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Pawbhaji or Pav bhaji is a specialty of Western India specifically Maharashtra and Gujarat. Paav means bun and while Bhaaji means vegetable. So Pawbhaji literally means bun and vegetable. Paav Bhaji is a wholesome dish that can be had as a meal. Paav Bhaaji is also a hot favorite Indian street food. It is probably the most popular snack in Mumbai.

The serving of pav bhaji consists of the bhaji which is a potato based curry and the pav (bun) garnished with coriander and chopped onions. Pao Bhaji is thought to be a product of foreign, particularly, Portuguese influence on Indian cuisine. Pav bhaji is available on hand-pulled carts popularly known as Pav bhaji Gaadi.It is also available in almost all food-stalls and restaurants throughout India.

Pao Bhaaji is easy to prepare at home. The Pao or buns are available in the market quite easily so there is no need to go into the hassles of baking it. The bhaaji is a potato based curry with tomatoes and spices. The Bhaaji can be prepared using a special masala called the Pao Bhaaji Masala. Pao Bhaaji masala can be bought from the market as it is easily available all over India as well as abroad in Indian stores. Still if you are interested in making it at home, here is the recipe.

Ingredients required are: 2 tbsps coriander seeds, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, some dry red chillies (according to taste), 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder, 1 tbsp amchur powder, few cardamom seeds, 5 to6 cloves, small piece of cinnamon, 2 star anise, 1 tsp of fennel seeds(saunf), 1 tsp of ginger paste, 1 tbsp garam masala powder, 1/4 tsp asafetida powder. On a frying pan, roast the cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, red chillies, cloves and cinnamon till they turn dark in color and start giving off aroma. Now grind all these ingredients into a fine powder. The masala is ready. Now the next step is to make the bhaaji..

Boil three potatoes, peel and cut them into small pieces. Boil 1 cup of green peas and cauliflower. Now finely chop 1 large capsicum, 2 tomatoes, 4 onions, 3 tbsps garlic (or use garlic paste). Get pao bhaaji masala, salted butter (6 to 8 tbspns), salt, coriander leaves and paws or buns according to requirement.

Heat a large, wide, frying pan and add 3 tbsps of butter on it. Add the onions and garlic and fry it. Add the all the other vegetables and stir well. Next add the Paav Bhaaji masala over the simmering vegetables. Add salt to taste. Cook the mixture till the capsicum is tender and then start mashing the vegs with the back of a large spoon. Add a tablespoon of butter and cook for a few more minutes.

Slit the Paws in half , smear some butter over them and place the buns face down on a pan. Roast the paws till the become crisp. Serve the Paws with hot Bhaaji and garnish with finely chopped onion, lemon and a slice of butter.

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Dal moth is a spicy and crispy snack made from gram flour, asafoetida, turmeric powder, chili powder, moong, sugar, amchur, oil and salt. Its delicious and is popular as an anytime snack or serves as a very good tea snack. [See Recipe]

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