Tawa Cooking – Pav Bhaji ( Spicy Mashed Potatoes with Grilled Buns )

Pav Bhaji must be the most popular recipe cooked on a tawa in India. Google up Pav Bhaji and you will get zillions of Pav Bhaji recipes and also its history on Wikipedia. We still remember the ad of Everest Spices on TV in India with a punch line that conveyed Everest Pav Bhaji Masala is a blend of 13 secret spices. The punch line added so much elusiveness to the recipe that my mom actually used to use it. Though invented in Mumbai, the recipe has made its way to every nook and corner in India and is an extremely popular street food and also served in high-end fast food chains.

Pav Bhaji Stall at Mumbai's Juhu Beach

  The base of the recipe is boiled potatoes mashed up with spices and butter which is what the original recipe was. As time went by creativity made its way with addition of peas, cauliflower, bell peppers etc. We made Pav Bhaji with just potatoes to keep it simple and original; and we did not use any ready-made Pav Bhaji masala. We realize now what a hoax the ad was. The truth is it’s a simple recipe that needs just garam masala (we used MDH brand garam masala) and some red chilies. The taste is all from butter; and we love butter in our food so we used it really generously.

Pav Bhaji with an extra dollop of Butter

Try out this Pav Bhaji recipe at home because this is could not become more simpler than this. Watch the video for the recipe and let us know what you think.
 
 
Ingredients Summary:
 
Serves: 4; Total Time: 40 min
 
Potatoes – 675 gm or 1 1/2 lb; Ghee – 1/2 cup; Green Chilies – 4; Ginger – 15 gm or 1/2 oz; Tomatoes – 250 gm or 9 oz; Whole Red Chilies – 4; Ginger Paste – 1 tsp; Garlic Paste – 1 tsp; Salt – to taste; Butter – 5 Tbs; Garam Masala – 2 tsp; Coriander Leaves – 1/2 cup; Lemon Juice – 2 Tbs; 
 

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Tawa Cooking – Jhinga Tawa Masala (Spicy Prawns)

The tawa or tavah is a flat or slightly concave disk shape griddle mostly made of cast iron and is an essential cooking utensil in all regions of India. The household tawa found in Indian homes is smaller and mostly used to cook flat breads like roti and paratha. In southern India its is used to make delicacies like Dosa etc.    

Traditional Household Tawa


The delicacies that we are planning to cook and post in Tawa Series are traditionally not meant to be cooked in the conventional household griddle. The recommended tawa for all these delicacies is much thicker and larger (at least 24 inch diameter). The thickness prevents sticking to a larger extent. The larger surface allows to food to be moved to periphery – away from the heat of the flame.    

The Real Tawa used in eateries


We are no professional cooks with big kitchen where we can cook on such a big tawa, so we are going to try all the tawa recipes on our small 12 inch non-stick tawa. One great advantage of tawa cooking over other utensils: the cooking process is very quick and takes the least time. However, during the short time it demands constant attention of stirring to avoid the risk of burning. 

Our Tawa


What is the difference between Shrimp and Prawns? Whatever be the difference, we call both of them Jhinga in hindi and it really doesn’t matter which one you use because both of them taste the same. Just try to get the biggest size available in the market. This prawn recipe uses Ajwain, the flavor of which elevates the taste of this delicacy from ordinary curry to a gourmet’s delight. The prawns napped in Makhani gravy and the ease of preparation makes this delicacy all the more attractive.    

Jhinga Tawa Masala served with Steaming White Rice


Watch our video for the recipe of this easy prawn delicacy and please leave us your feedback/comments.    

    
Ingredients Summary    

Serves: 4; Total Time: 1 hour    

For the gravy:    

Tomato (chopped) – 450 gm or 1 lb; Ginger paste – 1 tsp; Garlic paste – 1 tsp; Green Chili – 3; Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp; Cloves – 5; Cardamom – 4; Salt – to taste; Butter – 80 gm or 3 oz; Cream – 1/3 cup; Kasoori Methi (Fenugreek) – 1 1/2 tsp; Ginger – 10 gm or 1/2 oz;    

For the prawns:    

Prawns – 1 Kg or 2 1/4 lb;  Ghee – 6 Tbs; Ajwain – 2 tsp; Onions – 200 gm or 7 oz; Green Chili – 3; Ginger – 10 gm or 1/2 oz; Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp; Fresh Coriander – 1/2 cup; Lemon juice – 2 Tbs; Garam Masala – 1 tsp; Salt – to taste;

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Handi Cooking – Kacchi Mirch ka Gosht (Goat cooked in Green Peppercorn curry)

Welcome to the concluding post of our handi cooking series. We did 10 classic handi recipes and learned a new cooking technique from each one. Today’s final handi recipe is a delectable goat meat dish, done in a creamy, but hot Green Peppercorn curry, flavored with saffron and the rarely used fennel in North Indian cooking.

This is for the first time we have used Green Peppercorn in our cooking and we actually even did not know about something called Green Peppercorn till we came across this recipe. Green peppercorns are the product of the same plant that gives us Black Peppercorn but harvested when the berry is immature. Peppercorns are, by monetary value, the most widely traded spice in the world, India being the largest producer of all kinds of peppercorns and ironically we never saw Green Peppercorn in grocery stores in India. We will be extremely grateful if someone can let us know if green peppercorn is easily available in India at the grocery stores.

The recipe is one of the easiest goat curry to cook. Watch us cook this extremely mouth-watering goat curry. We think this recipe will be sure a hit if any restaurant puts it up on their menu.

Ingredients Summary:

Serves – 4; Total time – 2 hours;

Goat (leg) – 1 Kg or 2 1/4 lb; Yogurt – 1 cup; Coriander Seeds – 4 tsp; Cumin Seeds – 1 Tbs; Black Cumin Seeds (Shahi Jeera) – 1 3/4 tsp; Black Peppercorn – 1 1/2 tsp; Salt – to taste; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom – 5; Black Cardamom – 1; Cloves – 5; Cinnamon – 1 inch; Bay Leaf – 1; Mace – 1 pinch]; Onions – 250 gm or 8 1/2 oz; Ginger – 20 gm or 3/4 oz; Green Chilies – 4; Green Peppercorn – 1 Tbs; Saffron – 1 tsp; Cream – 3/4 cup; Fennel Powder – 1 tsp;

We hope all who read and liked the handi cooking series will try at least one recipe at home. The next series we are going to do will be Tawa (griddle) series. So keep a watch on our blog for our first tawa recipe The Jhinga Tawa Masala.

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