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I for Indian Ladi Pav/Indian Dinner Rolls I How to make Ladi Pav

When I began to make a list for the Blogging Marathon, I was able to decide on a lot of dishes almost right away. A-H was a breeze and then came I. I had to use the country superlative for this one. Either it was going to be our very own India or something Irish. I picked India of course and chose to make the Indian Ladi Pav or Indian Dinner rolls. I’ve been meaning to make these for a really long time so this was the perfect time to try my hand at these.


The Pav/Pao/Pau needs no introduction. It has a fairly long standing history. Read on.


“ As Lizzie Collingham points out in her authoritative Curry – A Biography, the Portuguese landed in parts of India (Cochin, Goa etc) where the locals ate rice. But they missed their crusty bread, and in any case, they needed bread for Holy Communion. They could find wheat flour in Goa but yeast was hard to come by. So they started using a few drops of toddy to ferment the dough and created the various Goan breads we know today: the round gutli, the flat pav, etc.

It is from Goa that bread first travelled to Bombay and became a staple among locals. By the time British arrived with their white bread, the Portuguese-Goan pav had already been well established. And so British bread became an upmarket sort of dish, useful for making toast or sandwiches. But the food of the streets used pav, which could be sliced open to stuff an omelette into it or served alongside a spicy keema or a korma. And Bombay’s Goan community continued to use it as an alternative to rice. The first pav bhaji stalls were located near the old Cotton Exchange, because traders waited for the New York cotton prices (in the ’60s, these were carried prominently in all Bombay papers) that came in late into the night and early in the morning. But soon the pav bhaji stalls spread all over the city and by the late ’60s such restaurants as Tardeo’s Sardar Pav Bhaji were packing them in.”

Source: An article by Vir Sanghvi on foods contributed by the Portugese to Indian cuisine.

And that’s how Pav served up with bhaji in street side stalls became popular as it is to this day. Pavs are also used to make Vada pav, batter dipped potato balls deep fried and then slathered with a spicy garlic chutney and placed in between the Pav. More on the Vada Pav in another post.


You will need:

Recipe adapted from here:

Makes: A dozen Pavs (Dinner rolls)

2 cups All-purpose flour

1 cup Milk

1 tsp Salt

4 tsp Butter

1 ½ tbsp Milk powder

2 tsp Instant yeast

1 tbsp Sugar

Milk and Butter as needed for brushing the tops

Extra flour- for dusting

Oil for greasing pan

Warm the milk and add the yeast and sugar. Stir once and set aside for 10 minutes until foamy.

Combine all-purpose flour, salt and milk powder in a large bowl. Make a well and add the proofed yeast mix. Combine and then turn out onto a flat surface. This will be a very sticky dough. Add the butter and begin to knead. Use a bench scraper to gather the dough and knead. This process helps develop the gluten. The stickier the dough the softer the rolls will be.


Knead for a good 15 minutes until the dough comes together and forms a ball. It will be a soft ball, and not as sticky. Apply a little oil and place in an oiled bowl to double in size in a warm place, about an hour.

Dust your hands with flour and punch down the dough. Divide into 12 equal portions and shape into balls. Place in an oiled 8-inch square pan. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for another 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Brush the tops of the risen pav with milk and place in the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes until tops are brown. Remove from oven and immediately brush the tops with butter.

Allow to cool and use as needed.

Freshly baked Pav is out of this world and these didn’t even last until I made a batch of bhaji. My boys enjoyed the soft rolls as is and didn’t quite need an accompaniment. I had a few with my favorite orange marmalade… mmm tasty! I’ll be sure to bake another batch very soon to have them with Bhaji.




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