Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pav a la mode ( or... Pie Bhaji)

The title of this note should have given y'all a hint about what this dish is..
For those of you who've grown up in or visited Mumbai, India, recall a visit to your favorite Pav Bhaji place, potatoes & other assorted vegetables mashed beyond recognition, flavored with masala & served up with a generous dollop of melting butter, chewy pav, soaked up with the essence of the bhaji, and finely sliced onions with a wedge of lime..
Not exactly the kind of food that would be served up on a balmy spring evening with a chilled glass of Reisling!!!
The difficult thing about making Pav bhaji @ home is that you can never make it in small quantities. you invariable find yourself with a generous portion left over. ( & you've run out of the Portuguese Saloio rolls that seem to be the closest to 'asli' pav in the US). Making these pies is a novel way to tackle the excess bhaji & the best part, they freeze well for a future instant snack. The pie dough recreates the buttery aroma of the warm pav served up in restaurant and yet is flaky & light. Serve with a salad & chilled glass of Reisling or Chardonnay. A good bollywood movie rental & the company of your best friend rounds up the ingredients forfor a perfect, relaxing evening!




Ingredients: (for the crust)
1 1/2 cups atta or whole wheat flour
1 stick (8 tbsps) butter cut into cubes & frozen
1 tbsp ghee or vegetable shortening, chilled,
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tbsp Pav bhaji masala powder
½ cup chilled water

You also need:
Pav bhaji (leftovers work great)
Wax paper,
Rolling pin and marble surface to roll the dough.


Method:

Combine atta, baking powder, Salt & pav bhaji masala powder in a food processor jar & pulse until well combined.

Add ½ the cubes of butter & ½ tbsp of the ghee to the flour mix and pulse for 5 seconds and then run the processor continuously for another 5 seconds.
Add the remaining butter & ghee & process till the flour resembles fine crumbs with pea sized bits of butter.
Transfer into a mixing bowl, add chilled water to the sides of the bowl, one tablespoon at a time.
Using a fork, move the flour to the centre till the mix resembles clumped up pebbles .
Using clean hands, gather the dough & gently press into a ball on the sides of the bowl.
Work the dough gently for about a minute.
Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until required.

Heat oven to 375-400 C
Brush muffin/cupcake baking tray with ghee.
Remove dough from fridge, divide in half.
Place dough between sheets of floured wax paper and roll to the thickness of a paratha.

Remove the top layer of paper & cut out 2 circles from the dough, the larger one to cover the bottom and sides of a greased muffin/cupcake baking pan. Allow some of the dough to stick over the top of the cup

Scoop a tablespoon of prepared Pav bhaji onto the dough. Place the smaller circle over the bhaji and seal the rim.

Brush with ghee, prick with a fork and bake for ~ 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Serve warm with a side of any salad of your choice.

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