Saturday, April 30, 2005

Bombay Street Food: Pav Bhaji

Bombay- now there's a city that loves tucking in! A teeming metropolis of about 20 million people (bigger than most European nations), it makes even New York City feel like a sleepy little town! At any point in time, millions of Bombayites are out in the streets eating. Even at midnight (especially at midnight), hordes of people crowd at little restaurants and roadside stalls to tuck into spicy chaat and crispy dosas and creamy fruit-flavored kulfis and above all, pav bhaji.

Whenever I visit Bombay, the main item on the agenda is : Eat Sukh Sagar Pav Bhaji. Sukh Sagar is a little restaurant near the Chowpatty beach in South Bombay, and it serves simply the most awesome snacks, the likes of which evoke feelings usually reserved for religious epiphanies.

What, then, is Pav Bhaji? It is a spicy vegetable stew that you sop up with pillowy bread. The pav bhaji chef (bhaiyya) stands at the mouth of the restaurant with a huge cast-iron pan in front of him. He is surrounded by bowls of chopped veggies and an alarming number of packets of Amul brand butter. The bhaiyya will start sauteeing the veggies together with boiled potatoes, spices and enormous dollops of butter and mash the whole mixture into a sizzling vegetable dish. He will then serve this bhaji with rolls of bread called pav that have been likewise drowned in butter. The final touch: the dish is topped with raw onion slices and lemon wedges. The whole mess is simply heaven on a plate. Or a heart attack on a plate, depending on your point of view.

Which brings me to the misery that overcomes people who move out of Bombay and would have to fly 24 hours to get to our beloved Sukh Sagar. What do we do? The best solution would be to catch the next flight out of JFK but an alternative solution is to make pav bhaji at home. Every Indian store sells pav bhaji masala, a dry mix of some 18 or so spices. The method is simplicity itself: saute onions and ginger-garlic, add veggies and boiled potates, tomato and pav bhaji masala; then taste it and wail about how it is not like Sukh Sagar's. It tastes OK but is just not the real McCoy.

I lived my life in sub-standard-pav-bhaji-hood, until last December. That's when I was visiting my parents and my Mom's close pal Aunt Madhuri dropped in with some home-made pav bhaji for me. I was like "yeah, thanks" because, you know, Auntie M is an amazing cook, but is hardly the Sukh Sagar Bhaiyya. Then my mother started reheating the pav-bhaji and I started jumping for joy...the aroma was exactly like that of the genuine article. And it tasted so darn close too! I accosted Aunt M and wheedled the recipe out of her and was dismayed at how plain and simple (and almost wrong!) it sounded. She insisted that onions are not to be sauteed for the bhaji (what!!) because they lend a sweetish non-authentic flavor. Her method used a lot of cauliflower which again seemed totally wrong. She used Everest brand pav bhaji masala so anyway, I bought a couple of packets and returned to NYC.

Once here, I barely waited for the jet lag to subside and then set out to make pav bhaji exactly as per good ol' M. The whole time I was making it I was pretty sure it was going to be a disaster (I wondered bitterly if M was protecting her culinary secrets by giving out bogus recipes) but I persevered and suddenly at the last stage of cooking, there was a miracle: my kitchen smelled like, you guessed it, Sukh Sagar. Hallelujah Hallelujah, praise to aunt Madhuri and her pav bhaji recipe. Here it is, for about 4-6 servings.

Pav Bhaji

March05_6

Ingredients:
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 3-4 cups)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tbsp. oil
1 green bell pepper, minced
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. chili powder or red chili paste
1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
salt to taste
2-3 cups tomato puree
1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen)...optional
1 tbsp. Everest pav bhaji masala (or more to taste)
1 tbsp. butter

Method
  1. Boil the cauliflower and potatoes till tender and set aside. I usually do this in a pressure cooker.
  2. Heat oil in a deep saucepan and saute the pepper. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute some more.
  3. Add turmeric powder, chili powder to taste and salt to taste. Saute for a few seconds.
  4. Add tomato puree, peas, boiled potatoes and cauliflower, pav bhaji masala and butter.
  5. Keep sauteeing and mashing it together till it is a smooth mixture, adding water as required (you can use a potato masher to help you along). Be aware that the mixture can spurt up as it boils, so keep a lid on it while you are not actively stirring it. Simmer for 20-25 minutes to really get the flavors to meld together.

You have to keep tasting and adjusting salt, masala and tomato till you like the balance between the tomato-ey tang and the heat of the masala.

Serve with:
1. More pats of butter (as much as you can dare really, don't be chicken now),
2. Finely sliced/ chopped onions, minced cilantro and wedges of lemon.
pavB1
3. The genuine pav-bhaji is served with real Bombay laadi pav...slabs of bread, so named because the rolls are sold as entire slabs and you break the rolls off as required. This bread is so yeasty and terrific! I serve it with any crusty bread that is chewy on the inside, like ciabatta or country boule or French rolls. I don't recommend burger buns at all...they are too soft and pasty. Try and find "real" bread in a bakery :)

Variations:
1. Fry the bread in some butter first. For an even spicier result, make masala pav...melt some butter in a skillet. Sprinkle pav bhaji masala in it, then fry the bread in this spicy butter until sizzling and golden.
2. To make cheese pav-bhaji, top the pav bhaji with some shredded cheese. In India, the brand used is Amul cheese...in the US, Monterey Jack cheese comes close to this. Or try Cheddar. (Thanks Anon, for reminding me of this variation)
3. Some readers have suggested frozen mixed vegetables to increase the veggie content of the pav bhaji. I think beans and carrots would work well.
4. A reader named Manasi suggests the addition of some garam masala to the bhaji to give it an even more authentic taste. She also recommends MDH brand pav bhaji masala.
5. Another anonymous reader suggests adding Priya's Tomato Garlic Pickle for added pizzazz.

I hope you enjoy this taste of Bombay! I thank everyone who has tried this recipe, and takes the time to leave their valuable feedback, often with great suggestions and variations.

167 comments:

  1. wow, I have to try this. I have never had pav-bhaji at sukh-sagar. But your snap looks good. I guess no specific amount for masala powder? I use Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe but it doesn't have the flavor (may be 'coz he is from Delhi).

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  2. Hi Mika,
    I use about 1 heaping tbsp of pav-bhaji masala in this recipe. However I know that everyone does not like it so spicy so the amount of masala is best adjusted by tasting it a couple of times.

