Pav Bhaji is a regular with us for many reasons. First & foremost because we love it so much! Then, the simplicity of the recipe and a feeling of having had something special for lunch/dinner :)
GM makes great tasting Bhaji and I have still not been able to match that although I follow the same recipe and both of us use the same Masala powder! But he is too modest to admit that and prefers that I make the bhaji every time. And no he is not trying to escape the working in kitchen because when we make Pav Bhaji he is the one who chops the vegetables and gets everything ready most of the time :)
So, while we get to eat the almost authentic Bombay restaurant style Bhaji, what we miss, or rather used to miss is the Pav. We get a lot of different breads here, soft buns, burger buns, rolls, baguettes and so many more but not the real Ladi Pav which, if you ask me, is a must for that authentic feel to Pav Bhaji.
Imagine my reaction when I saw the recipe for these Pav along with a host of information about the same and the very necessary Amul Butter at Jugalbandi! I was happy and apprehensive at the same time. Finally there was a possibility that we could have real Pav with the bhaji now, but I was apprehensive because I had never tried my hand with Yeast baking before, meaning I had never ever made bread at home. But on seeing the easy recipe was totally tempted to try it.
So on Friday, we had Pav Bhaji with the real Pav! But as always I was so excited & in a hurry to try them out that I misinterpreted one step and applied the butter on the surface much earlier than was required, the result being that the outer crust of the Pav turned out to be a little crispier.
Now, Jai & Bee, as always have given the healthier option of using whole wheat, but since I wanted the 'authentic' Pav and was ready to forego the health part, I used Maida (Plain flour) instead.
I am sending this to Zlamushka for the Tried & tasted event, where Jugalbandi is the featured blog of the month.
Recipe for the Bhaji
4-5 medium sized Potatoes
1 small Green Capsicum
1/2 cup Green peas
5-6 florets of Cauliflower
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
3 medium sized tomatoes
2-3 cloves of garlic
2-3 Green chilies
3 tsps Pav Bhaji Masala
1-2 tsp Red Chili Powder
3-4 tsps Fresh Coriander leaves, chopped
2 tblsp butter for the Bhaji and lots more for the Pav
Finely chopped onions, lemon slices & fresh coriander
Boil the potatoes, peel, mash & keep aside.
Boil the other vegetables as well - peas, cauliflower, capsicum in this case. You can use a lot of other vegetables but we prefer to keep it simple and use only the above mentioned, cauliflower also getting axed sometimes. Once they are boiled, mash these too and keep aside.
Grind together the green chilies and the garlic to make a paste.
Heat the butter in a pan and fry the onions. Continue to fry till the onions start turning brown. At this point add the chilies-garlic paste and fry for some more time(abt 3 min). The bhaji gets a lovely colour because of the browning of the onions.
Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook till they are tender.
Add the Pav Bhaji Masala, red chili powder and salt and saute. Once the spices are mixed thoroughly add the mashed potatoes and mix.
Add the other mashed vegetables and mix and cook on medium flame.
If the bhaji is very dry add a little water to thin it out, as little as possible. Adding too much water will spoil the consistency of the bhaji and also affect the restaurant style taste. In fact the bhaji made in restaurants does not have any water at all and the semi solid consistency is obtained by adding huge amounts of butter to the bhaji while mashing it on a large Tawa (Griddle). Since this is practically not possible at home, I add a little bit of water.
Add the chopped coriander leaves and give it a stir and let it heat for another 5 min before turning off the flame.
To serve, slit the Pav into halves and roast them on a griddle with lots of butter. You cant get stingy with the butter here, its a must!
Serve the Bhaji with a dollop of butter along with the Pav, chopped onions, lime slices and garnished with coriander leaves.
To make things spicier, mix red chili powder and a little Pav Bhaji masala along with salt and a few drops of lime juice with the chopped onions. Any one who wants it hotter can add the spiced up onions to the Bhaji!