Did Pav Bhaji Come From the USA?
Sep 12, 2021

Did you know that your beloved pav bhaji is not Indian? Watch our latest video to know how and when it came to India.

We all have heard about, and have also eaten pav bhaji. Crispy toasted pav along with spicy bhaji, topped with some chopped onions and butter, just the thought of it is enough to make food lovers drool. This tasty street food is popular in India, and is also liked by people of all ages. Made with mashed potatoes and many other vegetables, pav bhaji has been a popular dish in India. Do you know how this dish was created? To know the answer to this question, we will have to learn some history. Let me tell you. From 1861 to 1865, the United States of America faced a civil war.  The northern states wanted to abolish slavery, while the southern states did not want this. Slaves were very important at that time, as they used to work in cotton fields and grow cotton. Trade of cotton generated massive profits. This was why the Southern states did not want to abolish slavery. The southern states thought that England and France would support them in this cause, as a large part of the cotton used in the Manchester cotton mills in the UK came from the southern states of the USA. However, England did not support this cause of the southern states, as they had already abolished slavery in their own country. 

Even though they didn’t support the cause, they still needed cotton for production of goods. At that time, Abraham Lincoln, who was President of the USA, stopped exports from New Orleans and Mississippi. 

England then came to India, for cotton. Indian businessmen took orders late at night, as when it is night here in India, it is morning in Europe. Due to this, Indian workers had to work round the clock to meet the extra demand. Business was booming, and money was coming in, but people had to eat even at night. Since it was difficult for the workers' family to send food from home, this introduced the famous Pav Bhaji, on roadside stalls. These stalls used to mash up all the leftover vegetables that did not sell during the day, and cook it with a tomato gravy, with onions and lemon. This was served with Pav, which came to India through the Portuguese. This dish became a common meal for thousands of Indian mill workers during the night time. Now, there are also many variations of this dish. Different people have different ways of cooking it, and add cheese, extra masala etc. to it. Isn’t that cool? Our famous and tasty dish was invented because of the USA!