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  3. Thanks Nupur! I will try this next week after I shop for veggies. Just noticed, your blog is full of wonderful, orangey food stuff.

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. Hi Nupur

    I am from mumbai too and keep craving for pav bhaji we get there.. I tried ur recipe and it was very close to the mumbai pav bhaji.. Thanks to u.
    Do u have recipe for pani puri as well :)

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  6. This recipe is fantastic, I used it to make pav bhaji last night, me and my roommates ate so much that we didnt move from the couch for half an hour.. I used frozen mixed veggie packet, although original pavbhaji doesnt have corn and beans.. also I didnt use as much butter.. but still came put pretty good.. I would suggest adding some lemon juice to taste, towards the end.. your recipe doesnt have peas, which are added to pavbhaji in Sukh Sagar etc..

    If you really want to go overboard you can get a slab of Amul Cheese and grate some of it on the pav bhaji for slightly more artery-clogging goodness.

    Now I am looking for receipe for Enchiladas that you get in New Yorkers in Mumbai.. Thanks!!

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  7. hey nupur...
    I also love sukh sagar's pav bhaji. I am from chicago..and great friend of all kind of chaata...I always have party at my home..and I would be cooking delicous stuff for themm..my husbaund loves to eat variety of food...so do i love to cook.I'll try your recipe.and will tell you how it goes.Till then..keep making healthy food with the pinch of love.


    Soni Heta

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  8. Nupur, I was looking through your recipe index and found this recipe for pav bhaji. I am so excited! I've tried a lot of recipes and they never taste like real Bombay pav bhaji. I think I've even been to the place you described on Chowpatty. I'm glad you specified which brand of masala to get, because I have a feeling that's key.

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  9. Nupur- looks like not just ur recipes, but yr write-ups too,come with a peppy,tangy ,zesty, fiesty,(4 more adjectives,i need to go to merriam 's thesaurus online..)flavour.gr8 stuff. thnx a heap.
    Wd love to go thru yr blog ,will do it soon. Keep up the good work, saviour of Hungry Souls :)
    Bhargavi.

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  10. hey nupur,

    Great recipe for the pav bhaiji. going to try it out tonite will let you know how it turns out. Also you can get bread almost like apna mumbai ka ladi pav in the u.s. Do you have GFS stores in New York? They are a wholesale store like Sams but only for food and food related items.

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  11. I tried the Pav Bhaji recipe, last night for dinner, turned out great. For the Pav, I used burger buns, slathered with butter and toasted on the tava. For the veggies I threw some frozen veggies with the potatoes. The taste was pretty close to the Sukh Sagar Pav Bhaji. Thanks a ton for the recipe!!!

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  12. Hey Nupur

    I am from mumbai too and just cant keep myself away from the craving for pav bhaji and vada pav we get there.
    I tried ur recipe last night and it was quiet close to the mumbai pav bhaji except the red color.

    Any tips for Vada Pav ?

    Thanks
    Manjusha

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  13. Hey Nupur

    I am from mumbai too and just cant keep myself away from the craving for pav bhaji and Vada Pav we get there.

    I tried ur recipe and it was just very close to the mumbai pav bhaji
    except for the red colo.

    Any good tips for Vada Pav ?

    Cheers
    Manjusha

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  14. Hey Nupur

    I am from mumbai too and just cant keep myself away from the craving for pav bhaji and Vada Pav we get there.

    I tried ur recipe and it was just very close to the mumbai pav bhaji
    except for the red colo.

    Any good tips for Vada Pav ?

    Cheers
    Manjusha

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  15. Manjusha, glad the recipe worked! I have a recipe for vada pav already...please check the recipe index.

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  16. Hi Nupur!.......
    Pav-bhaji, aaaaahhh!! the sizzling tawa, the garlic-red chilly chutney sputtering in amul butter, all veges.... Mumbai chi athvan ali!! Sukh-sagar i know is a yum place for pav-bhaji, but if you or any one is going to mumbai, try a small place called "ACHIJA's" in Ghatkopar..... u won't reget it, the masala pav is just toooo good!Now back to USA !!!
    I have also used Everest masala, but these days I try MDH masala, its damn good! Another tip I'd like to share with u.... u can try putting in a bit of 'Badshsh Rajwadi Garam Masala' with the pav bhaji masala (not too much), but it gives a real tawa pav bahji taste... real yum, try it. Cheers, Manasi.

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  17. Hi Nupur,
    I tried your receipe and I must say that it came out to be excellent. I mean we could not stop eating and the good things is it did not take me that long either to make. Thanks for wonderful receipe.

    malika

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  18. Hi,

    Thanks for the great receipe. I don't cook Indian food that often, but once in a while and this was one of the best I made so far. Something very close to Pau Bhaji in India. Ihis Pau Bhaji turned out to be very Yummy thank you.

    nikki

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  19. Anwesha ChattopadhyayJuly 11, 2006 1:11 PM

    I made this y'day.Its just awesome!I was a very bad pav bhaji cook.Thanks to u,I will be making this often.
    Heard abt the blasts,hope all ur frnds are ok there.

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  20. Hi Nupur,

    I google'ed "Bombay Pav Bhaji" and found your blog yesterday. I made it your stlye and it came out fantastic. Got a lot of compliments from my pregnant wife and the other couple we had over. I grew up a few blocks from Sukh Sagar so I obviously used to eat there very often and you can call me a Pav Bhaji snob. And after eating there you can easily tell good pav bhaji from bad.

    Anyway thanks again. I live in the bay area and for those looking for Pav, you get it at the Passage to India Bakery. Good pav makes a difference to enjoy the Pav bhaji experience. Somehow the burger buns cut it :-)

    btw, do you know how to make the Masala Pav that you get at Sukh Sagar? That masala pav is to die for....

    Cheers,
    Sanjay

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  21. Agree with Sanjay... masala pav is to die for!! I really miss Mumbai Pav bhaji...where i live in CA, i cannot find 'normal pav' i get either burger buns or 'sweet' buns they kinda spoil the taste...
    I tried Masala pav with chopped onion, tomato, chili pwd.,Pav bhaji masala, salt all mixed together.. squeeze lemon...and not to forget the DOLLOP of butter ! :) turned out real nice....

