I remember reading somewhere that the dish is a brainchild of the mill workers in Mumbai, who needed a dish that was quick to eat and satisfying instead of the full fledged meals. So, the Roti / Rice was replaced by Pav and the Bhaji was a concoction of various vegetables.
I learnt the authentic version of this dish from my friends, Suvarna & Rohit, and made it today for some of my friends from Mumbai, who were coming over to my place. What better can you serve to fellow Mumbaites than the king of Mumbai street cuisine and a quintessential part of Mumbai culture?
So, here is the authentic version, twisted to make a low cal and low fat meal.
1 small Cauliflower
1 small Cauliflower
1 small bowl Green Peas
2 Onions - chopped into fine pieces
3 Tomatoes - pureed
1 small Capsicum - chopped
Ginger Garlic paste
Everest Pav Bhaji Masala (Beg, borrow or steal, but don't use any other brand)
Red Chilly Powder
Pav (Whole wheat Pav or White Pav, according to preferences. If you don't get Pav's in your country, replace with Burger Buns)
Butter (I have used Low fat butter here)
Coriander for Garnishing
Salt to taste
2 tsp oil
Boil the Potatoes, Cauliflower and Green peas in a cooker till 4 whistles. Alternatively, use a steamer. Once the veggies have cooled down, smash them and keep aside.
Heat oil, throw in your onions, saute them and follow it with some Turmeric, Ginger Garlic paste and Capsicums. Saute well. You can add salt to make the onions brown faster.
Now, put in your tomato puree. Once this has cooked well, add Red chilly powder and lots of Pav Bhaji Masala. Throw in your smashed veggie and adjust salt. Add a couple of dollops of low fat butter or skip it.
Roast your pavs on a tava using little butter.
Serve your Bhaji with chopped raw onion, lemon wedges, Coriander garnish and accompanied with Pavs.
The healthy, low cal Pav Bhaji is ready. Pav Bhaji is loaded with fats because of the butter content. If you reduce that and substitute with low fat butter, you can enjoy this guilt free fast food. The whole wheat pav's also increase the 'health' quotient' of the dish.