Food

The How, What And Where Of Mumbaiyaa Paav Bhaaji!

Team Republic |

Now, who doesn’t like a wholesome plate of paav bhaji? This popular street food finds a place in every Mumbaikar’s heart, but how well do we know our paav bhaji?

Essentially, it consists of a thick vegetable curry fried and served with a soft bread, we call, paav. Its origin traces back to the 1850s when the Portuguese decided to experiment with the traditional roti sabzi and gave India a substitute for the daily bread. The Indo western combination pleased both the sides, perhaps why the taste of paav bhaaji still continues to linger.

However, let's dive In deeper.

According to one version of the origin story, the bread is known as paav because you get a set of four and then you break-off each mini loaf as you eat. The paav means one-fourth in the Marathi language.

But what about the origin of Bhaaji?
It is the same story which everyone here would know or mention. The dish was invented to fulfill the requirements of lunch for textile mill workers, labourers and miners. They need cheap, easy and quick to prepare nutritious food. So they mixed all the easily accessible vegetables available at the place  & added some spices to the mix and EUREKA!

However, over the years this desi junk food has evolved too, taking many forms and names catering to the diverse taste buds of India. Some of the famous ones are Cheese Paav Bhaji, paneer paav bhaji, Mushroom paav bhaji. For those who like it spicy, try the Kolhapuri version and if you don't want any onion or garlic, there’s Jain Paav Bhaji.
While Paav bhaji has made its way from hearts to all menus across the nation, the best kitchen for it is a local street of sub urban Mumbai areas, or as we affectionately call it, a khau galli.

Maruti Pav bhaji, Sardar (specialist in pav bhaji), Cannon pav bhaji, and definitely Girgaon Chowpatty is every foodie’s go-to spot for finger licking Paav Bhaaji.

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