29 ottobre 2014

Pav Bhaji: welcome to India!

l'annuncio in Italiano qui


Balrampur - Uttar Pradesh

Welcome to India, second stop of our long cultural & culinary tour of the new ABC journey.
I am very happy and proud to be the ambassador, as very fond of this people, its traditions and its food.
Not easy at all to make a summary in a few lines of this vast region, so many differences in everywhere. But we have three weeks time to spend in this country, enough to enjoy and share more than one recipe and living custom, and post after post we'll be able to enrich the cultural heritage of this great Asian country.
Should you like to join World Culinary ABC just have a look at all details and rules here, I will be very happy and honored to recieve your entries!

India, officially the Republic of India (Bhārat Ganarājya), is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world. 
Home to the ancient  Indus Valley Civilisation and a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified with its commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history. Four world religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism—originated here, whereas Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam arrived in the 1st millennium CE and also helped shape the region's diverse culture. Gradually annexed by and brought under the administration of the  British East India Company from the early 18th century and administered directly by the United Kingdom from the mid-19th century, India became an independent nation in 1947 after a struggle for independence that was marked by  non-violent resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi.
Indian economy is the world's tenth-largest by nominal GDP and third-largest by  purchasing power parity (PPP). Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies; it is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption, malnutrition, inadequate public healthcare, and terrorism. A nuclear weapons state and a regional power, it has the third-largest standing army in the world and ranks ninth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal constitutional republic governed under a parliamentary system consisting of 29 states and 7 union territories. India is a pluralistic, multilingual, and a multi-ethnic society. It is also home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.
India's coastline measures 7,517 kilometres (4,700 mi) in length; of this distance, 5,423 kilometres (3,400 mi) belong to peninsular India and 2,094 kilometres (1,300 mi) to the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep island chains.
Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal.
The Indian climate is strongly influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert, both of which drive the economically and culturally pivotal summer and winter monsoons. The Himalayas prevent cold Central Asian katabatic winds from blowing in, keeping the bulk of the Indian subcontinent warmer than most locations at similar latitudes. The Thar Desert plays a crucial role in attracting the moisture-laden south-west summer monsoon winds that, between June and October, provide the majority of India's rainfall. Four major climatic groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and montane.
The Indian film industry produces the world's most-watched cinema.
Cotton was domesticated in India by 4000 B.C.E. Traditional Indian dress varies in colour and style across regions and depends on various factors, including climate and faith. Popular styles of dress include draped garments such as the  sari for women and the  dhoti or lungi for men. Stitched clothes, such as the  shalwar kameez for women and kurtapyjama combinations or European-style trousers and shirts for men, are also popular. Use of delicate jewellery, modelled on real flowers worn in ancient India, is part of a tradition dating back some 5,000 years; gemstones are also worn in India as talismans (from wikipedia).

India is a very wide country and food vary from region to region.
Therefore Indian kitchen is very rich and it's an amazing result of so many different regional kitchens, each peculiar and delicious.
In the North, with a temperate climate, breeding rams is very popular and lamb is cooked slowly in oven. Going to the South, passing through  Delhi and Punjab, we find richer food: they eat chicken too, and ghee is mostly used. Bread is preferred to rice. On East coast, around Bengal Bay, fish is largely used, for sea and numerous rivers all around. Hot and humid climate helps palm tree grow easily and coconut is so often used in recipes.
On West coast, in Gujarat, most people are vegetarian and they largely eat vegetables and cereals as well as in Tamil Nada, at the very South.
In Goa and Malabar humid and tropical climate allows to grow coconut, banana, date palm trees, and fish and crustanceans are numerous.
In South India the foodstar is rice and steamed food is the most favourite. Quite all dishes are traditionally very hot, much more than in Northern regions.
India counts several and different races and religions, very influent about food, with rules to be respected. Muslims and Jews don't eat pork, while for Hindus and Sikhs beef is forbidden. Quite most Hindus are strictly vegetarians, but many include fish and crustanceans in their diet because they are considered harvest of the sea.
When you cook Indian recipes don't be afraid about how much spices or chili to put inside, be generous as you like, keep the recipe lighter if you like, or add some more ingredients if you need. As Indians say. it's your personal touch Hath ki bat that makes the difference!
And last but not least, tea, as India is one of the major producer in the world and Darjeeling is considered the world's finest tea, and almost all of it is exported.

