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The different flavours of Pav Bhaji

Bonny Shah

Bonny Shah
20 November 2019

This article is authored by Bonny Shah. Bonny is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator.

Street Food

The classic street food, Pav Bhaji has captured the imagination and tempted the taste buds of people all over the world. This easy-to-cook, delicious meal combines everything that Indian street food is known for – a bouquet of flavours, quick prep and easy availability. Bhaji, a mixture of boiled vegetables seasoned with various spices and tons of butter, is delicious to the very last morsel. The pav is a leavened bread or bun, roasted in butter and served hot.

The origins of this dish are fascinating. Pav Bhaji is a dish that acted as a quick meal for mill workers of Mumbai. While some debate does exist around which mill exactly was home to the first Pav Bhaji, one thing that isn’t up for debate is that well-made Pav Bhaji leaves everyone enthralled the minute they taste it. It is a wholesome meal prepared using a host of vegetables such as green peas, tomatoes, potato, capsicum, cauliflower, carrots, French beans, etc. to make it mouth-watering and healthy. The exact combination of vegetables and the proportions in which they are used tends to vary from restaurant to restaurant and home to home.

After decades of being the quintessential street food and the go-to meal, Pav Bhaji has received a makeover in many different ways. Its versatile nature has meant that many Indian communities have made it their own way. But beyond these variations, there are certain versions of Pav Bhaji that renew this classic by making it even better. From the streets to five-star hotels, here are some newer versions of the pav bhaji.

Kala/Black Pav Bhaji

Kala/Black Pav Bhaji

This darker sibling of the Pav Bhaji gets its colour and distinct taste from a special masala which is used along with the Pav Bhaji Masala. Rumored to have originated in the Khau Gallis of suburban Mumbai, Kala Pav Bhaji has rapidly gained popularity throughout the city and beyond. The masala that gives this dish its colour consists of whole spices such as black pepper, black-stone flower, cloves, cardamom, fennel seeds, cinnamon, coriander seeds, and grated dry coconut. These ingredients are dry roasted and turned into a powder, which is added to the Pav Bhaji to boost its flavours. Served with hot pavs, the aroma of this dish is beyond tempting.

Masala Pav Sandwich

Masala Pav Sandwich

Masala Pav Sandwich can be called the compact version of the Pav Bhaji as it is greatly similar to the authentic version. This street snack is an amalgamation of the vada pav, vegetable sandwich and pav bhaji. Two pieces of pav are roasted in hot butter. The filling between the pav consists of a masala akin to the one used in the original bhaji and slices of boiled potato, tomatoes and onions are sandwiched between pavs. This is topped with grated cheese. This fusion dish marries the best elements of Mumbai’s street food and brings them together on a single plate. A must-try for all street food enthusiasts. Making it at home is also an easy task using the Tata Sampann Pav Bhaji Masala.

Pav Bhaji Fondue

Pav Bhaji Fondue

An international take on this classic is the Pav Bhaji Fondue. The combination of mozzarella or processed cheese and the flavoursome ingredients and spices of the traditional fondue will make you forget that Pav Bhaji existed in any other form. The creamy texture of melted cheese reduces the zing of the spices while adding to the overall flavour. To make sure your fondue tastes like the perfect fusion of two cuisines, use Tata Sampann Pav Bhaji Masala which is a blend of naturally rich, high quality spices. This masala is Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe, ensuring its authenticity. Making the Pav Bhaji Fondue is simple as well. Blend the pav bhaji in a mixer once it is prepared. Strain it and add cheese to it. Heat this in pan till the cheese has melted. Serve it with crispy pav pieces on sticks.

Have you tried using Pav Bhaji Masala in a creative way to make a unique dish? Share your recipe with us in the comments below.




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