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  22. Hi Nupur,

    As a hardcore bombaywali I went through many tribulations as a grad student here trying to figure out the sukh sagar way to pao bhaji... mine is about ok now, but not sukh sagar... so I can't wait to try out your Aunt M's recipe!

    Maya

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  23. Hi Nupur,

    I tried your Easy-2-Cook and Delicious-2-Eat Pav Bhaji Recipe today.

    Mast aahe recipes ani blog site.

    Keep it Up. Thanks dear.

    Fm Sleepless in Seattle.

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  24. Hi Nupur

    Great recipe. I think losing the onions did the trick and tasted a lot more closer to the bombay style. Great blog. Thanks

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  25. Are we really not to put onions? I thought you forgot to mention.. Pls confirm. I thought Pav bhaji had to have beans and carrots. Again am I wrong? Would those things change the taste?

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  26. Are we really not to put onions? I thought you forgot. Pls confirm.. Also, I thought for a pav bhaji beans and carrots are must. Again am I wrong? Would that change the taste?

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  27. Loved your recipe. I have been making pav bhaji for a while now, with reasonable success, but this one definitely rocks. And losing the onions is an awesome secret - apart from the authentic taste, it's so nice not to start cooking with tears! :-) Keep blogging, Nupur.

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  28. great recipe and i used this for thanksgiving lunch . Only variation from my side was to add cabbage .

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  29. Finally!

    Between my cousin brother's household and mine, we have four cooks who prepare pav bhaji with slight variations. My Mom, my wife, my cousin sister and my cousin brother's wife. I like all four versions. But I always wanted to prepare amchi Mumbai Restaurant style Pav Bhaji at home that would taste like Shiv Sagar / Sukh Sagar.

    Yes, that's why I said FINALLY. My search for the Mumbai Style recipe brought me to your page. I prepared it without onions, as per your recipe. Imagine!!!

    It turned out very nice and yes, this is the fifth flavour between our two families (btw, this flavour is completely different than the four existing ones).

    Minor additions that made it taste even better:
    - little lemon juice
    - some finely chopped cilantro while cooking the bhaji (not as garnish)
    - I added some of Priya's Tomato Garlic pickle (available in USA) to get some red color and some added garlic flavour in addition to the chopped garlic that I had already put.

    Pav Bhaji without onions is difficult to imagine. So, I liberally sprinkled finely chopped onions in my plate when I finally ate the bhaji.

    I guess the onions and the peas when cooked were really adding sweetness to our four existing versions thereby making them taste different as compared to restaurant style pav bhaji.

    Verdict: Both families agreed that this Pav Bhaji tasted very close to Mumbai Restaurant Style bhaji.

    Thank you very much!

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  30. Finally!

    Between my cousin brother's household and mine, we have four cooks who prepare pav bhaji with slight variations. My Mom, my wife, my cousin sister and my cousin brother's wife. I like all four versions. But I always wanted to prepare amchi Mumbai Restaurant style Pav Bhaji at home that would taste like Shiv Sagar / Sukh Sagar.

    Yes, that's why I said FINALLY. My search for the Mumbai Style recipe brought me to your page. I prepared it without onions, as per your recipe. Imagine!!!

    It turned out very nice and yes, this is the fifth flavour between our two families (btw, this flavour is completely different than the four existing ones).

    Minor additions that made it taste even better:
    - little lemon juice
    - some finely chopped cilantro while cooking the bhaji (not as garnish)
    - I added some of Priya's Tomato Garlic pickle (available in USA) to get some red color and some added garlic flavour in addition to the chopped garlic that I had already put.

    Pav Bhaji without onions is difficult to imagine. So, I liberally sprinkled finely chopped onions in my plate when I finally ate the bhaji.

    I guess the onions and the peas when cooked were really adding sweetness to our four existing versions thereby making them taste different as compared to restaurant style pav bhaji.

    Verdict: Both families agreed that this Pav Bhaji tasted very close to Mumbai Restaurant Style bhaji.

    Thank you very much!

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  31. Hey Nupur,

    I am here for the first time and I liked your blog very much. Your posts are very natural and lovely pictures too!

    Pav bhaji looks very yummy, Oh! my mouth is watering...and a nice write-up. Will come back for more.

    Thanks, Nidhi.

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  32. Hey Nupur,

    I am here for the first time and I liked your blog very much. Your posts are very natural and lovely pictures too!

    Pav bhaji looks very yummy, Oh! my mouth is watering...and a nice write-up. Will come back for more.

    Thanks, Nidhi.

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  33. Hi Nupur,
    I make pav bhaji at home a lot but it never turned out like sukh sagar. I have been craving the sukh sagar pav bhaji like you cannot beleive! I want it so bad I would pay anything for someone to mail it to me from India. Ofcourse that is not possible & I was looking for the recipe & found your blog. I love your blog.
    You are right,I think its the onions & peas that makes it taste sweet. I was also using fresh tomatoes rather than the puree & maybe that is why the taste was sweeter & less tangy.
    I am going to make the pav bhaji tonight for dinner & will update you on how it turns out. Thanks so much for sharing the resipe with us!

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  34. Hi Nupur,

    After bookmarking it for months, I got around to making this finally ...I am Mumbaite and this is the closest deal to the real thing...thanks a ton, Nupur!

    Supriya H

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  35. Hi Nupur,
    I am also a Mumbaite, and that too from Dadar, now settled in USA. I feel the key to replicating the authentic smell and taste is using "Everest" Pav bhaji masala. Also I don't use shimla mirch or carrots since they are cold weather veggies and not commonly used in middle class Mumbai cooking therefore interfering with authentic taste. So my veggies are cauliflower, equal number of tomatoes and potatoes, green peas and onion and of course the "masala".
    This is a great site though, keep it up!!

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  36. hi nupur ji,we enjoyed pav bhaji prepared as per your recipe.but i don't get cauliflower now.can you suggest any other veggies to prepare the bhaji. thank you.

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  37. Thanks for the brief glimpse into your magnificent city. The dish looks appetizing.

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  38. Anon, you say you don't have access to cauliflower. Hmm! This is a tough one, because cauliflower is a main ingredient in this dish. I would suggest trying a couple of carrots in place of the cauliflower, and adding a potato or two. But needless to say, the taste will be different. It might be worth experimenting, who knows!

