Pav Bhaji: Interesting fast food

phav-bhajiPavbhaji is a fast food dish that originated in Marathi cuisine. It is native to Maharashtra and is popular in most metropolitan areas in India, especially in those of central and western Indian states such as Gujarat and Karnataka. Pav in Marathi means a small loaf of bread. Bhaji in Marathi means vegetable dish. Pavbhaji consists of bhaji (a thick potato-based curry) garnished with coriander, chopped onion, and a dash of lemon and baked pav. The pav is usually buttered on all sides.

Street food has always been tempting to the taste buds. There are many food lovers who love to munch on some street food every day. Most popularly sold in the evening times, street food has become very well known in the Indian cuisine.

The origin of this dish is traced to textile mill workers in Mumbai in the 1850s.

The mill workers used to have lunch breaks too short for a full meal, and a light lunch was preferred to a heavy one, as the employees had to return to strenuous physical labor after lunch. A vendor created this dish using items or parts of other dishes available on the menu. Roti or rice was replaced with pav and the curries that usually go with Indian bread or rice were amalgamated into just one spicy concoction, the ‘bhaji’. Initially, it remained the food of the mill-workers. With time the dish found its way into restaurants and spread over Central Mumbai and other parts of the city via the Udipi restaurants.

Such is the popularity of this dish, that it is common to find it on the menu of most Indian restaurants serving fast food in Asia (especially Singapore, Hong Kong), America, UK (London), Switzerland and elsewhere.[citation needed] It has also come to become the staple dish in many Indian diets, due to its simplicity and delicacy.

PavBhaji Recipe

Prep & Cooking: 50-60 mins

Serves 7-8 persons

Ingredients:

1 large carrot, cubed
2 potatoes, cubed
1 capsicum, chopped
1 cup cauliflower florets, chop
8-10 french beans, string and chop
1/4 cup green peas
2 onions, finely chopped
2 green chillies, slit length wise
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 1/2 tbsps Pav Bhaji Masala
3/4 tsp sugar (optional)

Salt to taste

2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp low fat butter (vegans can avoid butter)
Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
1 1/2 tbsps oil
16 lightly toasted in butter, pav bread (vegans can use vegan butter substitute)

Procedure:

1) Pressure cook potatoes, cauliflower, peas, beans and carrot along with 1 cup of water, till soft. Drain any left over water and keep aside. Mash all the cooked vegetables using a masher.

2) Heat oil in a vessel, add the green chillies and onions and saute for 4 mins. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for another 3 mins. Add capsicum and saute for 2 mins.

3) Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, pavbhaji masala, sugar and salt. Combine well. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft, approx 5-6 mins.

4) Add the mashed vegetables along with a cup of the drained vegetable stock and cook on high for a min. Reduce flame and simmer for 14-15 mins.

5) The gravy will begin to thicken. Adjust the salt, if required. Turn off heat and add butter and lemon juice and combine. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

6) Serve hot with lightly toasted pav/pau and sliced onions.