Pav Bhaji, also known as bhel puri is a popular traditional Indian snack which is made from whole grain mustard seeds, gram flour, coriander, cumin, cardamom and dried chillies. Pav bhajis recipe is basically Indian flat bread baked with spices, oil and butter. In fact, pav bhaji is cooked on a flat plate and is quickly baked in a traditional Indian oven. There are various types of flavors like that of the mint or black pepper or even that of the chilly. This recipe gives you insight to some of the most famous and popular recipes for pav bhaji.
To make the authentic and spicy pav bhaji masala, you need to start making with masala ingredients which are grounded or crushed in a mortar and pestle. While the seeds are ground in a mortar, add oil on a small quantity and cover it with a piece of clay. Now cover it for about an hour or so or until the seeds start cracking and turning brown. Now it’s time to grind the cumin and cardamom in a dry processor or a blender.
Once you grind the spices, add coriander leaves and add coriander powder to get the fragrance. Now add salt to taste and mix it well. You can use a wooden spoon or any other long stick to blend the dry powder well. Make sure you blend it well and that there is no lump. You can now add small amount of water or milk while mixing it into the masala.
You can now add the spices and dry mango powder to the mixture and grind it even more. Once you have ground it well, add the coriander leaves, turmeric powder, cinnamon sticks and dry pepper powder to taste. Mix it all well and store in an air-tight container. You can now serve it chilled or heated.
There are two ways by which you can make pav Bhaji masala. The first is to roast the spices at medium flame until they crack and release the aroma and then removing them. This is not difficult and can be done using a traditional stove. However if you do not have a stove at home, you can roast it in an oven using medium flames.
Bring the fennel seeds and coriander seeds, both together and let it burn till it creates a smoke. Then put the cubed beef in a sauce pan and add the fennel seeds and coriander seeds, let it heat thoroughly. Cover it tightly and remove the lid after 10 minutes. When the meat starts cooking, take it out on a plate and add the coriander seeds and turmeric powder to taste. Follow this with the pav bhaji masala and dry it completely.
Another way to cook the bhajis is by using a pressure cooker, especially designed for preparing curries. Bring a medium flame to the pot and place in all the ingredients except for the butter. Place the veggies in the bottom of the pot and cover tightly.
Put the butter on top and cover it tightly so that there is no steam. Once the butter is golden brown, remove it from the fire and add the chopped onions and spices including the coriander seeds, turmeric powder and fennel seeds. Mix all the ingredients together using your fingers until they are thoroughly mixed. Now place the cooled bhajis inside the pressure cooker and place the lid. Let it cook for 12 hours or more, depending on the recipe you have used.
After the first two days, open the lid and check to see if the veggies are cooked. If they are not cooked well, cook them for another few hours. Once done, the pav bhaji masala should be ready to serve. Serve it with steamed white rice or other Indian grains. It goes well with idlis or other rice dishes.
To make a mild pav bhaji masala, start with one tablespoon coriander seeds and a little oil. Slowly boil the coriander seeds and the oil until they are a deep amber color. Transfer the mixture to a blender and slowly blend until it becomes a smooth paste. Add the cumin seeds, turmeric powder, cinnamon stick and salt to the mixture and blend well. Add the tomatoes and blend well again.
This pav bhaji masala recipe is ready to serve. Make sure that you use quality spices so that they do not turn bad. If you are low on time, there are readymade powder mixes available that you can use to make this dish at home.