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  39. Nooooo, I don't recommend the MDH pav bhaji masala - stick to the Everest brand, Nupur! I have tried both - and MDH absolutely lacks the richer fragrance of the Everest brand.

    I prepare Pav Bhaji almost exactly as you, with the same combo of veggies. A few years ago a cousin suggested a garlic chutney that is served with the street version and now we make it every time - garlic, black pepper, and red chillies, plus salt; pound it all together for a potent chutney and serve sparingly to put on the pav before smothering with/into the bhaji. Enjoy!

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  40. Thanks a million for giving this clue. Being a Mumbaite.... I love Pav bhaji and it never turned out as good as it did after I tried ur recipe.

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  41. Dear Nupur...please thank your aunt for me...i tried the bhaji out on guests for high tea...and it was a smashing hit!! didnt even manage a pic but am planning an encore to remedy it!!

    cheers

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  42. Yesterday it was my wife's birthday and though I don't cook at all, I managed to surprise her by making Pav Bhaji based on your recipe. She was indeed surprised and the idea of masala pav along with the bhaji was a great hit. Thanks for making her birthday a memorable one.
    - Raj

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  43. I tried this recipe out a while back when my husband told me my pav bhaaji wasn't as great as I thought it was. I think omitting the sauted onions was the key. I've made pav bhaaji following this recipe many times since and it's become a family favorite. I just wanted to add that if you love the slabs of bread available in India, I found a great substitute, Sara Lee Dinner Rolls (they look just like the slabs of bread you find in India for pav bhaaji) and are available in most grocery stores (Ralph's, Von's, Safeway, etc.) The combination of the bhaaji and the dinner rools (pav) is incredible.

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  44. thanks alot!! i will write as soon as I make it..

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  45. I just had a lip-smacking good dinner. Its yr pav-bhaji. Amazing Nupur. So far I have served 'em only with dinner rolls. But this time looking at yr advice, I served 'em with crusty Vienna loaf. De-li-sh. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

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  46. This is an excellent recipe. I tried it and the results were wonderful!

    Thanks for sharing!

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  47. hey...I tried this recipe and my friends loved it. Not bad for me, a first timer!
    Thanks for posting it

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  48. Hi, I checked out your recipe since I have a party on Sat where the theme is mumbai street food. It is pretty mouth watering and cant wait to try it personally.
    While searching other stuff I came across this video that might give insight into the pav bhaji making done on mumbai streets. Enjoy and thanks for the recipe, http://www.ifood.tv/node/4768

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  49. Hi,

    I came across your recipe after browsing for pav bhaji. Looking at the reviews you got, it sure sounds a big hit. I want to try it ASAP but I have a question. In the ingredients, you mentioned about minced bell pepper but later did not mention it in the cooking process. Is it optional? Can you please let me know when and how are you adding it. Do you cook it a little bit and mince it or add the raw minced bell pepper to the potato, cauliflower tomato puree.

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  50. Anon, actually I have mentioned it in the cooking process, in step 2.

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  51. hi ,
    I tried the recipe of pavbhaji yesterday.On reading it the first time i was doubtful abt making bhaji without onions.But when i tried it it turned out to be delicious .i and my husband loved it a lot.Thanks! where can i get vada pav recipe?

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  52. Hi Nupur- I tried your recipe and it was such a big hit at the potluck, I got a repeat request. I used carrots and beans (both fresh) that I pressure cooked with cauliflower and potatoes. I also used zuchini but wouldn't advice, its got a lot of water content. Added garam masala and lemon juice... Next time I may try the Priya pickle... Thanks for the great recipe

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  53. Anon, the vada pav recipe is here:
    http://onehotstove.blogspot.com/2005/08/imbb-18-no-fear-of-frying.html
    You can find recipes on this blog by using the google search button on the right side-bar.

    Anonymous, Very glad it worked! Carrots and beans are a great addition.

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  54. Hi Nupur!

    We wanted to post pav Bhaji on our blog and found yours. Looks Divine!!!! We have added u to our blog roll.

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  55. hey nupur,

    can i ever thank u enuf! u can take a person out of malad, but can u ever take that heavenly aroma of sukh-sagar out of a person. no way! i made ur pav bhaji last night and my husband is raving now. i think he's going to start demanding it once in a week at least, but guess what!! it was so simple to make, i can do it anytime i want.
    kudos to u girl. do thank auntie M for all of us grateful ex-mumbaikars!

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  56. hi
    i frequently use recipes from your site but have never posted a comment before.....but since u'r pav bhaghi has become a staple at our house,I felt I should thank you for a great recipe.
    I also find our comments on recipes that you tried from other blogs very useful....please keep that up ,btw loved the quick bisibele bath!!!

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  57. Amazing recipe!!!! I am pregnant and have been craving pav bhaji since morning...finally found your recipe online and made myself the yummiest pav bhaji ever! This is really, really close to the sukh sagar one, and took me all the way to 1999 when i spent the summer in mumbai and pretty much lived out of sukh sagar....thanks again...my baby kicks in agreement :-)

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  58. hi nupur
    i saw this pav bhaji recipe a few months ago and tried it yesterday. i have never used cauliflower in making pav bhaji. this recipe is excellent. comes as close to restaurant style pav bhaji as it can get. the non addition of onions actually works very well

    thanks
    meera

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  59. Simply Awesome!!!
    Thanks a lotttt.....

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  60. Hi Nupur..came across your recipie by chance.Was searching for pav bhaji recipie without onions as I was feeling too lazy to go oytside and get onions in the evening and LO behold..your recipie was very informative in the sense that i came to know about onions not being used in the original pav bhaji.However I tried this recipie and it looked and tasted great.Thanks

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  61. This is the best Pav Bhaji recipe I have tried. Nupur what are your thoughts on using kala namak instead of regular salt? Also I used fresh tomatoes cooked on tava - or is tomatoe puree better?

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  62. Morarji, thank you for your feedback! As for your questions, I find ala namak quite different from regular salt...it has quite an overpowering taste. I use kala namak in a few select dishes like pani puri and chaats but would hesitate to use it instead of regular salt in other recipes. If you live in a place which has good fresh tomatoes, good for you! Juicy, ripe, tasty tomatoes are great when used in this recipe. I happen to live in a place where these kinds of good tomatoes are available only for a short time during summer. So I overwhelmingly use canned tomato puree. Bottom line: utomato puree is better than less-than-perfect fresh tomatoes. If you have access to luscious fresh tomatoes, go for those instead!

