Pav bhaji is one of those snacks which has graduated from being a roadside street food, to a full meal. I had never bean a big fan of serving it as dinner or lunch, but yes a snack with piping hot tea works for me. With COVID-19 scare, and all thats going on we had been stuck at home for the past two weeks. You cannot hoard on fresh produce, they will go bad in a few days other than some like cabbage and carrot which stays great for some weeks in the fridge.
So, when the last of my vegetables started going bad, my only way was to make either a Bengali style labra for lunch, or use it make pav bhaji for the family. The problem was I didn’t have the store bought spice mix for preparing pav bhaji. With some online search I used my whole spices to make the spice mix. It was really simple to make, and my five-year old had a great time helping me with the measurements and then grinding the roasted spice mix in the coffee grinder.
My coffee grinder is my best friend in the kitchen, from making mustard paste for ilish bhapa or simple aloo posto, I use it all the time. If you are like me and don’t own a big food processor, you can grind the spices in batches.
2 tablespoon whole cumin
4 tablespoon cilantro/coriander seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorn
3-4 whole dry chilies
2″ piece of cinammon
2 -3 black cardammom
1 teaspoon fennel/saunf
1 teaspoon dry mango powder/amchur
Dry roast all the whole spices, not amchur, separately in a tawa until flavorful
Mix all the roasted spices together, cool it down and grind to a fine powder
Mix with the amchur, and store in an air tight container
Note: You can add 8 – 10 Kashmiri chilies too, roast like the other whole spices and grind together. This makes the bhaji a good red color. If you don’t have Kashmiri red chilies, just add a teaspoon of the Kashmiri chili powder while making the bhaji.
The portions mentioned above makes about 100gms/ 4 oz of spice mix.
If kept in air tight container it will stay fresh for about 6 months.