Mumbai Street Food – Paav Bhaaji. (Spicy tangy gravy with mashed vegetables and seasonings served with soft toasted paav buns)

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Street Food they say sometimes tastes way better than the food available at world class restaurants because it has that simplicity built with robust taste that cannot be beaten. This is really true of Mumbai and its street food, as people of all classes love and enjoy eating roadside food. Some of the most famous street food available there are Vada Paav, Bhel Puri, Paani Puri, Paav Bhaji, Ragada Pattice, Sev Puri, Dahi Puri etc. This time my India trip also had afew days at Mumbai and I went to the Chowpatty Beach and tasted their amazing chaat varieties. We polished them off with the Khala Khatta Ice Gola availabke there – almost felt like a fushion of thickened  coke, sugar, kala namak and chat masala. I should try that sometime!!!  My daughter simply loved all the chat items and had been wanting me to try the Paav Bhaji at home. My recipe is inspired by a number of recipes online as well as by watching the paav bhaji wales make them first hand!  They had these monstrous sized tavas whuch were perennially over a gas flame, shared by a couple men concocting different items. Simply YUM!

INGREDIENTS:

1 Capsicum diced fine.

1 large ripe tomato or two small tomatoes diced small.

2 boiled potatoes mashed.

1/2 cup peas thawed/ cooked and mashed.

1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste.

A pinch of turmeric.

1 Tbsp Butter.

1 Tbsp Paav Bhaji Masala.

Chopped Cilantro.

Salt.

Ingredients for Saute Seasoning:

1 Tbsp Butter.

3/4 Cup Onion Diced Fine.

1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1 Tsp Paav Bhaji Masala.

1 Tbsp Kasuri Methi.

Chopped Cilantro.

1/2 Lemon`s Juice.

PREPARATION:

  • Take a wide mouthed kadai and place on the stove. Immediately add the chopped capsicum, chopped tomatoes, mashed potatoes, peas, ginger garlic paste, turmeric and red chilli powder.
  • Give it a quick mix and add about 1/2 cup water to the kadai and allow the veggies to cook well until tender.
  • Add 1 Tbsp butter and mash the vegetables with  a masher slowly until all the veggies get  mushy.
  • Add a little more water if needed and keep mashing and mixing until the oil seperates.
  • Now add the 1 tbsp of paav bhaji masala. chopped cilantro, and salt. Mix it in again and let it simmer.
  • In another kadai, we make another saute of seasonings and add it to the bhaaji. It`s hard to think ,with all the aromas wafting around, but stay with me and we`ll wrap this up soon.
  • To the second kadai, add a  spoon of butter.
  • When melted, add onions, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, paav bhaji masala, hing, kasoori methi, chopped cilantro, lemon juice and saute it until it all comes together. The onions need to get slightly pinkish brown.
  • It`s optional to add a pinch of red colouring but I try to avoid artificial food colours as much as possible.
  • Add all of the seasoning to  to the bhaaji kadai and boil until blended.
  • Garnish with more chopped cilantro.

ASSEMBLING THE PAAV BHAAJI:

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  • Add a spoon of butter and when it begins to melt, add a dash of paav bhaji masala, red chilli powder ( if you want to kick it up a little), and chopped cilantro.
  • The seasonings simmer and bubble in to the melted butter.
  • Smear this all over the tava and toast all the paav buns on both sides with the awesomeness on the tava. Just a couple minutes more so hang on there….
  • Serve as shown with a side of bhaaji, toasted paav buns, chopped onions, a small wedge of lemon, a dollop of butter and of course more chopped cilantro.

HINTS:

As I see this dish, its pretty much built on the seasonings, the large amounts of chopped cilantro and of course the salted butter. Don`t go easy on the butter as it spoils the creaminess of the dish itself.

ENJOY!

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9 thoughts on “Mumbai Street Food – Paav Bhaaji. (Spicy tangy gravy with mashed vegetables and seasonings served with soft toasted paav buns)

  1. looks Yummm… I am hungry just seeing it… the first pic with the stainless steel plate lends it a very ethnic touch..

  2. love the plate in the first picture. that is the only way to serve paav bhaji :)
    Agree on the butter. Its not paav bhaji if it doesn’t involve butter :)

  3. Omg , that first picture is just killing me, pav bhaajis are my all time favourite, i wont hesitate a second if you invite me to ur place.

  4. Yum! This looks great!! I recently tried the cheese pav bhaji in pune which was loaded with cheese..do try that too!:):)

  5. The sauté seasoning and the seasoned pavs take this to a whole new level.. Never seen this version anywhere. Almost cracked the elusive recipe, I’d say.

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