Mumbai (Bombay) is famous for its Chaat Recipes. I guess it is safe to say that Chaat has spread its wings all over the country and even abroad. Most of us love eating an evening Chaat as a snack. These days even when you are shopping in a mall, getting a plate of Chaat is becoming a tradition.
So where did all this begin. Chaat is quite famous in the beaches of Bombay. The other day I was talking to some of my English friends about Beach! Here as you know people go to beach during the day and mainly to lounge in the sand and picnic.
Friend : How do you go to the beach as it is so hot in India.
Me : We go in the evening.
Friend : Sunset is later in the evening like here?
Me : No, Sunsets at around 6:30. We go to beach at around 5. Enjoy some time in the water and then enjoy some food at the stalls
I think right about then I lost her. Beach is so different for us. For me it is playing in the water, sitting on the sand, eating from the stalls and as a kid the occasional balloon or fan (Kattadi) that my parents used to buy me.
The food in the beach takes a whole new meaning in the Juhu beach in Bombay. It is like going to the Mela. I don't think anyone actually goes to the beach for the water, its for the food and the rides. I remember doing this as a child. Its been ages and I really long to go there once more.
The Bhaji - Bhaji is the vegetable side dish component of the meal. The Key to a good Bhaji is that it should be well mashed and no one should be able to feel the texture of the vegetables that went in it.
The Pav - The Pav is the bread served with the vegetable side dish. It is a super soft roll that is then toasted in loads of butter! See the recipe for the best Pav Bread here. If you are not a bread baker, don't worry. Just go buy yourself some good quality pav bread.
To get the original experience of how Pav Bhaji is made in Mumbai, check out this video
Green Pepper 1
Boiled Potato Small 8
Frozen Peas 1/2 cup
Ginger Garlic Paste 2 tbsp
Pav Bhaji Masala 6 tsp, divided
Chilli Powder 6 tsp, divided
Kasuri Methi 2 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Hing a little
Coriander Leaves handful
Lemon Juice 1 tbsp
Butter 4 tbsp, divided
Oil 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water upto 2 cups, divided
Method of Preparation
1. Heat the oil in a flat pan. Add the finely chopped peppers to it. Saute for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle a little water if needed.
2. Add finely chopped tomatoes and ginger garlic paste to this and cook till the mix starts to come together.
3. Mash the boiled potatoes and peas. Add to the pan along with 2 tbsp of Butter, 5 tsp of Chilli Powder, 5 tsp of Pav Bhaji Masala. Mix well and keep mashing and mixing till the vegetables lose their identity! Add water as needed 1/2 cup at a time.
4. In a separate pan, add 1 tbsp of butter and finely chopped onions, 1 tsp of pav bhaji masala, 1 tsp of chilli powder, 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder, 2 tsp of Kasuri Methi and salt. Mix well and cook till the onions are browned.
5. Add this to the cooking vegetable mixture along with some salt. Mix and mash. Add 1 tbsp of butter to this while cooking. Keep adding water as required.
6. Finally add the lemon juice.
Serving the Pav Bhaji
Pav Bread 2
Onions 1/4 cup finely chopped
Coriander Leaves 1 tbsp
Lemon 1 wedge
Bhaji 1 cup
Butter 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
Chilli Powder 1/4 tsp
Pav Bhaji Masala 1/4 tsp
How to Serve
In a pan, add 1 tbsp of butter. Add the chilli powder and pav bhaji masala to it. Add the sliced Pav Bread (sliced side down) to the pan. Toast it. Serve in a plate with the Bhaji topped with onions, coriander leaves and a wedge of lemon.