When you visit a new city, what are you most excited for? It's trying their local food, isn't it? Every city has its own authentic street food. Be it Delhi's savory chaat, Mumbai's mouth-watering Vada Pav, Pune's Misal, and so on. Even if big fancy restuarants try their best, they can hardly match the taste of these local food stalls.
I have always thought about this in futility – though the contents and process of cooking is similar, why the fun is not same?? Mumbai and Pune are somehow in love with Pav (bun). Dishes like Vadapav, Misal pav, bhurji pav, kheema pav, pavbhaji are not as much fun if we replace pav with bread. This is another unanswered question I have. ? Although not very healthy, street food is loved by all age groups.
Shillong has the most amazing momos I have ever had. But these momos could not stop me from missing dishes like pavbhaji and vadapav from Pune and Mumbai. I can go to extremes and say that these dishes are something I miss more than my mom’s cooking.
I remember my college days where late night studies needed a snack break. Pav bhaji stall on the street near hostel was the only go to place for me and my roommates. These study nights always ended up being a hog fest at Pav bhaji stall. After 3-4 years of such routine – I started a work-life but the late night pavbhaji routine remained the same. Probably the nostalgia pulled me to those stalls again and again.
But there is something in eating pavbhaji at the stall at late night – lack of options, hunger, silent roads, pleasant temperature and finally the visual of that butter melting on bhaji and the pav spreading that tempting aroma in the air. After coming to Shillong
, I was missing these pavbhaji stalls and the experience of enjoying it with friends.
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So one day while complaining about this to my colleagues in Zizira, they asked me why am I not making it instead of whining about it? They were right ! And I decided to make Pavbhaji on a weekend – for all of us in office. And then the reality kicks in. I have never made Pavbhaji and that too for more than 2-3 people. This was a challenge indeed but for the love of Pavbhaji, I decided to take up this challenge.
I Made the List of Ingredients-
- Green Peas
- Cumin seeds
- Bird's eye chilli powder
- Bay leaf powder
- Szechuan Pepper powder
- Turmeric, preferable Lakadong turmeric
- Ginger Garlic Paste
- Curry leaves
- Readymade Pavbhaji Masala
- Buns – Unfortunately Shillong does not have those rectangular bland Pav I love ?☹ but I have learnt to accept the truth by now
The Recipe is quite easy and I had helping hands from our team. And so it began-
How to Prepare
- Boil the potatoes in a pressure cooker, peel them and put aside
- Boil all the vegetables- Capsicum, Cauliflower, Onions, Green peas, Tomatoes together in a pressure cooker along with the salt
- Take the peeled and cooked potatoes and mash them with all these cooked vegetables
- Make a consistent mixture of these veggies without any lumps of potatoes etc.
- Now, take a frying pan and pour some oil in it
- Add cumin seeds, curry leaves, hing, bay leaf powder, Szechuan pepper powder to the heated oil
- Add some chopped onion and ginger garlic paste
- Add bird’s eye chilli carefully depending on how hot you like your Pavbhaji
- Add turmeric
- Pour the mix of all mashed veggies in pan and mix it well
- Add generous amount of butter in Pavbhaji
- And then a readymade Pavbhaji Masala to give it the authentic Pavbhaji smell and taste
- Apply butter to the breads and heat them on a pan till they turn golden brown and give you that buttery tasty aroma.
That's it! Enjoy your Pavbhaji, just like my folks at Zizira did! ? Which Indian street food do you love the most? Share with me on the comments below.