I am back after an extended weekend in ‘Amchi Mumbai’ (Our Mumbai) for my little niece’s first birthday. Mumbai- the city that never sleeps. Even at 12 in the night you feel as if it is Prime time! People getting back home from work (yes that’s true), some going for a stroll, partying crowd ,the roadside vendors selling all types of typical ‘Mumbaiya’ food. From Chinese Hakka noodles to Bhakri-Pithla/Zunka you get it all. Pav Bhaji is one of the most popular fast foods typical to Mumbai and you find ‘Pav Bhaji ki Gaadi’ (Hand cart) anywhere on the streets of Mumbai.Cheap and filling Pav Bhaji can be eaten for Breakfast, lunch dinner- anything. It is almost impossible to resist the aroma coming from these ‘Gaadis’ or eateries serving Pav bhaji and the distinct ‘tak tak’ sound thePav Bhaji masher makes with the Tava is just melodious.
Pav Bhaji as the name suggests is a combination of Pav – bread and bhaji – a potato based mixed vegetable curry. The key ingredient for the mouthwatering flavour of this dish is a blend of about 13-14 spices-the Pav bhaji masala. There are a lot of variations of the original recipe…Amul Pav Bhaji (Garnished with Amul butter), Sada Pav bhaji (without butter), Jain Pav bhaji (without onion and garlic), Khada Pav bhaji (without mashing the vegetables)etc… The Bhaji is made on a big flat tava (griddle) and a masher is used instead of a ladle to stir it. If you don’t have this tava at home a wide mouth pan works just fine.
Literally a fast food Pav bhaji is very fast and easy to prepare and very filling. Addition of vegetables takes care of the nutrition aspect of this dish. So when you make it at home add vegetables of your choice (mostly the so called ‘English vegetables’ like carrots, cauliflower, peas etc.) to boost its nutritive value.For Pav Bhaji you need:Serves 4
6-7 potatoes- boiled, peeled and mashed (no lumps, mash them finely)