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  63. Dear nupur,
    Now I really liked this post reading alot about street food pav bhaji.
    also i recomended your recipe to my fellow American friends ,they liked all this stuff.
    thanks for sharing so mouth watering recipes with us ..
    hugs and smiles
    Jaya

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  64. tell me about trying to replicate the sukh sagar taste - i am still trying to digest that a cauliflower goes into yummy tasty bhaji - will give this a try tonight and let you know.

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  65. Nupur,

    My friend Megha prepared this for lunch this past weekend, and i must say, it was mindblowing!

    Btw, cool collection you have here...

    ~ME

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  66. Hi Nupur,
    My first time here...you have a beautiful blog! You have echoed my exact thoughts....my pav bhaji NEVER tastes like the real one...I am going to try it tonite and am sure it is going to be a success seeing the comments of others!
    I hope you won't mind if I link you on my blog to this recipe!

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  67. Dear Nupur,
    This recipe is THE REAL THING! Thanks .
    HSM

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  68. Hello Nupur, I tried this and we LOVED it.....usually my hubby is not excited about pav bhaji but this time, he got addicted to your recipe :) Definitely a keeper and now I am waiting for some friends to visit us, so we can treat them with this one :D

    Thanks again!
    Shn

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  69. Hi Nupur,
    Your blog is a delight, I tried the pav bhaji, it turned out exactly like Sukh Sagar. And yes I am a Mumbaite too, I was amazed to see how many Mumbaites crave Sukh Sagar pav bhaji.

    I tried the recipe using pureed canned tomatoes and frozen veggies that I microwaved to an al dente tender level before adding to the kadai. The recipe is so good it works even with all convenient modifications to it

    Years ago one of my friends had told me that the pav bhaji turns out much better without onions but I found that unbelievable...well you never can tell

    Regarding pav that is closest to the Indian laadi pav try the small dinner rolls from Trader Joe's they are the closest I have found and the next choice is Sourdough rolls but they are not so easy to find

    One last suggestion, you can use the left over pavbhaji in a Panini sandwich with tilamook cheese and sourdough bread and butter...beleive me it is worth a try and complete the menu with Trader Joe's ready tomato soup if you don't have time to make maharashtrian 'tomato saar"

    I love variety in cooking so I experiment with a lot of western dishes as well. If anyone is keen on finding western restaurant recipes then try http://www.cooksecretrecipes.blogspot.com

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  70. amazing Pav bhaji......This is the first time I tried making it and It came out Wonderful.....
    Thank You

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  71. I have always been looking for the perfect pav bhajji recipe, the one we make at home never tasted the same, now I have to try this and cauliflower was never put in my pav bhajji,I have to try this like you did.

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  72. Hi Nupur,

    Thanks a million for putting this pav bhaji recipe on the net. My five year old is an extremely picky eater. But thanks to your wonderful recipe, he's lapping up the pav bhaji (and the veggies in it) at least once a week.

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  73. Hi Nupur, I tried your Pav Bhajji and it was out of the world, thank you for sharing it. I shall always make it this way now, and will add some vegetables in too the next time.

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  74. Dear Nupur,

    I have never been to Chowpathy beach until now. I have visited Mumbai twice so far and tasted Pav Bhaji some place in Kalyan (near my Sil's place). So well I had this wonderful cauliflower and nothing better could have happened to us than finding your pav bhaji recipe:) truly awesome and out of the world. i know it would taste even more better with the pav but no i'm not at all complaining. thank you so so much for sharing this with us:)

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  75. yumm! I miss the pav bhaji at Achija.
    Just wanted to ask, have you tasted the Taza ulao of Achija? I've been looking for it's recipe since ages!!

    Nice post :)

    -Seasons

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  76. HI,
    Thanks for posting this recipe; I cooked this dish for my girlfriend and it turned out miraculous. In addition, as mention in blog, I use MDH pav bhajji masala and that helped a lot to add unbeatable flavor to the dish. Also thanks for putting me into the trouble as every time my girlfriend or her friends wants to eat pav bhajji she call me and I have to cook it. Just kidding. On a serious note, thanks much for such a simple yet elegant recipe and again I m grateful to u.

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  77. A M A Z I N G recipe
    Tried it out this afternoon and it was a hit! Thanks a bunch to you and Aunty M.
    Would it be OK with you if I link it from my blog?

    http://veggiefoodist.blogspot.com/

    thanks
    Bharti

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  78. Undoubtedly, one of the best recipes on internet..

    Had tried cooking pav bhaji many times earlier, but was not able to get the real flavour taste and smell..

    But this is the best pav bhaji made ever!! Thanks a lot..

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  79. Hi Nupur!
    Thanks for the big hint !!!
    My pav bhaji was always not quite there but now it is :)

    How could someone (including me) miss the fact that the bhaiyya does not saute onions on his tava!!! Probably its with our mentality of starting most things with sauteed onions.

    Also, I'd vote in support of "Everest Pav Bhaji Masala".
    Others (MDH, Parampara et al) just dont match the league.

    Thanks again!

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  80. I must say..I just love pav bhaji. especially Laari pav bhaji I really crave. My family members always really liked my pav bhaji...but I was never quite satisfied because it did not have that special laari taste....until I followed this recipe. The very first time I tasted my own bhaji...my thoughts were..."Wow...THIS IS IT"
    THIS IS AWESOME Recipe..THANKS A LOT for posting it!! I always enjoy all of your recipe...& this is the first time I took time out to write a review. I thank you!

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  81. hi nupur,

    This recipe is excellent. I tried it today with lil variation and it came out pretty nice. i added onion in garlic and ginger paste. I am from st louis too and looking from new friends. I am an amateur cook and i have learnt many recipes from ur blog. Thank u very much.

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  82. Awesome recipe..my husband loved it!!!

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  83. This recipe looks pretty good with NO ONION thing. Gotta try it out. You may be correct that onion will add sweetness to Bhaji.

    Thanks.

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  84. i tried this a few weeks back and have posted it on my site :) only made a few changes in the measurements of ingredients. the steps are also same as yours. have linked to you so just wanted to let you know :)

    thanks for a lovely recipe!

