Pav ode to Mumbai.

"One blue-bright Bombay morning, in the middle of the masses on the street, I have a vision: that all these individuals, each with his or her own favorite song and hairstyle, each tormented by an exclusive demon, form but the discrete cells of one gigantic organism, one vast but singular intelligence, one sensibility, one consciousness. And if I understand them well, they will all merge back into me, and the crowd will become the self, one, many-splendored".Maximum City... Bombay lost and found. 

Assume that you don’t know Mumbai. You have never lived in Mumbai.But reading that above paragraph wouldn't you want to go to Mumbai? 

I had first visited Mumbai when it was still Bombay....and frankly speaking I prefer Bombay to the more plebian  Mumbai(no offence to the RSS and Hindutva etc etc) ...I love the way Bombay rolled off the tongue..its colloquial feel that goes perfectly with its cobbled streets and  the beautiful old buildings dotting the city( nope..i am not an anglophile, swear!)
Its the finance heart of India..a port city bursting at its seams with people from every state merging into each other till they all seem to come from the same coming from a melting pot...
Its a gorgeous city with a brave soul that no amount of bombing scars can kill.. 
Its a city adorned by the sensuous greenish blue waters of the Arabian Sea...a city bedecked with tiny little nooks tucked away  for us to go rest up during weekends...a city that is dazzlingly busy..that runs non stop at a dizzying pace..that doesn't sleep..that is restless, just like the people who live in it... 
Its a restless beauty of a city with a bold,beautiful soul... Thats my Bombay to you.. 
HOPE ..thats Mumbai's gift to millions sinking into its ethereal,raw beauty.

 PS: I did this little pebble art, do you like it too ? 

I remember my first visit to this much loved city of Mumbai.. it was during summer holidays and my entire family had gone there and of course to every touristy place worth visiting..I was but 12yrs old...aeons ago really!! But i can vividly recall the wonderful mesmerising experience it was!! And I can never forget the walks on Juhu beach( it used to be clean then...) and my first morsel of the humble street food, Pav Bhaji!

I have visited Mumbai many times since then... mostly on office work (Finance Capital + Wealth Manager =Mumbai) ..
I discovered its hidden joys and beauty much later when I started my first job.. 
It was a city waiting to be experienced..not seen... not just lived in! 
I discovered my own fearlessness in Mumbai.. 
There in the midst of a million people, I came into my own.
This is a city that is very close to my heart... and Pav Bhaji is a dish thats very happy to be from Mumbai!

Pav Bhaji is a common street food in India..Its rustic, simple, budget friendly and spicy enough to satiate the Indian palate always lusting after the spice kick! 
Its a mixed vegetable stew (for the lack of a better word) served with dolloped butter and  some garnishes... 
And of course it has to have the "Pav" or soft milk buns, grilled with butter and served hot on the side!
Its like Bombay/Mumbai... 
Its a potpourri of all thats good and tasty ...and it comes together in the form of a filling,delicious and anytime snack ,served from a single melting pot :P 

Serve this, anytime you are in the need of a quick spice fix... 
Or anytime you want to taste the mystery called "Mumbai"...You won't be disappointed. 

Here's how... 

Ingredients : 

1. Pav or Buns - 6 pieces, halved, buttered and grilled on a pan. 
(Do this only when you are ready to serve up)

2. For the Bhaji
Boiled Potatoes 6-7 ( Mashed thoroughly using a potato masher) 
Chop finely : 
Onions -2 large
Capsicum - 2 small
Tomatoes- 4 medium
Garlic -8-10 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch
Green chillies- 2-3
Cauliflower - 6-7 florets,boiled and chopped fine. 
Carrot - 1 large grated. 
Peas - 1/2 cup, boiled and mashed. 

3. Spices :
Pav Bhaji Masala - 2 tbsp. I use basic Everest Pav Bhaji ..But you can of course make your own masala.  (rolling my eyes)
Kashmiri Red Chillie Powder - 2 tsp 
Salt - as per taste. 

4. For Garnish: 
Lemon wedges 
Coriander leaf - 2 tbsp chopped fine. 
Onion 1/2 ..chopped fine. 

Method : 

Start by heating 2 tsp of oil in a bid pan.
Once the oil is hot, add the ginger and garlic...saute till golden and fragrant..
Add the onions..a pinch of salt..saute till pink and translucent.
Add the capsicum,cauliflower and peas..add salt acc...fry for 2 minutes.. 
Add the grated carrot and saute again for a min
Add tomatoes,mix well. 
Add in the spices. give it a thorough stir to make sure the veggies are coated well with the spices...Fry for 3-4 minutes...
Add in the mashed potatoes.. salt acc. Stir to combine. 
After 3-4 minutes , add plenty of water.The veggies should be covered in water.. just about. 
Now let it come to a boil,Once boiling, reduce the flame to low and let it gently simmer for 20-30 minutes. 
Keep check and stirring to make sure it doesnt stick to the pan. Very very crucial. 
Mid way ( after 15 mins) , Mash all the veggies thoroughly with a potato masher... This is what makes it the bhaji... Do it well. Please. 
Let it simmer for an additional 5-10 min... 
Turn off when the consistency is reached. ..It should be a thick gravy.. not watery at all..and definitely not clumped up. 
Sprinkle some lime/lemon juice...garnish with chopped onions and sprinkle the coriander leaves... 
Serve hot with a dollop of butter and toasted warm buns..and chilled watermelon mojitos.
The perfect evening snack is ready... 

A longing for Mumbai... 
S :) 

Disclaimer : In no way do I claim that this dish is authentic Mumbaiya..I simply chose to share with you a time tested and always "finger-lickin-good" recipe that we absolutely love in our family . Thanks.