Tastes of India: The story of Pav Bhaji and its avatars
Hot, spicy, flavourful bhaji served with crunchy onions and slivers of lime, coupled with butter-dripping, just-off-the-tawa pavs - pav bhaji is a street food favourite for good reason. While Maharashtra can rightly claim to be the birth place of this much-loved dish, different parts of India have added their own flavours and variations to this popular street food. Here are 5 different variants of pav bhaji depending on which part of the country you're in.
Jain Pav Bhaji is no-onion, no-garlic version of the regular pav bhaji made using raw bananas instead of potatoes and mashed peas. This is available in Gujarat and parts of Maharashtra. Here is a simple recipe.
Kathiawar is a region in Gujarat which has its own special cuisine. It is part of the Saurashtra region. Its coastline borders the Gulf of Kutch to the west, the Arabian Sea to the south and the Gulf of Khambhat to the southeast and east. The pav bhaji from this region has local spices added to it, giving it a very distinct taste, and it is usually washed down with a glass of buttermilk.
Kada pav bhaji is the same as regular pav bhaji except that the vegetables in it are not mashed up i.e. the chopped and cooked vegetables are kept intact, whole. Here is a simple recipe for making it.
Punjab's version of pao bhaji is loaded with whole spices (garam masala), excess butter and often accompanied by a glass of 'lassi'.
A variation where red chilli powder is substituted by Kolhapuri kanda lasun chutney to make it a more spicy, garlicky version of the pav bhaji. A reference recipe should help.
To find some of the best pav bhaji vendors and joints in Bangalore, click here.