Thursday

Pav Bhaji Pulav

Hello Dearies!!! Hope you all are safe and bathing in the glory of your loved ones. Life  is something we all take for  granted and forget to admire simple necessities which seem like luxury when they are all of a sudden taken away from us. Yes, Nearly 80% of New Jersey had no heat, no electric or even gas when it was affected by Hurricane Sandy. The houses went from cold to coldest with temperatures dropping to negative. Such times makes you wonder of how you take such simple pleasures for granted. They sure seem like a right, but in reality they are your privileges. Hope this never comes our way or anyone's way for that matter. What matters now is how fast and how soon can we pick the pieces and make a life out the devastation. Diwali is undoubtedly a low key in Ashland as we are still recovering mentally from the huge loss this Frankenstorm left us with. We all are making an emergency wishlist that needs to be updated and stocked for any such future emergencies. that list will now also include with food and water,  hand and feet warmers along with shawls/throws for cold months, and some backup toys for kids.

In preparation for this storm, I had precooked batches of Pavbhaji, which can be eaten with bread, roti or rice. Adding twist to the leftover pavbhaji, I made this rice for our lunch one day. We were lucky to get the power back within few hours, but god forbid days without heat/power or gas, we need to be prepared. Some smart people made the fire in fireplace work double duty by cooking roots and potatoes in them. Such ideas take me back to my Girl Guide days when we were trained to survive on minimum. The Need taking first place and defeating Want. The battle between need and want makes us selfish and asking for more, at times grabbing what is not rightfully ours.

What is your emergency lit and how do you prepare for such emergencies?? Do you panic or stay relaxed and let nature take its toll? I like to be prepared especially when the experts keep buzzing about the severity of the situation, stocking basics like drinking water, some medicines and even stored water never hurt anyone. Some good news in this is that we got leave form work as offices were in blackout, schools closed for more than a week, so with no work, no TV and no light, we  were transported to a age where families sat and chatted together and connected in a unique way.

Having grown up in Bombay which is a coastal city, hurricanes and storms with rains and heavy winds is not new for us, but munchkin and donut being brought up in US are new to the blackouts and no power worlds. We used to gather all kids together whenever we had power outage and sing songs, make spooky sounds and shadows in candle light and scare younger and timid kids around us. It was fairly regular to hear such spooky noises when power went off. It brought back tons of fond memories and images of my childhood that I could see each of them clearly in the dim candle light to feel blessed and find strength to overcome the storm and hard situation we were facing.  So When the power came back, I was reminded of yet another childhood favorite breakfast item, Phodnicha bhat which can be glamorized as Tadka rice. Since we were dealing with leftovers, I combined the pavbhaji and rice and Bingo, we had pavbhaji rice that day.


You will need;
2 cups cooked rice/ vegetable pulav or jeera rice
2 cups  leftover Pav Bhaji
1/2 onion chopped
1 Tsp pav bhaji Masala

Tempering
 1 tbspn Oil
1 tspn Panchporan, tempering mix blend of mustard, fennel, cumin, onion seeds/kalonji, fenugreek seeds/methi.

Water as needed
Salt to taste

In a pan over medium heat, heat oil, add the onions,  fry for 2 mins , then add the panchporan mix, add in the pavbhaji,, add little water if needed and let cook for  1 minute, then add the pav bhaji masala, mix well, add salt, mix well and lastly add rice with little water. Stir well and cover. Cook for abt 3 mins.  The rice should not be liquid but slightly sticky. once you get to this stage, the rice is done...garnish with Cilantro or Spring Onion, add a dash of lime if needed and Njoii Pav Bhaji Pulav.


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