I have many Indian cookbooks, I love this kitchen, its spices and perfumes, some of which bought in India by a dear friend of mine who lived there for a while (and still work somehow), and she promised to take me there as soon as possible.
I also follow blog friends in India, and the Indian FBAI is twinned with our local AIFB, I belong to.
To begin the collection of Indian recipes I followed a recipe from Aparna's blog My Diverse Kitchen, she's also the founder of baking group We Knead to Bake.

I love street food and believe that it's the direct expression of most real emotions and culinary traditions of a country. India too is part of this great stret food community, with stalls everywhere, so attractive and persistently fragrant.
Aparna says that if anyone ask an Indian what street food is his favorite, his most frequent response will be Bhelpuri, Panipuri and Pav Bhaji.
It seems that this specialty is born as lunch for the workers of a textile mill in Mumbai, convenient and easy to eat during their short break. Today has overcome its humble beginnings and can be found on the menu in most restaurants across the country, because it is a very easy dish to cook and serve.
The bhaji is a preparation of mixed greens with onions, tomatoes, potatoes and basic spices, very hot and red/orange colored: the vegetables are cooked and then mashed to give the consistency of a thick gravy, mashed type. It is usually served with chopped raw onion and fresh cilantro, a dash of lime juice and a generous dollop of butter, accompanied by the typical pav. To handle the spiciness of the dish, the trick is to eat a little raw onion in advance, so to low the impact of the overwhelming hot feeling in your mouth (but perhaps it would be sufficient to use less chili).
A local custom says that you have not eaten the real pav bhaji until you have it on the beach, where the beach is Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai.
Do not miss this video, where Vikas Kumar shows us how a street vendor (his stall is called Chandan Laxmi Pav Bhaji and Fast Food) prepare bhaji on this great iron skillet called Tava: speed and ability as he crushes and mixes vegetables are amazing. And that is  Juhu Chowpatty Beach.

The pav (often called pao or pau in honor of the Portuguese inheritance) are sweet soft rolls baked in a row.
Then they take a couple, cut in half and crashed into the melted butter and served with vegetable sauce.
In Marathi pad means a quarter, and the name probably derives from the custom of serving pav bhaji accompanied by 4 sandwiches together.
But in Hindi it means feet, and another legend says that the dough for these buns, produced in huge quantities, was done with feet instead of hands, so to make enough for the huge demand.
In this video Nisha Madhulika shows us (in original language) how to make pav. Or you can follow English instructions in Cooking Shooking video.

Laadi Pav

Serving 8 rolls:

250 g allpurpose flour
130/150 g warm milk
1 tbs extravirgin olive oil or softened butter
1 tbs honey or sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry yeast or 5 g fresh yeast
melted butter for brushing

Dissolve the fresh yeast in milk (for dry yeast follow instructions on the bag).
In a bowl pour flour and sugar and begin to knead, adding the milk little by little, oil (or butter) and salt at last.
It should be a very soft dough. Shape into a ball and let it rest in a greased bowl, covered, until doubled.
Then transfer the dough onto the working surface and divide in half, then into quarters and finally into eighths.
Roll each piece in a little ball and place to rest in a rectangular mold (lined with parchement paper) slightly spaced, covered with a damp cloth for about 30/40 minutes.
Bake at 200° for 10-13 minutes, should not darken much.
Once removed from the oven brush with melted butter and let cool on a rack.

This recipe also goes to Susan's weekly YeastSpotting.

 (spicy veg curry)

The same word but with different pronunciation: Bhaji (pronounced bhaaji) means vegetable, while Bhaji (pronounced bhajji) means fritters, so be aware when you oder at the restaurant :-).

Vegetables' texture, usually mashed, may also be a little different, into small pieces if you like.
You can use the pav bhaji masala *, like the one I got from India, or make a mix such as in Aparna's recipe (I just did half and half). Usually a third of a teaspoon for every spice, but the amount is at your pleasure, as well as your favorite chili, more or less spicy.

