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Ever wondered how to keep your family happy while including a good amount of vegetables in their diet? look no further the answer to that is “Pav Bhaji”.
Pav Bhaji is a popular veg Indian street food wherein Pav refers to bread rolls and bhaji refers to a thick and spicy vegetable gravy.
My love for Pav Bhaji has been ever lasting
It brings back great memories right from eating it at Juhu Beach, Elco Arcade to small roadside restaurants especially when I used to call my dad up and ask him to bring Pav Bhaji from this particular restaurant situated in Bandra West, Mumbai that I used to love eating from. And ever since I got married and moved to Sultanate of Oman I tried to replicate it couple of times to get the same taste In order to fulfill my cravings (you see, I do not need to be pregnant to get cravings. I get them anyway) and now I can proudly say that, “I have achieved it”.
Back then I used to enjoy it with a lot of Amul butter. Then, one not so fine day I was diagnosed with Dairy Allery. Nevertheless, I did not give up on Pav Bhaji, I just turned it into dairy free.
And another benefit to this recipe besides bringing back old memories is that I can make it both ways since it has been a real dilemma on what to cook for me and my family, as my family is not allergic to anything, unlike me. Hence I prefer making a dish which all of us can eat as making something different for me every time is not something I would like to do. You may call it “laziness” 😁. Hence this is one such dish that I can make keeping my family and my allergy in mind.
How is that so? You may ponder. No worries, I shall tell you. Even though you need to use quite a lot of butter while making authentic pav bhaji, I simply avoid it. Yes, you read that right.
Recipe benefits for people suffering from food allergies
- Dairy free by simply swapping the bread to a dairy free bread and using vegan butter or oil instead of normal butter.
- Vegan by using vegan butter or oil
Yes! it is that simple because the dish gets it’s flavour from the way you roast and cook the vegetables. Which is why I love this recipe because I still get to enjoy it without having to worry about my health.
The authentic way of preparing this is making use of a large size iron tava. However, if you do not own one, no worries we have alternatives. You can use your regular tava to dry roast the vegetables and then move it to another vessel for further cooking or you can use your cast iron skillet which is what I use to prepare the entire recipe.
If you choose to make it the original way then use butter whole heartedly. While cooking you use oil and butter in a 50:50 ratio. Toast your bread using butter on both sides and serve with a dollop of butter as well.
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Pav Bhaji Mumbai Style
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Potato Masher
- 2 large Onions finely cubed
- 2 medium Capsicum finely cubed
- 1 cup Peas
- 2 Green chilies finely cubed
- 4 large Tomato finely cubed
- 4 large Potato boiled and mashed
- 2 tbsp Everest Pav Bhaji Masala or Badshah Pav Bhaji Masala
- 1 tbsp Everest Pav Bhaji Masala or Badshah Pav Bhaji Masala
- 2 tsp Cumin seeds
- ½ tsp Kasuri Methi
- ½ tsp Red food colour
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- ½ tsp White vinegar
- 1 cup Coriander leaves finely chopped
- Salt as required
- 4 tbsp Oil
- On a high flame in your cast iron skillet, add cubed capsicum and green chilies and dry roast for a minute2 medium Capsicum, 2 Green chilies
- Reduce the flame to low heat and add very little water to soften the capsicum.Once the capsicum has softened then add cubed tomatoes and cook for 5 mins or until the water content in tomato has reduced. Keep stirring so that the vegetables do not stick to the skillet or burn4 large Tomato
- Then add mashed potatoes and peas and mix well4 large Potato, 1 cup Peas
- At this stage if you don’t have a big tava or cast iron skillet then you can transfer the vegetables to another vessel and continue with this recipe
- Add little water and mix well until all vegetables have been well combined. Cook on low flame until the vegetables have been cooked and water has dried
- Add 2 tbs of Pav Bhaji masala and mix well, adjust the salt accordinglySalt as required, 2 tbsp Everest Pav Bhaji Masala or Badshah Pav Bhaji Masala
- Now, use a masher and start mashing the vegetables in the skillet itself. Keep it on low flame.
- Meanwhile, in another tava or frying pan on medium heat add oil. Once the oil is hot add cubed onions. Fry until soft and translucent. Do not cook them until they turn brown.2 large Onions, 4 tbsp Oil
- Then add cumin seeds, kasuri methi and 1 tbs Pav Bhaji masala2 tsp Cumin seeds, ½ tsp Kasuri Methi, 1 tbsp Everest Pav Bhaji Masala or Badshah Pav Bhaji Masala
- Mix well and fry on medium heat for 2 – 3 mins
- Add lemon juice, quickly mix it and then add this entire mixture to the vegetables in the cast iron skillet1 tbsp Lemon juice
- Add little water as per the consistency needed. It shouldn’t be very thick nor to runny.
- Add the red food colour and mix well½ tsp Red food colour
- Cook on low flame until well blended and combined
- Finally, add vinegar and coriander leaves and mix it well. Turn off the flame.½ tsp White vinegar, 1 cup Coriander leaves
For the Pav, follow any one or both options as desired:
- Without dairy: use dairy free bread slice. Drizzle a little oil on tava and toast it on both sides until golden brown
- With dairy: use your regular milk bread slice. Apply butter on both sides and toast it on tava until golden brown
- Serve the toasted bread with the bhaji along with little cubed onions and a piece of lemon wedge on the side
- If you need help with any Herb or Spice listed in this recipe then refer to the guide: List of Herbs and Spices