Monday, 15 July 2013

Paav Bhaji

 Paav Bhaji is the most famous street food that you can see in almost every street in Mumbai. Go to any street fast food, paav bhaji is sure to stand out as a main item in the chaat menu. Spiced up potatoes and vegetables, simmered in butter and some spices, served with pav buns has been a favorite road side food for many many decades.

In Mumbai households I have seen that houses receive one pack of Paav everyday along with a bottle of milk and the morning newspaper. So paav is part of everyday meal over there just like idli/dosa for the Tamil people I guess. Paav means "a small bun", while Bhaaji means "vegetable". Paav Bhaji is so wholesome you can have it as a meal.


  • Potatoes,boiled and mashed 4 medium
  • Tomatoes,chopped 4 medium
  • Onions,chopped         2 medium
  • Carrots,chopped,boiled       1 medium
  • Green capsicum,chopped deseeded 1 medium
  • Green peas,shelled, boiled 1/4 cup
  • Ginger-garlic paste       1 tablespoon
  • Cumin seeds         1 teaspoon
  • Oil 3 tablespoons
  • Green chillies,chopped 3-4
  • Pav bhaji masala 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • Salt to taste
  • Butter 3 tablespoons
  • Pav 8
  • Fresh coriander leaves,chopped 1/4 cup
  • Lemons,cut into wedges 2


For the bhaji:

Heat the butter and oil in a kadhai and add the cumin seeds.
When the seeds crackle, add the chilli-garlic paste and green chilliesand sauté on a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add 3/4th chopped onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Add the capsicum and sauté for 1 more minute.
Add the tomatoes and carrots and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, mash well using a potato masher.
Add the salt, pav bhaji masala, chilli powder and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the green peas, potatoes, mix well and cook along with 1/3 cup of water for 1 to 2 minutes, while mashing it with the help of a masher.
Add the coriander, mix well and cook for 1 minute.

For the pav:

Slit 2 pavs vertically and keep aside.
Heat a large tava, add 2 tsp of butter and slit open the pavs and place on it.
Cook on a medium flame till they turn light brown and crisp on both the sides. (add more butter if required).

How to serve:

Place ¼th of hot bhaji, 2 pavs, ¼ cup of onions, a lemon wedge and a papad on a plate.
Top the bhaji with 1 tsp of butter and serve immediately garnished with 1 tsp of coriander.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Mangai Thokku

Mangai Thokku is a very easy to make pickle. We got introduced to this recipe when we spent time in Tamil Nadu. I have not heard of this recipe atleast from the Keralites. But this is an awesome dish and goes with most of the rice varieties in particular the curd rice. 

I usually make this with what I call as "Salem Manga" or the famously called kilimookku manga. And I feel Salem Mango is the best suited for this pickle. This tangy and spicy pickle lasts for about a month if refrigerated. This statement I got from my mom because at my place it never lasts for more than a week.

Salem Manga - 2 (appr 500 grams)
Turmeric Powder - 10 grams
Chilly powder - 50 grams
Salt - 2 tsp

For Tempering:
Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – a big pinch

Dry roast and grind:
Fenugreek Seeds – ½ tsp


  • Wash and peel the mangoes. Cut into small pieces. You can even grate the mangoes. I prefer grating...
  • Heat a Kadai with oil. Temper with mustard seeds. Add asafoetida.
  • Next add the mango pieces and turmeric powder and salt.
  • Saute on medium flame, till the mango pieces are almost cooked.
  • Now add the chilli powder and sauté for some more time or till you see oil on the sides. The pickle will leave the sides of the kadai and become a whole mass.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Dry roast fenugreek seeds and powder with the help of a mortar and pestle.
  • Finally add this fenugreek powder and mix well.
  • Cool completely and store in airtight containers.
  • Tastes best when served with curd rice

Note: Some people also add little bit of jaggery to this. Since the type of mango used here is not so sour, I generally avoid this.