* spice mix as follows, in descending order: coriander - chili - mango - cumin - iodized salt - fennel - cassia - ginger - black pepper - clove - cardamom - nutmeg - caraway - star anise - mace

You need:

mixed vegetables
(carrot, cauliflower, beans, peas)
1 large potato
1 large onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
grated fresh ginger
extra virgin olive oil
garam masala
 fresh coriander

Steam carrot, cauliflower, beans and peas.
Blanch tomatoes, remove skin and cut into cubes.
Use a large wok: stir-fry garlic and ginger in a couple of tablespoons of oil, add chopped onion and cook over high heat until slightly translucent (if necessary add a little water so it does not burn).
Add tomatoes and cook until very soft. Mash well with a spoon.
Add the spice mix and cook over medium heat until the raw smell of them disappears.
Mash the vegetables with a fork or a masher until you have a puree and add it to the wok.
Season with salt, add half a glass of water and cook 5/10 minutes until well blended, adding a little more water if necessary.
Before serving, add a few tablespoons of melted butter and garnish with chopped fresh coriander.

How to serve pav bhaji: melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a frying pan.  Slice two pieces of the pav sideways and place both, cut sides down, on the melted butter and allow the pav to absorb the butter and brown slightly. Place the sandwich on a plate, add a few tablespoons of bhaji aside (even inside the sandwich) and serve with the remaining chopped onion, a few drops of fresh lime juice and a spoonful of melted butter.

Looking forward for your recipes till Nov., 16th.


La nostra raccolta indiana - Our Indian Collection

Salato - Savoury

Biryani vegetariano

 Cheppankizhangu/Seppankilangu Varuval - Taro root roast - Radice di taro al forno

Indian-style Spicy Chicken 
Chicken Biryani

Tandoori Murghi
Jhinga Tandoori
Carla Emilia

Phool Kopir Dalna

Zuppa Mulligatawny
 Pollo al tikka masala con riso thay e pomodori piccantini

Merluzzo con Fish-Curry Masala

Dahl Indiano e Basmati alla Curcuma

Punjabi Aloo Chole
Rosa Maria

Samosa alle verdure

Besan ka Cheela e Raita alla menta

Aloo Tikki - Polpette di patate e piselli - Potato & Pea Patties 

Potoler Dolma

Panch Phoran - Masala bengalese 

Dum Aloo Punjabi

Chana Masala

Raita ai cachi - Persimmon Raita


Pani - Bread

Butter Naan

Chapati o Roti
Puri - Pane fritto


Dosa di lenticchie rosse 

Miss Roti

Pane Naan
Carla Emilia

Pane Naan al pepe nero e cardamomo 

Gajar Paratha - Carrot Paratha - Pane ripieno alle carote

Naan al Curry e Chapati - Curried Naan & Chapati


Chapathi e Metha Parathi


Dolci - Sweet

Kulfi gelato

Patisa o Soan Papdi 
Coconut Ladoo e Rava Coconut Ladoo

Chocolate Sandesh 

Indian Milk Cake
Mysore Pak
Aparna K.

Singhare Halwa - Dolce alle castagne

Dolcetti al cocco

Kesar Suji Halwa

Chawal ki Kheer
Rosa Maria 



The Chai Masala

Royal Bengal Tiger Tea - Cognac Indian Tea
Kela ka Rayta 

31 commenti:

Aparna ha detto...

Dear Cinzia,

It feels so nice to read about India and its culinary riches from a native of another country. The cookbooks caught my eye and the Pav Bhaji looks tempting.

Welcome to India :-)

Cindystar ha detto...

thanks for your visit, hope one day we could meet personally! :-)

Cristina ha detto...

Ciao Cinzia ecco la mia prima ricetta, facile ma molto buona http://lacucinadicrista.blogspot.it/2014/10/cheppankizhangu-seppankilangu-varuval.html
Buon venerdi pieno di sole

Cindystar ha detto...

Grazie, Cristina, aggiungo subito!
Buon weekend anche a te, sarà bellissimo!

Gata da Plar - Mony ha detto...

