Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Memories of School and Canteen food (the St. Anthony's Sandwich Chutney)!

September 5th.. every year..
The day is celebrated as Teacher's Day in India where I grew up and went to school. The day, we girls  (My Alma Mater, St. Anthony's Girls High School in Chembur, a suburb of Mumbai,  was an all girls convent run by the sisters of St. Joseph's Convent) would trip over ourselves to give our class teachers bouquets of flowers that we'd all bought from the lone florist 'Bhaiyya' who had a little set up of planks set up over the storm drain outside the compound walls of Saroj Hotel in Chembur Market. I vaguely remember he had 2 selections, a 5 rs. and a 10 Rs. A watchful eye ensured that the two rose buds in the bouquet were fresh and the there was a respectable amount of asters and chrysanthemums. And the cheaper goldenrods were kept to an optimum low!


Resolutions, part deux.

Some of us get to make resolutions not once, but twice every year. The first of course, on January 1st along with the rest of the world and the second time around, the last day of  the Indian festival of Navaratri, The 10th day that marks the end of the festival is known as Vijaya Dashami - the day when scores of kids , willing or not,  are marched off to commence music, dance classes or start learning to play an instrument.

Navratri, once you strip it of its patriarchal trappings, is an empowering festival celebrating the Mother Goddess. Each day, her various attributes (a daughter, a mother, a wife, a warrior, an intellectual,  as an unfettered free spirit etc.) are explored and worshiped. and thefood offering invariably is a protein rich Sundal made with various lentils - a meat substitute, a nod to a pre-Buddhist era when meat was an accepted part of Hinduism.



Back to the resolutions.. you'd have to have been living in a cave this past year not to have been made aware of how …

Aug 9 - Cauliflower Kolhapuri

I have a dear friend from school who lives in the City of Kolhapur in Maharashtra. When I visited her  at the gorgeous heritage resort she owns there en route to a holiday in Goa, she gifted me with a spice blend that I treasured to the last speck. It sat  at the bottom of my freezer and was doled out for special dishes just like Saffron is rationed out in many Indian homes. Its a lip smacking flaming  hot blend of onions, garlic and the famed Kolhapuri Mirch (red chili).

I marinaded cauliflower florets in a paste of this spice blend , salt and oil, and roasted it in a 450 F oven. Finished with a handful of green coriander berries, this was a fabulous treat paired with roomali roti.