of butter & sauté further for another 20 mins. till all the flavours are well blended.
Serve hot topped with a dollop of butter & garnished with chopped coriander leaves.
Also serve some chopped or sliced onions & wedges of lime.
Enjoy with buttered & toasted pav or masala pav.
Tips & Variations :
· Keep tasting & adjusting salt, masala & tomato till you like the balance between the tang of the tomatoes & spice of the masala.
· The authentic taste is enhanced with dollops of butter…more the merrier.. ( I use Amul Butter).
· Pav Bhaji is always accompanied with laadi Pav. Laadi Pav are rolls of bread which are sold in entire slabs; rolls are gently separated whenever required.
· For Plain Butter Pav: Melt some butter on a tawa/ skillet; cut in between the pav into 2 halves without separating the pav & toast it on both the sides till a light golden colour & slightly crisp.
· For Masala Pav : Melt some butter on a tawa/ skillet, sprinkle some pav bhaji masala, depending on the spice needed & fry the pav on both sides in the spicy butter until sizzling & golden.
· For Cheese Pav Bhaji : Top the pav bhaji with shredded cheese.