Eccomi con un'altra ricetta :)


Buon w-e! :)

resy ha detto...

Ecco il mio primo dolce indiano, buona domenica Cinzia!!http://le-tenere-dolcezze-di-resy.blogspot.it/2014/11/patisa-o-soan-papdi-il-dolce-del-diwali.html

Cindystar ha detto...

Monia, grazie, vengo subito a prenderne un pochino per pranzo, per favore aggiungimi il link alla ricetta, per correttezza ;-)

Resy, grazie e buona domenica anche a te!

Gara da Plar ha detto...

http://gatadaplarr.blogspot.it/2014/11/cavolfiore-al-curry-e-bocconcini-di.html?showComment=1414924126556&m=1#c8562294151448298960ccomi ^______^

Cindystar ha detto...

Grazie, Monia :-*

Aparna ha detto...

Dear Cinzia,

Please find my entry below.


Thank you.

resy ha detto...

Cara Cinzia, ecco un'altra ricetta dolce. A presto ;-) http://le-tenere-dolcezze-di-resy.blogspot.it/2014/11/karanji-ancora-un-dolce-per-festeggiare.html

Cindystar ha detto...

Grazie, Resy, quasi quasi mi metto su il tè e vengo a rubarti un dolcetto ;-)

resy ha detto...

Cinzia, prepara un buon tè che sono in arrivo dei biscotti proprio per il tea time indiano!! A presto ^-^

Aparna ha detto...

Dear Cinzia,

My entry for ABC world Culinary Adventure


Thank you.

Cindystar ha detto...

Resy, metto subito su il bollitore ;-)

Aparna, thanks for joining us! ;-)

resy ha detto...

Cinzia sudando 7 camiicie e requisendo il pc di mio figlio sono riuscita a postare questi altri dolci, il mio pc mi ha definitivamente abbandonato. Spero vi piacciano!!
http://le-tenere-dolcezze-di-resy.blogspot.it/2014/11/coconut-ladoo-e-rava-coconut-ladoo-i.html A presto

Cindystar ha detto...

Resy, capisco il tuo calvaro e ti ringrazio, anzi sono onorata, della tua buonissima volontà.
Metto su il tè, è anche l'ora giusta, i tuoi dolcetti ne saranno felici :-)

resy ha detto...

E' vero, mi ero ripromessa d'ora in poi di passare ai salati per l'India, ma questi tartufi mi hanno stuzzicato la fantasia, e poi sono così invitanti che uno ciascuno ce li spazzoliamo al volo, che ne dici??
Buona domenica Cinzia!!

Cindystar ha detto...

Resy, ho capito il tuo giochino, vuoi farmi annegare in un mare dolcissimo :-))))
Vengo subito a gustermene un paio, così, anche con l'aperitivo ;-)

Sara ha detto...

Ciao Cinzia, almeno un piatto sono riuscita a farlo!!


Grazie, Sara

Cindystar ha detto...

Sara, grazie, aggiungo subito ;-)

Cristina ha detto...

Cara Cinzia ecco un altra ricetta
Gajar Paratha
e non credo che finisco qui :-)
A presto!

Cindystar ha detto...

Cristina, grazie, e lo sarò ancora di più se continui a cucinare indiano :-)

resy ha detto...

Questa volta un piatto salato per la raccolta!! Ciao ciao

Cindystar ha detto...

Resy, grazie, ne avevo proprio voglia! ;-)))

resy ha detto...

Ultimi dolcetti indiani, erano troppo belli per non farli!!

Cindystar ha detto...

Rosaaaaa, inarrestabileeeeee :-)))
Grazie, aggiungo e vengo a gustarmene uno! ;-)

Unknown ha detto...

Dear Cinzia,
Please find my entry for Culinary adventure below


It feels so nice to see so many wonderful Indian recipes at one place. Thanks for hosting.

Cindystar ha detto...

Thank you so much, Sanhita, glad you are in ;-)

resy ha detto...

Questa è proprio l'ultima ricetta indiana, tutta per te!!

Cindystar ha detto...

Resy, non ci credo, ci sono ancora due giorni e tu sei troppo vulcanica :-)))
e la tua ricetta contagiosa è :-)))

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