Pav Bhaji – A quintessential Mumbai Street Food delight that is chock full of veggies and made into an indulgent treat with generous lashings of butter. Today’s recipe is a vegan version of this treat.
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Today has me longing to get back to normal. Back to the days where we could travel freely, explore, meet up with loved ones and all that good stuff. It’s probably the weather, which is cold, wet and grey here in Sydney. It’s days like this that also have me longing for some comfort food. For me, personally, comfort food changes from time to time. Sometimes, its a big bowl of soup, other times its a big bowl of steamed broccoli. I know, right! Broccoli = comfort food? At times I wonder whether thats normal. Well that’s a mystery for another day, but on more normal days, comfort food is usually Indian food and more often than not, the Street Food kind.
Today, I’m going to treat you to one of my favourites – the good ol’ Mumbai style Pav Bhaji. Never heard of it before? Well, there’s 2 components to it Pav – bread (not any bread, but a dinner roll thats split in two, buttered and lightly toasted.) and Bhaji – a mixed vegetable mash that has been cooked in butter with some beautiful, mild, but warming spices and topped off with some more butter. Usually the bread is toasted on the same pan the veggies are cooked on and it absorbs some of the flavours of the veggie mix, but today we’re keeping things simple. I’m just going to use another pan.
If you’d like to try your hand at making some delicious Laadi Pav, try this recipe out. It works like a charm. In the spirit of keeping things simple, I’m just using some store-bought bread rolls today.
The Bhaji or vegetable mix is a really versatile component. Everyone that makes a Pav Bhaji, has their own version. A lot of recipes call for a Pav Bhaji Masala. You can find this at almost any Indian grocery store, but I usually refrain from buying something like this spice mix that has just one use. And seeing how Pav Bhaji is an indulgent treat, we don’t make it very often. So after some experimenting, I figured out a combination of simple spices that works really well. The best part is that these spices are really common and if you cook Indian food, you most likely already have them in your kitchen.
So let’s get cooking.