Buttery soft pav, finely chopped onions, spicy flaming red bhaji with a blob of Amul butter floating on top - mouth watering hain na? Well, the invention of Pav bhaji happened in SoBo for mill workers, but for me, the first initiation to it was at Bhagwati – a small joint at Iraniwadi in Kandivali West area. Well, then a plate of pav bhaji in the early 90s was available at Rs. 20! Yes :)
Circa 2017, this humble, spicy dish has undergone a transformation! Let’s see the many versions of this pav bhaji and see how this Bombaiya dish has evolved over time!
Tart bhaji - The fancy one!
Well, we had this dish at Lighthouse Café, Khar. What caught my eye was the extreme attention to detail – along with the perfectly spicy bhaji, there was nimbu, chopped onions and coriander - it went well with a tart. Word of caution – too much clicking of photos will result in your tart getting all soggy.
Pav bhaji fondue - the most elegant one
Fondue phase I was when all weddings, parties, and malls had chocolate fondue with fruits and cake. Fondue phase II is when all restaurants have a fusion version of an Indian dish turned to fondue. Well, each of these has been so awesome so I am not complaining. This dish at Mumbai 90, Veg World
, surely looked like the most sophisticated pav bhaji that you would ever eat! Crispy pav, almost authentic bhaji in a liquid form with the mandatory onion salad – tasted so so yum!
Juhu beach pav bhaji - the sasta one
The regular raste ka sasta, but high on the flavours and spices wala pav bhaji - the extremely buttery pav will raise your cholesterol level but still, people keep flocking the stalls. Swift service, priced as high as a restaurant – try it once to experience the street food flavors.
Italian baked pav bhaji - the unique one
I was really apprehensive about ordering this but it turned to be a winner. A small joint Food Bites
has some amazing dishes like this pav bhaji! I do not prefer cheese in my bhaji but since this was Italian version, there had to be cheese. Honestly, it worked out well.
Extremely kadak, toasted pav, a great concoction of bhaji, cheese, topped with olives – totally retained the flavour of a Bombaiya bhaji.
Khada pav bhaji - vegetable galore one
Well, this has been existing since several years and many places have their own version of this - like the one we had at Vile Parle
, is the ones our mothers would feed us when we were kids and refused to eat veggies! This had a mix of vegetables – like cabbage, capsicum, onion, carrot, tomatoes and of course potatoes. It was medium spicy and sufficient for 2 people.
Kali pav bhaji - the supposedly spicy one
While rainbow hued food was all over the place with people going gaga, now it’s time to embrace one color that was missing from the food scene - black! Since a few years, we have seen the trend of black burgers and ice creams, so why should our pav bhaji be left behind!
Well, this was from a Maharashtrian restaurant Jivhala
. The black bhaji is apparently supposed to be super spicy, but will this tasted like the regular pav bhaji, was just black in color. The use a special black masala from Sholapur
for this preparation which is their specialty.
So, which one is your favorite? Any fancy version of pav bhaji that you have tried? :)