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  85. great recipe! i used this as a basis and changed a few things to suit me.
    i start with 4 large carrots, cut up and put them on to boil, add frozen cauliflower, 1 cup of frozen peas, 1 large onion chopped, 1 green pepper minced and boil it until vegetables are soft. i do not drain water rather leave it to reduce. add 1/2 package of instant mashed potatoes. cook and mash again. add 1 can of crushed tomatoes. in small frying pan add olive oil, garam masala, tumeric, red chilli powder, pau bhaji masala, garlic puree and ginger, some of vegetable/tomato puree, cook a bit then add to pot to simmer for 20 minutes.
    i used to buy packages of ready made pav bhaji at the local store but they ran out and i would go for weeks without having it.
    it's my favourite food so i had to learn to make it.
    (now the store has pretty much lost my business) hah! :)

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  86. Oh i must add that i do like onions as long as they are cooked with the veggies rather than fried which brings out their sweet flavour.
    i also add fresh lemon juice to counteract any sweetness. :)

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  87. Hi Nupur,
    Tried your Pav Bhaji recipe for dinner tonight. It was amazing. Right amount of tanginess and spicy too. I used even carrot and beans in addition to other veggies. We both loved it so much that we could not stop eating. Thank you so much for this recipe.Thanks to your aunt M too :D

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  88. Nupur, your pav bhaji recipe is bang-on! I used your directions and made pav bhaji for lunch with some good bakery buns - I couldn't believe it when I tasted it- its the real stuff!
    thanks, and keep writing,
    Subha.

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  89. hey,
    thanks for this onion free recipe,,saved my eyes.
    i have made it a couple of times,,it comes out great.
    but today i used tomato puree instead of tomatoes. your recipe says 2-3 cups..is that the actual cup measure that you get at walmart or does it mean "vati"?
    coz today bhaaji became pretty sour may be due to excess of puree that i added.
    please let me know abt cup measurement.
    thanks,keep up the good work...
    no diwali specials??

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  90. Has anyone tried using Badshah Pav Bhaji masala? When you first open the packet, it smells like bombay style street pav bhaji, and the bhaji turns out pretty good too, but nothing compared to sukh sagar's. I will give it a try with Nupur's recipe and badshah masala..Thanks!

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  91. Oh man, Nupur, I have to admit I was pretty skeptical becoz your recipe didnt have any onions in it but I tried it out exactly as per your instructions, and it has turned out just awesome !!! Thanks for posting this, pav bhaaji was one of the things which I missed sorely here...though nothing beats a Mumbai pav bhaaji stall, maybe I should kidnap one of the tapriwallahs!

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  92. Tried it and came out well. Have it blogged it too. Thanks for the recipe.

    http://testtasteofmysore.blogspot.com/2008/12/paav-bhaji.html

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  93. Anyway there is not much work in office because of recession. So came back home very early and tried this out. Came out very well. My girl friend liked it very much. Very good writeup. !!

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  94. Hi Nupur,

    tried this recipe & it tasted awesome... my friends r now pestering me for the recipe...:)
    - Dev

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  95. Hi Nupur, I tried making pav bahji, and it was just gorgeous! Thank you for this interesting post, and for the recipes and all of the cooking tips. All the best.

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  96. Hi Nupur,

    apni aunty ke haath choom lena hamare liye.

    OMG!!! This is knock-ur-socks-off pav bhaji.

    Thank you soooooo much!

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  97. Hey Nupur, ur recipe is soo gud..this recipe asks for only cauliflower,potatoes, and peas, well I also tried by adding other veggies, and trust me it taste da same...my mom was telling me tat wen the kids dont eat their veggies and if they like pav bhaji just add all the veggies that they dont like and they will eat it...so I wanted to let you know tat this recipe works well with all the veggies..thanks

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  98. Awesome Recepie And so authentic.Thanks for Sharing:)

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  99. Hi Nupur,

    I googled B'bay type pav bhaji and stumbled on this page....while reading the recipe itself...m all inspired to try this for the umpteenth time and hope to get it right this time...as u've written the smell itself would be enough to know...thanks anyways!!

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  100. really really delicious. thanks for such a great recipe!

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  101. Hi Nupur,

    Thanks a lot for the wonderful recipe. I was skeptical seeing cauliflower! but it was out of the world .. yummy! thanks a lot.. :)

    Prathibha

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  102. Hi Nupur, I agree with you about the best pav bhaji at Sukh Sagar. However, even the home made one is quite tempting, whenever I can stop comparing it in my head:). Enjoyed reading the post and glad for all the references you have made in it to other sites.

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  103. hi nupur.

    i have made a wonderful recipe from ur site. i.e pav bhajji.
    my husband had a feast yesterday,
    im so impressed

    tq

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  104. Pallavi BalasubramanyamApril 26, 2009 10:32 AM

    Dear Nupur... ur receipe was simply awesome ..thanks to ur aunt
    :). really it was yum. thank you... guess wat I am gonna save minimum Rs. 500 per month. And also as we live in mysore we hardly get to eat authentic mumbai pav bhaji.

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  105. question is .."how do you make the pau?.. the bhaji is easy, but i would like to make authentic pau.. any recipes

    sridhar

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  106. thnakss a zillllionnnnnn
    I made this for my birthday and didn't miss a bittt...
    I know exactly what the craving for sagar PB's are..... good bless you..... will keep reading more on your blog for some amazing recipies
    thanks again

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  107. Hey Nupur,

    Thankkkkkssss!!! Your Pav Bhaji recipe turned out so yummmmm. I have made Pav Bhaji before but this recipe is so authentic and took me back in time when evenings were meant for Chaats:)
    Though I am comparitevely new to cooking You have inspired me to try new recipes to cook, Thanks for all your inspirational notes and simple recipes.

    Sheels

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  108. In NYC. Miss Mumbai pav bhaji. Tried PB a few times, never tasted anything like PB. Today tried this recipe. It turned out AWESOME! The closest ever to Mumbai street pav bhaji. I think tomato puree, sauteing green pepper first, and not sauteing onion certainly made a huge difference. So did the hgher proportion of cauliflower to potato. Goes great with a tough French baguette.

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  109. hey Nupur,
    i always search internet for recipes. while searching for the pav-bhaji recipe today, i came across ur blog, and then i read it, and then .... haven't started cooking, but ur words 've already made it delicious ... i can smell it without cooking :). U've made it so simple that no-one would think twice to try it, and I love the variations !

