Pav Bhaji to a Maharashtrian is what Rajma – Chawal is to a Punjabi, or Dosa – Sambhar is to a Tamilian. Pav, the bread goes along beautifully with a thick gravy made of potato, tomato, half a dozen other vegetables and butter. There is so much of butter at every stage in the Pav Bhaji that it can be rightly called the “Queen of Taste” and “King of Calories.” Eating Pav Bhaji everyday can be a big challenge to your health. I would suggest you have it once in a while and ensure that you burn the extra calories by a walk the next morning. Pav Bhaji has slowly but surely moved beyond Maharashtra, it is practically found in restaurants all over India. Over the last decade, Pav Bhaji has been making inroads internationally, you can find it in menus of Indian restaurants in all cities which have a sizeable Indian diaspora.
Most non Maharashtrians owe their first rendezvous with Pav Bhaji to one of the numerous stalls on Juhu Beach, Mumbai. It is said that there is some magic which the sea breeze at Juhu has, the Pav Bhaji tastes much more yummier than it tastes anywhere else. There is a lot of talk about secret recipes and secret ingredients, to be honest, most Maharashtrians consider all of that as fluff. For them, Pav Bhaji is just about getting a right combination of masala, tomato, potato, half a dozen other vegetables and butter right. It is also important to source fresh Pav to go along with it.
Most households use the following vegetables in addition to tomatoes and potatoes: cauliflower, capsicum, onions, garlic, green peas, green chilli and ginger. The skill lies in ensuring that no vegetable gets overcooked and they are all mashed very well. That’s what you should try to achieve. Enjoy!