Mumbai’s favorite snack, Pav Bhaji, at Sardar's

When it comes to Mumbai’s street fare, Pav Bhaji (Pav: Indian bread, Bhaji: Mashed vegetable curry) is one of the most popular local favorites. The dish is served every street corner.

Few know it, but Pav Bhaji originated from Mumbai. Legend has it that a local vendor prepared the dish using leftover ingredients for poor, hungry mill workers in the area. It became an instant hit, and today the dish is enjoyed by everyone in Mumbai and other parts of India.

In Mumbai, however, Sardar’s is arguably the best spot offering Pav Bhaji as hordes of hungry Mumbaikars crowd this eatery every day. Some travel for hours just to taste the piping-hot, buttery dish.

Sardar’s is named after its founder, Sardar Ahmed, who came up with the dish to feed the mill workers nearby some 50 years ago.  It’s located near Mumbai Central.  Today, his son runs the busy eatery.

Cheese pav bhaji at Sardar

So what’s in the mix of Bhaji? It has potatoes, onions, tomatoes, capsicum, cauliflower, carrots, green peas and French beans separately cooked and mashed in an open flat pan. To this vegetable mash are added green coriander leaves, mint, ginger-garlic paste, pav bhaji masala powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin seeds and garam masala powder.

What’s unusual about Sardar’s? They use a lavish amount of butter to cook the veggies. Elsewhere, butter is sparingly used and replaced with cooking oil.

Try the buttery Bhaji with Sardar’s soft and freshly-baked Pav (bread).

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