    Keep up the good work dear !!!
    and yeah ... THANKS !

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  110. Wow this receipe seems very delicious!!!!
    But my question is for this reciepe of pav bhaji we dont use onions at all??

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  111. Wow! I made this today and it came out really delicious. I had Sukh-Sagar's pav bhaji only once long time ago when I visited Bombay. All I remember is that it was really good. Thanks for the recipe.

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  112. Hi Nupur,

    Tried this recipe tonight and it was delicious. Everyone enjoyed it. I have been making pav bhaji for many years and my husband always had this comment"It lacks that special punch".

    Not today. Today's comment was "You are pro!"

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

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  113. Nupur, Thanks for this great recipe. No onions did the trick!! we loved the taste. I grew up eating sukh sagar and sardar's(tardeo) pav bhaji, so it was a nostalgic moment!!

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  114. hi nupur,
    i m from pakistan but i came in mumbai many tyms n i just love eating pav bhaji....i really need this recipe thanx alot 4 sharing this with us....can u just plz tell me that if we don`t have everest or MDH masala so which spice we have to add in this recipe....plz tell me...i really wanna try this recipe....

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  115. hey nupur

    I read all the comments and ur recipe seems to be super duper hit... I have guests coming tomorrow to my house and want to try ur recipe.. I was just wondering whether I can use badshah pav bhaji masala? I just read some people complaining about red color here is one more tip Usually I use some amount of beetroot for red color.. It really gives a good color to pav bhaji and does not even give any particular taste.

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  116. hey i love ur blog the recipies are even more amazing. im a full bombay girl and i crave for pav bhaji everytime i hear it. this recipes is really good. thank you so much

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  117. Hi Nupur,

    I tried your recipe last night and it came out really yummy. We all loved it and the no onions part was my favorite as it saved so much time and tears!

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

    -Dee

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  118. Hi , Thanks for sharing this recipe; just followed your basic bhajji recipe with the ingredients in my pantry and it came out pretty well.
    Will try your next time!

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  119. Hi Nupur,
    I tried your Pav bhaji recipe last night and it was a HIT ! It was pretty close to the Bombay Pav Bhaji.
    Thanks a million !!

    Rayna

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  120. Hi Nupur,

    I am a BIGGGGG Pav bhaji fan .. and when i read you mentioned Sukh Sagar, I had to try the recipe :).

    Tried it tonite & ABSOLUTELY loved it. Can't thank you and your Aunt M enough for.

    Cheers,
    Bijal

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  121. Hi,

    have tried Pav bhaji using various masala brands. The best i found among these was Majithia Pav Bhaji Masala easily available in stores over here in mumbai. well its the closest so far to the real taste :)

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  122. Gouri from Hong KongApril 10, 2010 10:47 AM

    Hi Nupur - to be honest never tried pav bhaji before but I decided to take a plunge with your easy peasy recipe for my Hong Kong Indian circle's Holi beach party.

    MAN, it was spectacular if I may say so myself. There were two other pav bhajis beside mine but guess whose was wiped clean inside an hour?! I really felt so sad because I was hoping to take some back home but it wasn't to be ;)

    Well that was last year and I had luckily bookmarked your recipe and have tried it again for a picnic with friends. Can't wait to soak in the compliments - I'll be sure to share the glory.

    Thanks for then and now again... well done!

    Gouri

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  123. Thank you for a wonderful, tasty and extremely easy to prep recipe.
    I tried this and the family thoroughly enjoyed it.
    I used the "Badshah" paubhaji mix, and added red onions to enhance the zing...........along with some lightly sauteed long green peppers. This really livens the taste of the bhaji.

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  124. Hi Nupur,

    Thanx for d wonderful recipe ... Initialy i was really sceptical bout dis recipe since like u hv been always using onions in d frying part .... but d pav bhaji turned out awesome n it really tasted like d ones v hv at stalls at juhu ... mmmmmmhhhhh thanx again ...

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  125. i'm so glad to read this recipe!! i've been living in mumbai for a year, loving pav bhaji and i'm heading back to LA wondering what i'm going to do!! but that recipe seems rigth so i'm going to try it. yes they do use tons of cauliflower here, almost as much as potato, and that's interesting to not use onions. sounds great! thanks!!

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  126. Hi there,

    I tried this recipe recently and am amazed how close the real thing this INDEED is...

    Thanks for taking me from Sydney to Chowpatty in matter of less than half an hour! Its a delight! And a staple in my menu now...

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  127. Nice recipe.. I also pureed half of a boiled beetroot and added it after the tomato & onion got cooked.. Adds more zing to the Pav Bhaji

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  128. I tried this recipe today and i have to say this is the best pav bhaji i've made so far! i also added some carrot and beans and didnt have butter so couldnt add it. Cant imaging how good it would have been with butter :)

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  129. Dude, Last year I had the opportunity to try sukh sagar's pau bajhi and it was delicious. I've tried street food all over Gujarat as well and everywhere there's a variation in taste. I must say that Mumbai pau bhaji kicks a$$. Can't wait to try it.

    BTW off-topic on another Sukh Sagar's tasty appetizer dish called Paneer chilly fry...Did you try to make that too?? i hope u did. :) The paneer was so soft and just melts in your mouth..man I gotta go back to India.

    Can't wait to try this one. Thx

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  130. This recipe is awesome. Made it today, and its closest to Bombay Pav bhaji! I served it with cut onions, lemon and cilantro. Thanks a lot, Nupur. Going to check out your blog for more.

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  131. Hey Nupur,
    Thanks! Made paavbhaji today. Yummy....followed all the steps closely and wow it really tastes like mumbai version :).Till now I was using same ingredients but sequence of steps, quantity of each ingredient makes lot of difference.
    I loved it no additions or changes at all.

    Thanks,
    Swarupa

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  132. Hello..lovely recipe..tastes super good. Till now my husband used to think only he could make awesome pav bhaji but i did better. we really enjoyed the meal.

    The ingredients & quantities matter a lot

    even if u dont put the garam masala it tasted awesome.

    Thanks once again !

