Food Recipes

Bombay Pav Bhaji

Pallavi Ayyagari
Written by Pallavi Ayyagari
A spicy blend of vegetables (bhaji) with pungent Indian spices served with warm pavs (buns)
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Finding good quality ladi pav (Bombay buns) in this city is no difficult task. Every true blue Mumbaikar is more than familiar with this humble bread which is part of simple delicacies typical to this city, such as pav bhaji, bhajiya pav, samosa pav, vada pav, misal pav, bhurji pav & anda pav. Only a Mumbaikar will ever be able to distinguish between the pav you get in this city with the ones you get elsewhere. So, when I got my hands on some unbelievably soft and fresh pavs, I decided to make my family’s all time favorite street food – Pav Bhaji.

This recipe makes 5 plates of pav bhaji.

Here’s what you need:
Ingredients:
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For the bhaji
Chopped Onions – 2 large
Chopped Capsicum – 1 large
Chopped Tomato – 4 large
Boiled and mashed potatoes – 4
Green peas – 1 cup
Coriander – handful
Kashmiri mirchi (Dried red chilli) – 4 large
Garlic – 10-12 cloves
Oil – 2 tbsp
Butter – 4 tbsp
Jeera (Cumin seeds) – 1 tbsp
Dhania jeera powder (Coriander seeds & cumin seed powder)- 1 tbsp
Garam masala – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Amchur powder (dried mango powder) – 1 tsp
Haldi (turmeric) – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Pav – as per requirement
Method:
For the chilli garlic paste:
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1. Soak the Kashmiri chillis in warm water for half an hour.
2. Grind the soaked chillis and garlic to form a smooth paste. You can add little water while grinding if required. Set aside.
For the bhaji:
1. In a deep non-stick pan, add the oil.
2. Once the oil is hot, add the jeera and let it splutter.
3. Add onions and fry till brown
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4. Add the capsicum and fry well.
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5. Now, add the chilli garlic paste and fry till the rawness of the garlic goes away.
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6. Add tomatoes and mix well. While the tomatoes are cooking, mash them slightly with the ladle.
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7. Add all the spices and condiments like salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, dhaniya-jeera powder, garam masala powder and amchur powder.
8. Mix well and fry for 2 mins.
9. Now add the boiled potato and peas to the pan and mix well.
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10. With a vegetable masher, start mashing the whole mixture on low flame.
11. Add 2 cups of water and continue mashing till all the vegetables are almost unidentifiable.
12. Garnish with a blob of butter and finely chopped coriander leaves.
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For the pav:
1. Split the pavs into halves
2. Add some butter to a pan and fry the pavs until a light golden colour appears on them.
Serve the bhaji with finely chopped coriander, onions, butter, cheese (optional) and a lemon wedge on the side along with warm pavs.
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Notes:
1. You can use a lot of other veggies like cauliflower, carrots, french beans, etc. as per your liking. However, the combination used in this recipe tastes the best.
2. I like to use individual powdered masalas as per my liking. If you don’t have these at home you can replace them with 2 tablespoons of readymade pav bhaji masala.
3. To make a jain version of this dish, used boiled and mashed raw bananas instead of potatoes and skip the onions and garlic completely.
4. Adding cheese to the pav bhaji is completely optional. You can skip it if you don’t like it.

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Pallavi Ayyagari

Pallavi Ayyagari

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