Pav Bhaji Making.
Pav Bhaji derived its name originally from Marathi language. Even though, “pav” is a word meaning bread in Portuguese language, Marathi language just emulated the same word. Pav Bhaji is a popular fast food dish from Maharashtra, consisting of a vegetable curry (bhaji) served along with two pieces of soft bread roll (pav). Apart from Maharastra, Pav Bhaji is abundantly found as a popular street food snack item in all other parts of India also.
Pav Bhaji History.
The dish Pav Bhaji actually originated in the 1850 as a fast lunchtime dish for textile mill workers in Mumbai. Pav Bhaji was later served at almost all the restaurants throughout the city. History reveals that the first Pav Bhajiwallas appeared all over Bombay in the late 1950s and more likely in the 1960s.
They opened in the evenings and did not go home till early the next morning. The first stalls were located near the old Cotton Exchange, because traders waited for the New York cotton prices (in the 1960s, these were carried prominently in all Bombay papers) that came in late into the night and early in the morning.
But soon the Pav Bhaji stalls spread all over the city and by the late 1960s such restaurants as Tardeo’s Sardar Pav Bhaji were packing them in. Pav Bhaji is now offered at outlets from simple hand carts to formal restaurants in India and abroad.
How to Make Pav Bhaji.
Pav Bhaji has many variations in ingredients and garnishes, but it is essentially a spiced mixture of mashed vegetables in a thick gravy cooked on a flat griddle (iron tava) served hot with a buttered soft white bread rolls. Pav Bhaji is easy to cook and can be made with leftover vegetables. First cauliflower and potato are cooked until completely tender.
They are mashed well with the water used to cook it and it is set aside. Then oil is heated in iron tava and chopped capsicum or green chillies are added and cooked until it begins to soften. Then ginger and garlic are added and sautéed for few seconds. Then chilli powder and turmeric powder are added and fried for few seconds, then the mashed vegetables are added.
All these are mixed well and tomato puree is then added along with a cup of water. Then it is brought to boil and Pav Bhaji masala and peas are added and is cooked ten minutes until the desired consistency is reached. Salt and butter are added generously to taste and it is removes from fire. When ready to serve, pav is buttered generously and toasted until golden brown on a griddle or tava.
Then chopped onions and coriander leaves are added on the bhaji and lime juice is squeezed. Pav Bhaji is a flavourful combination of spicy and tangy and it is a dish to serve hot and to eat immediately with raw onions, a squeeze of lime and a dollop of butter.
Types of Pav Bhaji.
There are lots of variants found in preparation of Pav Bhaji that include:- Cheese Pav Bhaji with cheese on top of the bhaji; Fried Pav Bhaji with the pav tossed in the bhaji; Paneer Pav Bhaji with paneer cheese in the bhaji; Mushroom Pav Bhaji with mushrooms in the bhaji; Kanda Pav Bhaji with vegetable chunks in the bhaji.
Jain Pav Bhaji without onions and garlic and with plantains instead of potatoes; Kolhapuri Pav Bhaji using a spice mix (common in Kohlapur); Dryfruit Pav Bhaji with dried fruits in or on the bhaji etc.
Pav Bhaaji ranks within top ten lists of most popular street foods in India. Among abroad street food chains, New York sells Pav Bhaji the most. Many trains and subways in abroad sell Pav Bhaji instead of selling sandwiches for changes to improve their food marketing and sales. A famous English daily reportedly told that pop singer Lady Gaga loves eating Pav Bhaji. She lovingly told that she can go to “Indian food coma” and can “eat it every day”.