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  133. Hi Nupur,

    Thank you for this fantastic recipe. It really tastes great!!!Staying in US we had missed Indian Pav Baaji all the while, I guess we won any more..Thanks to your recipe. My husband was over joyed to eat Paav Baaji today. He had not expected it would come out so well. It was a pleasant surprise :)

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  134. Hey Nupur,

    How I hate the pav bhaji made in B'lore which is no where close to what we've eaten/tasted in Mumbai or at home when papa makes it. However, we've never used cauliflower while making Pavbhaji... I say this coz my dad learnt making pav bhaji at SukhSagar in Bombay and he still follows the same old recipe at home.. :)

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  135. Tried this recipe last night! It took me straight back to Sukh Sagar. So far I have been frying onion first and wondering why I could not nail it. Thank you soooooo much!

    If its not too much to ask, can you post a Frankie recipe? You know the authentic Tibbs frankie?

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  136. OMG.....i have been searching for sukh sagar's pavbhaji recipe since long and couldent find it....finally i got it.....thanks alot.....mmuuaahhhh

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  137. Bless you for posting this:

    1. Fry the bread in some butter first. For an even spicier result, make masala pav...melt some butter in a skillet. Sprinkle pav bhaji masala in it, then fry the bread in this spicy butter until sizzling and golden.

    A guy in Hyderabad who worked for this sweets shop called Keshav Reddy used to sprinkle something when he did the Pavs, and I've always wondered what it was! Now, I know!

    Thank you so much!

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  138. I made your pav bhaji yday and it was just awesome! I think not adding onions to the bhaji is the key. This recipe is a keeper!!
    - Lakshmi

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  139. Hi Nupur,
    Thanks a ton for this recipe. I had viewed it on this site some time back and wanted to try it. Finally got a chance to try it yest and it turned out just SUPERB. It was the best pav-bhaji I ever prepared. I used 'Everest Kashmirilal' chilli powder, so it gave exact red tint to bhaji. Thnx again for sharing this wonderful recipe.
    -Chhaya

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    Replies
    1. You are very welcome, Chhaya, thanks for the chili powder tip!

      Delete
  140. I tried this today - was really close to "street stall" authentic. My best try so far (and Ive had quite a few misses)

    Anusha

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  141. I came upon your blog and this recipe while googling Mumbai pav bhaji and I've made it many times since, and it always turns out great. Last time I made it, my sister told my mum that it was even better than her version! I love my mother's cooking, but this recipe is definitely close to restaurant-style bhaji (minus the insane amount of butter!) Thanks, Nupur!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tell you sister thanks :) I appreciate the feedback!

      Delete
  142. Dear Nupur,

    The recipe sounds perfect for my boyfriend's birthday dinner. Look forward to making it tonight. A quick question - there's no mention of carrots in your recipe... I always thought Bombay pav bhaji had carrots in them. Any thoughts?

    Cheers, RP

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    Replies
    1. RP- I do add carrots often and they add a nice sweetish flavor (this recipe was written quite a number of years ago). If you choose to, add them while cooking the potatoes and cauliflower.

      Delete
    2. Authentic Mumbai Pav bhaji does not have carrots...EVER

      Delete
  143. Looks absolutely delicious!!

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  144. Hi Nupur, I tried this recipe last saturday and it turned out great. thanks!
    PLus since this recipe doesnt ask for onions makes life easier.
    thanks!!

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  145. Made this yesterday for the nth time and I had to write in to thank you for this excellent recipe.

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  146. thanks for the recipe, nobody believes that i cooked it...lol.
    it comes out so yyuummyyy....

    i have a request.... can u also post the recipe if delhi darbar style biryani....
    thank u

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  147. The only dish in world dat is loved and eaten by all..i love it

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  148. hi...
    This receipe looks yummm...but i would love to add slight variation to it....
    pls dont put turmeric and ginger into it....instead soak whole red dry chilles in lukewarm water for a hr....and then grind it with chopped garlic and make a paste out of it and fry that paste in oil with some asefoetida and finely chopped onions follwing by finely chopped tomatos and boiled veggies,the garlic and red chiily paste gives it that nice red colour
    thnx :)

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  149. I whole heartedly tried this recipe as I was really craving for pao bhaji at home. Not sure why, It did not come out that great. Must be something on my part as everyone else is praising the reciper. I am a little disappointed though :(

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  150. This is an awesome Pav Bhai recipe, but I added onions and a lot more tomato purée (fresh) than suggested. I also used more than 1tbsns of Everest Pav bhaj masala. It was simply yummy! Keep the recipes coming ;)

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  151. Hey Nupur, just read ur recipe and tried it immediately and it turned out really really delicious. I was also an OK pav bhaji maker but not anymore thanx to you :)

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  152. the best pav bhaji recipe! best best! i tried it for 2 kgs bhaji for my daughter's party! it was a big heat!

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  153. Made this for a lunch party with friends today with some Bhel Puri & fresh lemonade...Made a 6 quart pot ful for 8 people and it was all gone!! INCREDIBLE recipe Nupur! Thank u!!

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  154. I tries this recipe too. Just because it has tried, tasted and raved comments. Mine did not turn out great as raved about.... Or at least it did not turn out very drastically different from my regular recipe of pav bhaji.

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  155. Hi nupur,
    I have a question, if i am going to make with canned diced tomatoes (kirkland singnature organic ones, looks like natural colored tomatoes in water).
    Can i grind it and use it as puree? And how much should i use? I am try to double ur proportions for a party. If i am going to use fresh, then how many would i need?
    I tried urs long to time back, but now i don't remember if i used fresh tomatoes of canned, except it came our so good. Never been to mumbai so urs is authentic to me:)
    Thanks,
    Karthi

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    Replies
    1. I would drain the liquid, then puree them and use 2 cups of puree.

      I haven't used fresh tomatoes in this recipe, you'd have to experiment for yourself. Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Thanks Nupur for the quick reply, truly appreciate it. I will post an update with what i have done:)
      /karthi

      Delete
  156. Nupur..im big pav bhaji fan and have tried the best pavbhaji in mumbai...sardars..sukh sagar...bhagwati...juhu's roadside and many more local road side stalls ..Im going to try ur recipie tonight.. i have always tried making pav bhaji with 2 to 3 recipie from different blogs... somehow i get a feeling urs is a perfect pav bhaji without any variation..just that i will add onions as well... just would like to add that pav bhaji would taste better when i eat then next day...

    cheers
    Prabir Dass

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