Bhajiya Pav

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As someone who was living in Mumbai for most of her life, I am going to commit blasphemy by uttering the next few words – I am not a big fan of the Vada Pav. Let the lynching begin. Somehow, all my life I tried to like it because duh! But I simply could not find it in me to enjoy Vada pav. I enjoy them separately – I love the batata Vada and I can eat pav with nothing on the side because bread! But put them together with the spicy green chutney and I start backing off from there. But Bhajiya pav is something I adore and crave and can eat as many as you can get me. Each bite holds so many memories and conversations of the years gone by. In our school, we did not have a proper canteen. We had two ladies who would come at break time with huge tubs full of Vada pavs, samosa pavs and bhajiya pavs. By the end of the 15 minute break they would walk out with empty tubs but full pockets. Since my mother took our eating out as a personal affront, we did not eat out much except for the birthdays – ours and our friends’ when the treat always was bought from the aunties at the ‘canteen’.

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Later, we discovered the ultimate maker of Vada pavs and bhajiya pavs near our home in Mumbai. Ever since, no trip of mine to Mumbai is complete without a bite (so much more than a bite!) of his bhajiya pavs. He fries the bhajiya, rips open the pav, fills it with the chutneys and bhajiya, packs it in old newspaper and ties them with many metres of thread in a blink of the eye. We spend more time in pulling out the thread and untangling it from our fingers than we spend in actually eating the contents inside. Though I still don’t like the green chutney, I have included it here husband will not have it any other way. But trust me, if you top it with loads of dry garlic chutney and close your eyes, you will find yourself in a Mumbai street corner near a push cart which is super hot because of the incessant frying, with aromas that could make you hungry even though you just had lunch and an invisible magnetic pull towards it saying the golden words “Bhaiya 2 bhajiya pav parcel”.

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Serves 2-3

WHAT WE NEED

6 Pavs

Dry garlic chutney

For the Bhajiya

1 Potato, large

1/2 cup Chickpea flour

2 tbsp Rice flour

1/2 tsp Red chilly powder

Salt

Water

Oil for deep frying

For the green chutney

6-7 stalks of fresh coriander

1 garlic clove

1 green chilly

3-4 drops of lemon juice

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat enough oil in a pan to deep fry the bhajiya
  • In a bowl, mix together the chickpea flour, rice flour, chilly powder and salt
  • Add enough water to form a slightly thick batter. The batter should not be too thin else it would be difficult to coat the potato and not too thick in which the flavour of the potato is lost
  • Slice the potato into thin slices in a mandolin slicer
  • Once the oil is hot, take one slice of the potato and coat it well with the batter and drop it into the hot oil
  • Once it is nicely cooked on both sides, take it out of the oil and place it on tissue to absorb the excess oil
  • You can fry multiple potato slices at a time depending on how big your pan is
  • Repeat the procedure with all other slices of potato till you have the desired number of bhajiyas
  • Add all the ingredients for the green chutney in a small mixer jar
  • Add enough water to blend together all the ingredients into a chutney. It needs to be slightly runny so that it is easy to slather it over the pav
  • Cut open the pav in half horizontally but leave it joint at one end

Assembling the dish

  • The pav is usually eaten as is but you can lightly toast it with some butter if you want
  • Apply the chutney on the inside of the pav and place 2-3 bhajiyas in it
  • Top it with dry garlic chutney and serve
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Street Food’.

BMLogoCheck out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Srivalli Jetti says:

    Sowmya, I literally have my mouth watering just reading!…wow girl this is ultimate..though I have not had this particular one, I love Vada Pav and all its cousins..so will be making this yaar!..enjoyed reading your memories!

  2. 2 bhajiya Pav hamara bhi parcel karna behna ! Lol . Amazing post with my favourite Mumbai street food ! Rocking man !

  3. sizzlingtastebuds says:

    Ditto ! I don’t care for Vada pav at all but my kids do crazy just with the aroma 🙂 this looks fab .. next time
    We should eat this at the post office but push cart vendor (u know where 😜)

  4. Pavani says:

    Didn’t know bhajias can be used to make sandwiches too. Those bhajiya pav look soooo inviting and tempting.

  5. Priya Suresh says:

    Omg, this Bhajias pav is definitely irresistible, never knew that bhajias can be sandwiched like this, ultimate dish.

  6. Jayashree says:

    I’ve tried all kinds of street food in Mumbai, but haven’t come across this before. Sounds mouthwateringly good.

  7. I was also like you until my friend assembled one for me a few years back. Now I am a convert! This one sounds just as good.

  8. Jyoti Babel says:

    I have never tried Bhajia with pav.. I am tempted to try it now

  9. Sapana Behl says:

    Wow bhajia inside pavs is oh so delicious.

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