Snacks & Tiffin Items

Mumbai Street Food – Paav Bhaaji. (Spicy tangy gravy with mashed vegetables and seasonings served with soft toasted paav buns)

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Street Food they say sometimes tastes way better than the food available at world class restaurants because it has that simplicity built with robust taste that cannot be beaten. This is really true of Mumbai and its street food, as people of all classes love and enjoy eating roadside food. Some of the most famous street food available there are Vada Paav, Bhel Puri, Paani Puri, Paav Bhaji, Ragada Pattice, Sev Puri, Dahi Puri etc. This time my India trip also had afew days at Mumbai and I went to the Chowpatty Beach and tasted their amazing chaat varieties. We polished them off with the Khala Khatta Ice Gola availabke there – almost felt like a fushion of thickened  coke, sugar, kala namak and chat masala. I should try that sometime!!!  My daughter simply loved all the chat items and had been wanting me to try the Paav Bhaji at home. My recipe is inspired by a number of recipes online as well as by watching the paav bhaji wales make them first hand!  They had these monstrous sized tavas whuch were perennially over a gas flame, shared by a couple men concocting different items. Simply YUM!

INGREDIENTS:

1 Capsicum diced fine.

1 large ripe tomato or two small tomatoes diced small.

2 boiled potatoes mashed.

1/2 cup peas thawed/ cooked and mashed.

1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste.

A pinch of turmeric.

1 Tbsp Butter.

1 Tbsp Paav Bhaji Masala.

Chopped Cilantro.

Salt.

Ingredients for Saute Seasoning:

1 Tbsp Butter.

3/4 Cup Onion Diced Fine.

1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1 Tsp Paav Bhaji Masala.

1 Tbsp Kasuri Methi.

Chopped Cilantro.

1/2 Lemon`s Juice.

PREPARATION:

  • Take a wide mouthed kadai and place on the stove. Immediately add the chopped capsicum, chopped tomatoes, mashed potatoes, peas, ginger garlic paste, turmeric and red chilli powder.
  • Give it a quick mix and add about 1/2 cup water to the kadai and allow the veggies to cook well until tender.
  • Add 1 Tbsp butter and mash the vegetables with  a masher slowly until all the veggies get  mushy.
  • Add a little more water if needed and keep mashing and mixing until the oil seperates.
  • Now add the 1 tbsp of paav bhaji masala. chopped cilantro, and salt. Mix it in again and let it simmer.
  • In another kadai, we make another saute of seasonings and add it to the bhaaji. It`s hard to think ,with all the aromas wafting around, but stay with me and we`ll wrap this up soon.
  • To the second kadai, add a  spoon of butter.
  • When melted, add onions, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, paav bhaji masala, hing, kasoori methi, chopped cilantro, lemon juice and saute it until it all comes together. The onions need to get slightly pinkish brown.
  • It`s optional to add a pinch of red colouring but I try to avoid artificial food colours as much as possible.
  • Add all of the seasoning to  to the bhaaji kadai and boil until blended.
  • Garnish with more chopped cilantro.

ASSEMBLING THE PAAV BHAAJI:

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  • Add a spoon of butter and when it begins to melt, add a dash of paav bhaji masala, red chilli powder ( if you want to kick it up a little), and chopped cilantro.
  • The seasonings simmer and bubble in to the melted butter.
  • Smear this all over the tava and toast all the paav buns on both sides with the awesomeness on the tava. Just a couple minutes more so hang on there….
  • Serve as shown with a side of bhaaji, toasted paav buns, chopped onions, a small wedge of lemon, a dollop of butter and of course more chopped cilantro.

HINTS:

As I see this dish, its pretty much built on the seasonings, the large amounts of chopped cilantro and of course the salted butter. Don`t go easy on the butter as it spoils the creaminess of the dish itself.

ENJOY!

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Milk Shakes

Vegan Double Chocolate Mocha Ice Cream.

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This post has been too long in the making and I really had to sit up and look for it in my drafts. I had actually tried making ice cream last summer and I sorely missed not having the Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker Attachment.   Every time I go to the store and buy an ice cream tub, even the smallest one lasts for quite some time and we get too bored of it. Not to mention the fact that many brands of ice cream come with gaur gum, xanthum gum, artificial vanilla sweetener and high fructose corn syrup, to mention just a few. I am not too fond of ice cream with the egg base and did not want to sacrifice creaminess – the one requisite for a great tasting ice cream. I instantly knew avocados were the answer. I had already made Eggless Fudgy Avocado Brownies, so figuring this out was not too difficult. I did take help from this website and was very pleased with the results.

Delicious? – Yes.

Eggless?     – Yes.

Vegan?       – Yes.

Creamy?    – Double Yes.

Need an Ice Cream Maker? – NO!!!!

The avocado and the coconut milk take the creaminess to a whole new level. Making ice cream is definitely one that comes out of understanding a few things about the ingredients, ice, temperature, and the level of fat required to make the ice cream, additions to the ice cream and when to add them. There is also always a set off between the amount of fat and the creaminess of the resulting ice cream. There are many websites that give you loads of information,on how to make home made ice creams and I wanted to share this one with you. Finally its always better to freeze the ice creams in a flat container thats not too tall that helps in uniform freezing. How do they sell all those ice creams in tall tubs?

INGREDIENTS:

1 Large Avocado mashed roughly.

1/2 Cup Light Coconut Milk.

1/4 Cup Honey/ Maple Syrup.

1/4  Cup Turbinado Sugar.

3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder.

3 Tbsp Mini Choco Chips.

2 Tbsp Percolated Coffee.

1/2 Tsp Vanilla Essence.

A dash of salt.

PREPARATION:

  • In a blender pop in the mashed avocado, and all the ingredients excepting the chocolate chips.
  • Blend in to a smooth shiny creamy consistency.
  • If you don`t want it to be diary free, you could substitute with heavy cream, half and half or whole milk.
  • Leave out the percolated coffee if you are making this for the little ones.
  • Do not use 2% as the fat gets to be really low.
  • Add the choco chips and transfer to a flat container that’s convenient for freezing and scooping.
  • Freeze for about 6 hours.
  • Remove from the freezer and allow a few minutes  before serving. This is just to facilitate easy scooping.
  • Top with nuts, hot fudge, chocolate sauce, fruit anything.

 

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