Pav Bhaji, a very popular street food from Mumbai (a major metropolis in India) which is loved across India.
What is Pav Bhaji?
‘Pav’ is an Indian bread roll and ‘Bhaji’ is smashed vegetable curry. The curry is garnished with cilantro and butter and served with chopped onions!
I cook this dish often as its tasty and healthy, at the same time. I also happen to freeze my prepped veggies (clean and cut) well in advance, which saves me a lot of time.
My early memories of this dish are from my mom’s kitchen. It was her way of feeding her fussy kids wholesome nutritious vegetables.
As her able ‘sous chef’, I buttered and seared the pav (or bread roll) just when the bhaji (or curry) was ready.
So why all this fuss about vegetables?!
Vegetables are a major and important part of a meal. As kids, we all have memories of our parents/ elders reminding us to “Eat your vegetables”. Now we tend to repeat the same to our kids 🙂
Vegetables are nutrient rich and low in fat and calories. They are a good source of dietary fiber that is good for overall digestion. Most of them form part of a healthy diet and help reduce the risk of heart conditions and cancers to name a few.
You can always add your choice of vegetables but I use potatoes, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, green peas, bell pepper and of course onions.
Using an equal portions of veggies is a good practice. High portion of carrots, adds sweetness to the curry.
A magical spice powder, “pav bhaji masala” is used in the final stages of cooking the curry. If you don’t have this spice powder, then just add “Garam Masala” powder instead.
Other Recipes: Samosa, Dum Aloo, Vegetable Bullets
Best time to have Pav Bhaji
There is no specific meal time to have this dish. You can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It can also be your evening snack or a no fuss lunchbox item for your kid.
So let’s get started with this simple and delicious recipe.
- 1 whole Yukon gold Potato (large) peeled and diced
- 3/4 cup Cauliflower florets chopped
- 3/4 cup Green beans cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup Carrots diced
- 3/4 cup Green Peas
- 3/4 cup Bell peppers diced
- 1/2 cup Red Onion chopped
- 3 tbsp Tomato paste or 2-3 medium sized tomatoes chopped
- 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1.5 tsp Red chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- 3 tbsp butter or any cooking oil
- 2-3 nos Green chili diced
- 2 tbsp pav bhaji masala (found in Indian groceries or any speciality spice stores) use garam masala as a substitute if you don't have this masala
- 2 tbsp Cilantro for garnish
- 2 tsp Lemon juice
- 1/2 cup Red Onion chopped for garnish
- 1 nos lemon or lime cut into wedges for serving
- 12 nos dinner rolls or "Pav" or hamburger buns (accompaniment)
- 3 tbsp butter optional. If dairy-free, use olive oil or any other cooking oil
- Salt to taste
Making the bhaji (curry)
- Wash and cut all vegetables as specified.
- Pressure cook the vegetables for 2-3 whistles (except onions and tomatoes).
- Once cooked, lightly mash the vegetables. We don't want a puree here.
- Heat butter in a medium non stick pot/ pan. Add cumin seeds and cook until it sizzles.
- Next add chopped onions and cook until it turn pink and translucent.
- Add ginger garlic paste and cook for 30 seconds. Now add red chilli powder and turmeric powder and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Next add tomato paste/ chopped tomatoes. Add water if using the paste to get a gravy consistency and bring it to a boil. If using raw tomatoes, cook until the oil leaves the side.
- Now add the smashed veggies, salt, green chili and lemon juice and mix well. Add water if required. Cook for 8-10 minutes.
- Add the "pav bhaji masala" (or garam masala) and stir once again. Cook for another 8-10 minutes.
- You can add additional butter here if you like and check for salt. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving dish.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with chopped onions and lime wedges.
Making buttered Pav
- Slice the pav/ bread rolls into half.
- Heat griddle/ tawa and add butter. Once the butter melts, place the pav on the melted butter.
- Sear them on each side for a minute and remove.
- If you want pav to be crispy, sear for a minute longer.
- Serve the hot pavs with bhajji. Enjoy!
- Instead of Pav/ dinner rolls, regular sandwich bread or hamburger buns can also be used.
- Bhaji can also be had with parathas/ rotis (Indian flatbread).
Awesome Aakruti. I am trying this dish later this week. Thank you.
Home cooked meals are always awesome. Love This website and for starters this is very cool. Keep it up.
Aakruti Mahendra says
Thank you Jasmine Ma’am.