Sunday, June 24, 2007

Pav Bhaji -A Taste of Home

Dear Foodies,

Heaven on a plate
Ever since I read the post on Nupur's blog about her aunts recipe for Pav Bhaji I knew I had to try it. Its just what she calls it, heaven on a plate, when done right though! Its one dish that everyone in India can relate too. All of us have tasted it and enjoyed it atleast once in our lives. I don't have to stress how good this particular recipe is either. I have come across so many posts on blogs where this recipes has been tried, tested and proven to be perfect :) Onions, they seem to be the culprit, they are to be perched on top of the bhaji and not in it, Now who would have thought of that ! A very huge Thank you to you Nupur and to her aunt for having cracked the magic in the dish.

In Hyderabad, Gokul Chaat Bhandar was THE place to eat chaat. It is also very strategically placed, right opposite the text book selling hub of the city, just where all the population between 15-24 would be concentrated(its also a major shopping area :P). The street was covered from end to end with book stalls selling books covering every subject offered from class 10 to Ph.D or M.Tech standards, international authors, guides and just about any book ever quoted in your syllabus. You could find brand new books and even second/third hand books and you could bargain to your hearts content :D That place needs a post for itself ! And this chaat place was nestled on the opposite side of the road. It was more of a custom to eat there whenever you cross by. He served everything that you could ask for in chaat, gol gappas, papri chaat, dahi kachori, aloo tikki, samosa chaat, mirchi, ragda and the very famous pav bhaji. The special plate would look just like a plate meal. The pav bhaji would be served with a side of ginger-chilli pickle, green chutney, pickle and a masala papad sprinkled with chaat masala, onions and cilantro. It was just perfect !

I have been waiting to try this recipe and not being able to find it on restaurant menus just added to the cravings. Its not a very difficult recipe to re-create either, just a hodge-podge of veggies you have with Cauliflowers taking the center stage. Potatoes generally hog the limelight when it comes to their presence in street food, but the cauliflower definitely steals the show with this one. Its a wonderful way of getting people who hate cauliflower to actually fall in love with it. You'll hardly know its even there :))

Go ahead, take a bite & don't mind the slightly burnt pav :P
The only variations I added to the recipe was using two fresh tomatoes and 2 Tbsp of Tomato paste instead of the puree. The use of the paste rendered a deliciously red color to the bhaji, not to mention a little tang too, absolutely yummy. I also used a carrot,freshly crushed ginger & garlic and some fennel seeds(saunf). I have the Everest brand pav- bhaji masala and loved its flavor, most of my other masalas are from Everest too.Garnish with cilantro, lemon juice. Imp: Don't forget the butter on top of the hot bhaji just before serving ;) Update: I tried it again with MDH brand Pav bhaji masala and it tasted just as good. Their masala is a little more spicy so you need to take care while adding extra chilli powder.

I used store bought ready made buns for the pav, slather them with butter and toast until golden brown and crisp (unlike mine :)) ). I also like to season my butter with some salt and chilli powder/chat masala/pav bhaji masala, it adds a nice kick to the otherwise plain buns. If you are prepared to go the extra mile then do make your own pav too... Jai n Bee have a wonderful post on making some really good pav's Mumbai style ! I can't wait to try them :)


10 thoughts:

Nabeela said...

Just reading the very first word of your title got my tummy rumbling, I swear. That is exactly what I need right now, but unfortunately I have to make do with cookies since its.....umm....1:00 a.m

Nupur said...

All credit goes to my brilliant aunt! Thanks so much for trying the recipe...and I am so delighted that you like it! I have jai and bee's pav on my must-try list too.
Loved your description of the street book bazaar, I feel like I can spend days browsing in those places!

bee said...

someone mentioned gokul to us the last time we were in h'bad. we need to visit that place..

Lata said...

Who doesn't love Gokul chat? I know it was like a tradition to eat there if you happen to go there to buy books.

I recently visited India and went there thrice.

Dilip said...

great post...one of my all time fav dish...looks great...thanks for sharing

Sandeepa said...

Reading about all that chaat...makes me drool...and all I have is a "Kashi" cereal bar. Such is life :(

mallugirl said...

i also tried nupur's pav bhaji and had loved it. it came so close to the yummy ones i had from bombay!!most others are just a hodge podge liek u said.

suma said...

Can you please check my comments in your dulche de leche ice cream posting. I would appreciate a response from you abt the questions I had.... Great recipe :)))

anusharaji said...

thats mouthwatering for sure

pritya said...

Dear Priya,

That was a great recipe for pav bhaji. This dish is a hot favourite with children and adults alike. The image is also so yummy to look at - and appetizing. The more the butter the better the dish. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. Of course, many of us who are fans of Gokul are so heart broken ever since the calamity happened. Of course, we are all praying and hoping they will be back on their feet soon.

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