Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji is a popular snack in most metropolitan areas in India. Hot Bhaji (a mixture of various vegetables - boiled, mashed and cooked with a spicy masala) is served with butter fried pav in a flat dish with ample amount of butter on top.

The Bhaji is garnished with diced onions and a slice of lemon.


For Bhaji:

  • 2 cups chopped mixed vegetables (beans, carrots, cauliflower, potota, bottle gourd etc.)
  • ½ cup shelled green peas
  • 1 capsicum chopped fine
  • 2 onions chopped fine
  • 2 tomatoes chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp pav bhaji masala
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. each ginger grated, garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • For garnishing: coriander chopped, onion chopped, small pieces of lemon and dollop of butter

For Pavs:

  • 8 pavs (square soft buns)
  • Butter for roasting pavs


For Bhaji:

  • Pressure cook mixed vegetables and peas till well done. Mash them coarsely after draining.
  • Heat butter in a pan. Add crushed ginger garlic, chopped onion, chopped capsicum and chopped tomatoes. Fry till very soft.
  • Add Pav Bhaji Masala, chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, sugar and fry further for 2-3 minutes.
  • Now add mashed vegetables to it.
  • Simmer till gravy is thick, stirring and mashing pieces with masala, in between.
  • Add lemon juice, stir.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander, chopped onion, lemon pieces and a dollop of butter.

For Pavs:

  • Slit pavs horizontally, apply butter (as desired) and roast open on a griddle till hot and soft with the surface crisp on both sides.
  • Serve hot with bhaji.

Do You Know?

A majority of the Indian bread is made of wheat and can be broadly divided into three kinds: bread that is roasted on a griddle, bread that is fried and bread that is baked.

The most popular form of the Indian bread is the roasted form, known as Chapati/Roti.

Parathas and Puris are the examples of breads which are shallow fried/fried in fat after being rolled out in different sizes.

Naans and pavs are baked in modern electric ovens or the Indian styled ovens called tandoor. The dough for the these is leavened before being baked in the ovens or tandoors.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Matray Ki Chaat (Dried Yellow Peas Chaat)

Matra Chaat (Dried Yellow Peas Chaat) is one of my favorite chaats. If it is served with Kulcha (Pan Cooked Leavened Indian Flatbread), it can be a great alternative to a meal.


  • 2 cups dried yellow peas (Yellow Bataney or Yellow Matra )
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 brown cardamom
  • 1 medium potato boiled, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped (optional)
  • 1 small cucumber peeled and chopped
  • 1 green chili chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp cilantro Chopped finely
  • Lemon juice or tamarind water
  • Tamarind chutney
  • Green coriander chutney
  • Red chili powder
  • Ground roasted cumin
  • Salt mix
  • Chaat masala
  • Garam masala (optional)


  • Soak dried peas overnight in water.
  • Place soaked peas, bay leaf and brown cardamom in a saucepan and add sufficient water to cover them. Cook over a moderate heat for about 15 minutes until the peas are tender but not mushy. You can also pressure cook them. Drain.
  • Now serve chaat individually.
  • Take 2 scoops of cooked peas in a bowl and cover it with little chopped onions, cucumber, tomatoes and potatoes. Sprinkle with spices (chaat masala, red chili powder, garam masala, ground cumin) and salt mix to individual taste. Pour a little tamarind chutney, green chutney, lemon juice and tamarind water on the top. Tamarind water can be prepared by soaking tamarind in water and then squeezing out pulp.
  • Toss well and serve Matray Ki Chaat with Kulcha.
  • You can get Kulchas from Indian Grocery Stores. Toast each Kulcha on both sides on a hot skillet for a minute or so on low heat before serving with the peas mixture.

Kulcha with Matra

Do You Know?

Kulchas are North Indian in origin and are often eaten with Chole (chickpea curry).They are however, like any other bread and can be eaten with pretty much anything you like.

Kulcha is made using refined flour. It is leavened with baking powder, active yeast and whole milk yoghurt.

It can be eaten as is or lightly toasted in a pan or toaster.

It is quite soft and tastes slightly sour, It is sometimes garnished with chopped coriander leaves on top.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Plain Parantha

Plain parantha is a multilayered non-stuffed Parantha. It can be served with any curry of your choice.


  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup of ghee or cooking oil for pan frying


  • Mix wheat flour and salt; knead into soft and smooth dough by adding warm water. Cover with moist cloth and keep aside for 30 minutes.
  • Divide and roll into 10 equal balls. Dust lightly the rolling surface and roll the dough balls into 7-8-inch discs. Apply 1 tsp oil evenly over one side. Dust dry maida over the oiled surface. Now form blob (pedha) by folding round disc in a manner shown in the picture, each time applying some oil and dusting maida over the surface.
  • Flour the rolling surface lightly and very gently roll out the blob (pedha) into a flat circle.
  • Heat a griddle and put a paratha over it. Flip the paratha when you see tiny bubbles rising on the surface of the paratha. Drizzle a bit of oil on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip again and drizzle some more oil on this surface too. Continue to flip the paratha frequently, pressing with a spatula on any unbrowned areas until browned all over on both the sides. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown.
  • Serve with any curry of your choice.


The following points should be noted:

1. Use a 2" wide soft bristle pastry brush to apply ghee/oil on the surface of the dough disc while making layered parantha. You may use oil, if that suits your taste. You may also use slightly melted Butter. The moisture in the butter will create more steam.

2. Apply Ghee/oil only to one surface. You do not need to baste both surfaces within a layer.