Updated: Oct 15
The Original Indian Pav begs to be understood. The almost square bun baked like bread rolls is not like any of its cousins.
The Pav or Pao is a gift from the Portuguese to India. Perhaps the first of the dishes made with it was the Pav Bhaji, a medley of vegetables cooked together in copious amount of butter.
It is believed that the word “Pav” was derivative of its meaning in Hindi meaning “1/4th” part of the bread. The birth of the Pav or Pao, meaning bread in Portuguese is a yeasted, leavened bread, the size of a slider with no eggs, butter, or fat. It is soft, spongy that acts as a perfect vehicle to mop every fatty molecule of a curry or a deep-fried fritter ball.
Here is the origin story of the Pav. When the Portuguese came to India they settled in Cochin, Goa where the primary staple was rice. They missed their breads as it was integral to their traditions including their Holy Communion.
As Cochin and Goa was part of India, they had access to wheat and maida (refined flour) thanks to the Mughal rule and their influence on food in India, but not yeast.
It was probably the British, and access to their colonies that helped the yeast travel to India and thus, the Indian Pav was born. With such humble beginnings, the Pav had already become the local hero, with its distinct taste, structure, and purpose in life.
Pav, born of the Portuguese influence, travelled though Goa to finally become the star in Mumbai (then Bombay). The British owned Mumbai City as the Portuguese gifted it as a dowry to the British Prince Charles II when he married Princess Catherine D'Brangeza.
Around the time when the America Civil War 1861-1865, the British were faced with a shortage of cotton and had the Mumbai Cotton Mills fill the short supply.
The traders of the Old Cotton Exchange in Mumbai had to wait for the New York cotton Prices to be published, which meant working wee hours into the night or even early morning. A series of midnight stalls that served Pav Bhaji outside the mill, ensured no one ever went hungry. The Pav Bhaji, a curry-gravy of a medley of vegetables, mostly potato, tomato and green peas with butter, was an instant hit.
The Pav was soon adopted by the various dishes, cuisines of Mumbai and became a principal for the dishes either, sliced to be stuffed or served alongside to mop up the gravy. The pav vendors represented the street vendors, food entrepreneurs who offered it as a mid-night snack because they opened in the evenings and operated till early morning.
This quintessentially Indian bread has become indispensable and the bite size portion has Tapas written all over it! At Fennel by Komala Vilas we present the Indian Pav with combinations you have heard, but never tasted.
PAV BITES at Fennel by Komala Vilas
Keema Pav: Introducing Yellow Pea Protein Nutralys Keema, a mince but with lots of meaty mouthfeel, cooked with traditional spices, yogurt, and ghee. All the taste of keema, full of protein that is soy-free speckled with green peas to keep the theme going. Served in a butter toasted pav.
Original Pav Bhaji: A medley of vegetables, primarily cauliflower unlike most of it the mostly potato-based recipes with natural colours of beetroot, carrot, and green capsicum cooked in true Indian style with butter. Served over a butter toasted pav with chopped onions and a lemon wedge. Vegetarian.
Baigan Bharta Pav: Barbequed eggplant charred till it is filled with smoky goodness. Cumin spiced and cooked with caramelised onions and crushed garlic. Served with a slice of tomato in a butter toasted Pav.
Kofta Pav: Mughlai kofta made with paneer with a touch of fragrant spices, red chilli and a pop of golden raisins. Topped with a green mango- green chilli chutney and a red chilli- pineapple chutney in a butter toasted pav.
Cheese Vada Pav: Mozzarella in a potato vada with lots of fresh coriander just to break the monotony of starch on starch. Topped with a green mango- green chilli chutney and a red chilli- pineapple chutney keeping the flavours of chilli but with a difference. Served in a butter toasted pav.
Spicy Peanut Butter Pav: Peanut Butter with a house made spice blend. Served with fresh carrot, cucumber pickles in a butter toasted pav.
NEW DOSA and VADAI at Fennel by Komala Vilas
Dosa needs no introduction especially when it is from Fennel by Komala Vilas, which now has become synonymous to churning dosas like a well-oiled machine, pun intended. For the adventurous tastebuds we present:
Truffle Cheese Dosa: For the cheese and Truffle lover, an umami filled dosa that is sizzled crisp and served with a Gochujang-mayonnaise. Die-Die-Must-Have!
Gochujang Dosa: Korean Gochujang smeared into a crispy dosa, a flavour bomb that is served with a mustard-mayonnaise. An-Absolute-Must-Try! Plant-based
Raw Mango Chutney Dosa: Fragrant raw-mango tingling your mouth with the green chilli chutney smeared in a crispy dosa. This will leave you wanting for more! Served with Sambar. Plant-based
Chilli Cheese Dosa: A cheese laden Dosa with green chilli-padi liberally strewn all over Want it more spicy? Let us know. Served with Sambar. Vegetarian
Pandan Dosa: Made like a Malaysian Roti Jala this Pandan dosa is sweet and sour from the fermented batter served with Sambar.
Vadai Fingers: Fennel’s famous vadai fried into fingers with a dusting of kefir-curry served with a mix of chutneys. So easy to eat!
NEW DRINKS at Fennel by Komala Vilas
House Made Lemonade with Honey: a house special, made with Indian lemons with a hint of green chilli, basil seeds with honey.
Ice-Cream Sodas: The combination of Ice Cream and Soda to kindle your childhood memories available in Blue, Pink flavours. Very Fennel, choose your colour, pink or blue. Vegetarian
NEW DESSERTS at Fennel by Komala Vilas
Churros with Mango: Eggless Churros with a house made Mango Chantilly Cream, mango puree and a touch of red chilli.
Strawberry Cream-Cheese Falooda: Strawberry Cream cheese ice cream with jelly, sago and of course, falooda all in one glass, to be eaten-drunk. A good choice for an ambidextrous! Vegetarian
So come lah!
Enjoyed only at https://www.fennel.com.sg
Address: 413 River Valley Road, Singapore 248311
Monday to Friday 9.00am - 10.30pm Sat & Sun & Public Holiday 8.00am - 10.30pm
Call +65 62357485 for reservations!