Wednesday, February 25, 2009
When we moved cities and those friends were miles away, I realised that either I had to make do with restaurant food or well, start cooking myself. So one such day, when I was really craving a friend's pav bhaji, I called her for the recipe and she pointed me to Nupur's blog. Not only did I discover great pav bhaji, but through her blog, I stumbled into the wonderful world of food blogs.
Somehow, the food blogs ignited the passion for cooking in me, and there was no looking back...in fact, here I am writing my own blog!!
Translated, it sounds as mundane as bread and vegetables. But anyone who has eaten it would aver that Pav Bhaji is anything but mundane. The (arguably) most popular of street foods today has had very humble beginnings. This melange of vegetables actually started off as a quick fix lunch for textile mill workers in Mumbai who had a very short lunch break and therefore (leftover) vegetables, dressed up in some spices and wrapped in some bread seemed to fit the bill of a filling yet nutritious lunch.
Slowly, it made its way to people's hearts and the phenomenon called "pav bhaji" was born.
(adapted from Nupur's Pav Bhaji recipe , this makes enough for about 4-6 people)Ginger and garlic paste - 1 tsp each
Green bell pepper - 1, julienned
Tomato - 5-6 (or enough to make about 2 cups of puree)
Tomato paste - 2 tbsps
Potato - 2
Cauliflower - about 10 -12 large florets
Carrot - 1
Green peas - 1/2 cup
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pav bhaji masala - 2 - 4 tsps
Red chilli powder - 1.5 tsp (more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)
Cumin powder, coriander powder, chaat masala - 1/2 tsp each
Oil - 1.5 tbsp
Butter - 50 gms (gasp)
salt - to taste
sugar - 2 tsps
onion - 1, finely chopped
corainder leaves - 2 tbsps, finely chopped
Puree the tomatoes in the mixie, add some salt, 1 tsp sugar and red chilli powder and bring to a boil. Simmer for a further 5 mins.
Boil and mash the potatoes.
Steam the cauliflower and the carrots and pulse in the mixie to get a chunky puree. Alternatively, mash them by hand.
Thaw the peas (if using frozen), boil them if using fresh ones. I normally add a bit of sugar while cooking peas, makes them really sweet.
Once you are done with the pre-preparation, making the pav bhaji is really really simple!
making the pav bhaji:
Heat oil, and fry the ginger garlic paste till fragrant. Next, add the bell pepper and stir fry for 2 mins.
Add the tomato puree and the tomato paste and cook till it no longer tastes raw. Now, add all the dry masalas, salt and sugar and and let cook for about a minute.
Time to add all the mashed vegetables and give those arms a good workout - stir the mixture till you get a homogenous mess of absolute aromatic delight!
Add water depending on how thin you want the bhaji to be. Taste and adjust the masalas as per your taste and spice tolerance level.
Add the lemon juice, some chopped coriander leaves and half the butter and cook the bhaji for a further 10 -15 mins.
I normally rest my bhaji for about half an hour, before re-heating it and serving piping hot - resting the bhaji allows the flavours to really integrate themselves into the bhaji.
Garnish the bhaji with the chopped onions and coriander and serve with pav ( haven't been able to source these in Singapore) and so I use burger buns. Slice the buns into two, apply some butter and light toast them on a flat pan.
Don't talk. Eat.
Sending this to:
FIC: Orange hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen, an event started by - well someone whose very name spells orange - Sunshinemom
JFI: Cauliflower hosted by Mythreyee of Paajaka Recipes, the branchild of Indira of Mahanandi.
It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!