Terrible weather all week meant no fishing, polishing my fishing gear at home and Indian cooking. Actually in the west of Japan people have died in the flooding and here in Tokyo, the rain has been torrential with lots of lightning to top it all off. I finally got round to making the Mumbai (the City Formerly Known As Bombay) specialty pav bhaji. I can’t believe I didn’t try this when I was in Mumbai two years ago (I also regret not getting a champi tel malish on Chowpatty beach) but I was distracted by the streetside kebabs, paneer and tandoori dishes (at Delhi Durbar, Khyber and the wonderfully Victorian-named Gaylord) and of course, Bombay duck, an amazing taste I don’t think I will ever be able to reproduce or encounter elsewhere.
I also pride myself on making my Indian food from scratch, grinding my own spices (many of which I have brought back from India and Sri Lanka myself) and such, but this time I was obliged to use a MDH ready-made spice mix, something I am only slightly embarrassed to admit. A real pav bhaji is really very rich and buttery, so to spare my arteries a little I cut out about half the butter, and declined to put some cheese on top, even then the dish came out very tasty. It contains eight different vegetables and of course has no meat in it, so was a pleasant change from the rather dairy- and meat-heavy Mughlai food I have been making recently.