Back in the day, it was always said that a human eats to live. Also because back in the day people didn’t have too many options or variety and there was a sense of satisfaction amidst people. Today, it is absolutely opposite. A human lives to eat. Anybody who is earning will at this moment will always say ‘I earn to eat and try new dishes in my hometown or in any other part of the world’. Today, food has evolved so much! And of course everyone wants to try it out!
Anybody who is from Mumbai knows that every Mumbaikar is a foodie! & it’s always a debate as to which city has the best street food but I think every city has it’s own style and authenticity and speciality. But, there’s something else about street food in Mumbai. I’m born and brought up in Mumbai, so honestly I’ve eaten a lot of street food! When we’re talking about Mumbai, amongst the first few things that come to ones mind, street food more often tops the list! Nothing can beat it; the Vada Pav, Sandwiches, Pav Bhaji, Dosa, Tawa Pulao, Bhel Puri, Pani Puri, etc. Every lane of this city has a vendor selling some food item! Nothing can beat the feeling of sitting by the beach and eating hot Pw Bhaji or sitting on Marine Drive and eating Chana Chor Garam! Gosh I feel like stepping out already.
For someone like me who is genetically a foodie, who has always tried different places to eat, this lockdown was a real challenge. I couldn’t deal with the fact that I couldn’t eat anything from outside and the taste was going to be gone for a while. But when you’re not doing much and only surfing through YouTube, you do end up seeing recipes if you’re a big time foodie. That’s exactly what happened when my Dad wanted to eat something spicy with Cheese and Pav and I had a very sudden urge to eat Masala Pav but the criteria was that it had to be street style, the one you get at fast food restaurants, Juhu Beach, Amar Juice Centre or Chowpati. Usually I don’t really as per the YouTube recipes as they don’t really give you the taste you want or maybe because you’re new or something. Which is why I went through a few recipes on YouTube and then finally made my own tweeks and tried making Masala Pav and turns out, it really looked and tasted like the one you get on the streets and in the fast food restaurants fo Mumbai!
The best part of all of this was that I made it entirely on a Tawa. My mom was a little concerned abut not being able to handle the food while stirring on the tawa and further spilling it but I was too adamant and I turned out to be pretty good! Initially my dad too thought he’d get a routine Pav with oosing Cheese but he was shocked to see what he was in for! When his expectations weren’t turning out reality he was a bit upset but when he tested what I’d made, he thought it was a good idea! The whole experience of cooking on a tawa was honestly s lot of fun!
I’m going to be sharing the recipe right now! Unfortunately I couldn’t film it because both my hands were busy and nobody could help at home so the next time I make it, I’m going to ensure someone films it. I’m going to writing a rough recipe if you’re making 4 Pavs i.e.; 2 plates. If you’re making a larger portion, you can estimate the quantity you’d need of the ingredients. Also, if you’re a newbie and if your mom says don’t use tawa just listen to her because it’s not easy to cook on a tawa.
Butter, 1 cup of finely chopped Onion, 1 cup of finely chopped Capsicum, 1.5 spoon Garlic paste, 1 cup of chopped Tomatoes (deseeded), Salt, Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder, Pav Bhaji Masala, Lemon, Coriander and fresh Pav.
NOTE: Kindly ensure that you start by cooking on a medium flame.
Start by heating your tawa or an oval vessel and add a generous amount of Butter and let it heat and melt.
▪️Once you see it has melted, add your finely chopped Onions in the vessel or tawa and stir it in the butter and ensure that your onions are all soaked in the butter and your tawa or vessel aren’t dry. Don’t let your Onions turn brown.
▪️Once your Onions are in the butter for a few seconds, add your finely chopped Capsicum and mix it together and let it cook for a minute or two. You’ll notice while cooking itself that your Onions and Capsicum are blending well and it looks green and white and pretty clear and soft, which means they’re cooked well.
▪️After they’re cooked for a minute or two add the prepared Garlic paste to it. Kindly ensure your paste isn’t very watery or runny. If it’s very watery it takes time to cook and if you’re hungry, it only tests your patience. You also get ready made paste out in the market.
▪️Once you see that your Garlic paste is mixed well with your onions and capsicum, and the mixture isn’t runny, add your Tomatoes to it and turn your flame to high and stir everything together and let it cook.
▪️While the Tomatoes are getting cooked with the rest of the mixture, add Salt as per your taste, Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder and Pav Bhaji Masala to it. You can also use a Chilli paste if you’d like to but I prefer red chilli powder. Mix everything together and wait for the tomatoes to become moist and soft.
▪️Now after a couple minutes once your tomatoes are soft, take a masher and mash the tomatoes so it looks like a proper Masala that can be spread on and over the Pav. You don’t have to mash completely or very partially. It should be of a consistency in between thin and thick. You should be able to eat it as a masala also and can get pieces of veggies too. You’ll notice it looking like the Masala from a restaurant or street stall outside.
▪️Once this is done, add some water and mix it so it doesn’t have to very dry. Squeeze half a Lemon slice and add some Coriander and mix well and your Masala for the Masala Pav is ready! Now take you Masala off the stove if it’s in a vessel or maybe on the side if it’s on the Tawa so that the flame doesn’t reach it and over cook or burn it.
▪️Now, on the Tawa (the one you’ve made your masala on or a different tawa), add some butter and let it melt. Meanwhile, cut your Pav from the centre and open it. Before placing the Pav on the tawa with the Butter, take some Masala and mix it with the some melting Butter on the tawa so it doesn’t feel very dry. Now, place the Pav on the butter so it heats up, becomes buttery and ultra soft. Now open the Pav and spread some Masala in it and toss it a little and then take some Masala and and spread it on top of the Pav. Take it off the tawa and garnish with some Coriander. Serve with slices of Lemon and finely chopped Onions and you’re all set to gorge on the most lipsmacking Street Style Masala Pav.
NOTE: The advantage of cooking Masala on a tawa and then heating Pav in the same tawa serves well as while cooking a lot of masala is spread across the tawa. When you melt the butter and place the Pav on it, it takes up some Masala so it gets a little taste as well!
REMEMBER: If you want to add cheese, then you can add it in between the Pav after spreading the Masala or you can add it on top or both! It all depends on how much love you have for Cheese!
▪️Another method to serve your Masala Pav is to cut in small squares and just add it into the Masala and and keep your flame low and mix so it’s hot when served and garnish with Coriander.
This is how I unlocked the sheets of Mumbai at home during the lockdown! If you’ve got your stories to share and want to write with us, kindly mail us at email@example.com! Do leave your feedback in the comments below and share this with someone who is a foodie and cannot resist street food!❤️