The cool sea breeze mixed with the aroma of pav bhaji announces that I have reached my destination. Lip-smacking flavor with hot and spicy bhaji served with crunchy onions and slivers of lime coupled with butter dripping pavs. It consists of a thick vegetable curry served with a soft bread roll. Maharastra is the birthplace of this lovely dish.
History Of Pav Bhaji
Pav bhaji was originated in the 1850s. Because of the civil war, there was a huge demand for cotton. Due to this, the traders at the Bombay cotton exchange used to be very busy especially during the night when new cotton rates used to be a telegram from America. Thus they used to return home late and the annoyed wives would not serve them food. So to solve this problem the street vendors collect the leftover bread from the Jesuit priests and mix all the vegetables, mash them together, and used to eat them with the bread and butter.
It has another story that tells that dish was invented to fulfill the requirement of lunch for textile mill workers. They need cheap, easy, and quick to prepare, light but nutritious food. So, they mixed all the vegetables available at the place and added some spices served with pav.
In earlier times bread is known as pav because you get it in a set of four and then you break off each mini loaf as you eat. The Pav means one-fourth in the Marathi language. While Bhaji is a traditional Indian name for a vegetable. So from this, a name invented ‘Pav Bhaji’.
Read More : POHA – BEYOND FLATENED RICE
The bhaji is spicy which is made from a mix of different vegetables with some basic spices and pav bhaji masala. Lastly served with a dollop of butter. The strong flavors of the bhaji were offset by the well-toasted pav that glistened with butter. It is accomplished with some chopped coriander leaves, onion rings, and fresh lemon slice.
This is one of the popular streets of India but in different parts of India has added their own flavor and variation. There are some variants of pav bhaji
Jain Pav Bhaji
It is no onion and garlic version of pav bhaji it is made from raw bananas instead of potato and green peas. It is a simple recipe that has all other vegetables that are boiled and mashed properly and tempered with tomato and pav bhaji masala.
Kada Pav Bhaji
It is not the regular pav bhaji as like another bhaji it does not have mashed vegetables though it has chopped and cooked vegetables are kept intact. The vegetables are pressure cooked and then tempered with butter, onion, tomato, and spices.
Punjabi Pav Bhaji
It is like the regular pav bhaji but it has an excess of spices with lots and lots of butter. It is often accomplished with lassi.
Kolhapuri Pav Bhaji
It is a spicy version of pav bhaji in which red chili powder is substituted by Kolhapuri kanda lasun chutney to make it a more spicy and garlicky.
It is the fusion recipe in which spicy hot bhaji is stuffed in dough and baked with perfection. It is glazed with butter
Stuffed Pav Bhaji Recipe
For the dough
- All-purpose flour 4 cups
- Yeast (mixed with ¼ cup water) 2 tsp
- Ajwain seeds 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Water as required 1 tbsp
- Oil 1 tbsp
For the Pav Bhaji Masala
- Butter 1 tbsp
- Onions (chopped) 1
- Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
- Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
- Capsicum 1/4 cup
- Green Peas 1/4 cup
- Cauliflower (chopped) 1/4cup
- Pav Bhaji Masala 2 tbsp
- Boiled Potatoes ¼ cup
- Salt to taste 2 tsp
- Coriander chopped
- Other Ingredients ¼ cup
- Onions (chopped) ½ cup
- Milk Wash (Milk + 1 tsp sugar) ¼ cup
- Coriander (chopped)
- In a small bowl add yeast and water, let it activate for 15 minutes.
- Now take the flour, salt, ajwain in a bowl, add the yeast, water & knead to a soft dough. Leave the dough cover for an hour to proof.
- For the bhaji stuffing, in a pan heat butter, add the ginger garlic paste & chopped onions, saute for 4-5 mins on medium heat.
- Now add the powder masalas and cook for another minute.
- Now add the vegetables & potatoes, mix well & season with salt & fresh coriander leaves. Keep aside to cool down.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, take a small portion of the dough & stuff it with the pav bhaji masala & form small balls.
- Now place them on a baking tray & let them proof for another hour.
- Once the double in size, brush with milk wash & sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 25 mins.
- Serve hot with chopped onions, coriander & lemon wedges. Also, brush with melted butter before serving.