Paav Bhaaji is a very famous finger licking dish found in every corner in Mumbai! Call it street food or fast food, it is a huge favourite among almost all people in Mumbai! This bhaaji (vegetable) is a mixture of various vegetables cooked together in an onion tomato sauteed paste. The use of the aromatic Paav bhaaji masala, gives the paav bhaaji it’s unique taste!
Paav bhaaji is generally cooked in a lot of butter which can make it a bit unhealthy, as butter when heated converts into trans fatty acids! But for the healthier version, we can cook it in oil and add a little butter in the last tempering and a little on our bhaaji while serving! It is always served with these soft buttered paav (called as laadi paav), but one can always opt for whole wheat bread or even some whole wheat paav (readily available nowadays), for a healthier option.
The first time I heard about paav bhaaji was when I was in high school. Yes, hadn’t heard about it till then! It had left me wondering what it tasted like! A little later, we came across a food television show where the famous SNDT Home Science College of Mumbai showed the recipe and the procedure of the famous Paav Bhaaji! Excitedly we decided to give it a try. I have followed the same recipe till date except that I now cook it in oil and have made a little changes in the quantity of the vegetables used. Believe me, I have never liked any restaurant Paav Bhaaji after having tasted this version. This recipe uses a lot of healthy vegetables and some spices which many might not be using!
For some more such delicious & famous street foods, click on the links below and take a look at the following recipes too…
- Misal Paav
- Vada Paav
- Egg Bhurji Paav
- Daal Pakwaan
- Paneer Pizza Dosa
- Paani Poori
- Sukka Bhel
- Chanaa Chaat
- Ram Laadoo
- Seyal Paav
- 6 Medium Potatoes
- 1 cup Chopped Capsicum (Green Bell Pepper…. 1 Big)
- 1 cup Green Peas
- 1 cup Chopped Cauliflower (150 gm)
- 1/2 cup Chopped Carrots (1/2 carrot)
- 1/2 cup French Beans (50 gms)
- 1/2 cup Beetroot …… Boiled and pureed
- 5 Medium Onions
- 5 Medium Tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 2 tsp Corriander powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 4 tbs Oil
- 1 1/2 tbs Paav Bhaaji Masala… To be adjusted as per preference
- Salt to taste
To be ground to a paste :
5 Dry Red Bedgi Chillies
12 Large Garlic Cloves
1 1/4 inch Ginger
For the last tempering :
- 1 tsp Oil
- 1 tsp Butter
- To make the paav bhaaji, first wash all the vegetables thoroughly and drain out all the water.
- Chop all the vegetables into medium dices and cook in a pressure pan for 3 whistles using 1 cup water. When cooked, open the lid and smash all the vegetables with a smasher.
- Finely grate the onions and the tomatoes.
- Soak the dry red chillies in hot water for about an hour. Drain and grind together with the garlic and ginger using little water, to a get a fine paste.
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add to it the above paste and saute for about a minute.
- Now add the grated onions, saute well. When they are almost cooked, add the turmeric powder. Mix well.
- Add the grated tomatoes, pureed boiled beetroots, corriander powder, cumin powder, salt and saute till the whole mixture becomes thick and comes together. Add 1/2 tbs of the Paav bhaaji masala too, at this point. Saute and cook till the whole mixture thickens and comes together.
- Now add the smashed vegetables, a little water to get a medium thick consistency and salt to taste. Mix well and bring to a boil.
- In a tempering kadhai, heat the oil and butter and add to it the remaining paav bhaaji masala and mix. Pour this over the prepared Paav Bhaaji and mix well. Check seasoning. Simmer for a while.
- Switch off the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Serve this delicious Paav Bhaaji with buttered or lightly roasted paav, topped with some finely chopped onion and a little butter. Serve a wedge of lemon by the side if desired, for that extra tanginess.
Paav Bhaaji is one of the most popularly liked fast foods in Mumbai. What we get on the streets and restaurants can be a bit unhealthy due to the enormous quantity of butter used and also a very few vegetables being used. But, we can always cook this delicious dish at home in a very healthy way as per the above recipe.
Again, I would like to mention that do check the sourness of the tomatoes before grating. If the tomatoes are too sour, do reduce a bit of the above quantity, but not much! Tomatoes give this dish it’s lovely colour and taste too! Luckily I had quite sweet tomatoes, and hence could increase it’s quantity.
One more important tip, is that diabetics can use raw bananas instead of potatoes and completely forego the butter! They as well as others can substitute the regular Paav with whole wheat paav or whole wheat bread too! And yes, this bhaaji tastes delicious even with chapatis or rice or brown rice!
Do give this recipe a try and do add some more veggies if desired as I sometimes do! (i.e. broccoli, cabbage, coloured bell etc.)…… The options are endless