Pav bhaji is a fast food dish from Mumbai, India, consisting of a thick vegetable curry served with a soft butter roasted bread roll (pav) . It’s spicy , flavorful, colorful, amazingly delicious dish . The beauty of the dish is you can add any veggies of your choice and also one of the easiest and tastiest way to make kids eat their veggies. Here I have use standard veggies used to prepare the dish

This dish originated in Mumbai (Bombay) as healthy filling lunch meal for the workers and labors and this gradually became one of the popular street food. Across the country, today Pav Bhaji is famous and you will find it in restaurants, street shops and even served at home as snacks. Street vendors use red food color for the bright red color to the dish, you can add beetroot puree for the color or skip it completely. Alternatively Kashmiri chili powder also renders red color to the dish

The street vendors do not add carrots to this dish, generally for home preparation, carrots are added, again do not add too much of carrots else the dish will become sweeter

*If you do not have pav, you can use regular bread too as alternative. You can use homemade or store brought Pav bhaji masala for this dish, but it’s mandatory to use ,for it is the essence of the dish. You can make it healthier by skipping butter and using healthy oil but butter renders right taste to the dish

**There are multiple variations to Pav Bhaji, you can add cheese, grated paneer (cottage cheese). Alternatively you can skip onions and garlic in the recipe to make Jain Pav bhaji. Instead of the smooth silky texture, you can have small chunks of veggies and make Khada Pav Bhaji

Being born and brought up in Mumbai, this used to be one of my all time goto snack whenever I felt hungry. Even now, whenever I visit Mumbai, I feel the trip as incomplete if I do not have Pav bhaji, Masala Pav and Vada Pav. I have lots of fond childhood and teen memories associated with this dish.They still remain my all time favorite street foods

How to serve and eat:You serve the bhaji hot with dollop of butter on top accompanied by finely chopped raw onions and lemon wedges. The lemon is squeezed in and onions are added to the dish and mixed well with spoon and then roasted pav is dipped in the bhaji and consumed

Preparation time: 20 mins Cooking time: 30 mins Total time: 50 mins

Servings: 4


  • 3-5 tbsp butter
  • 3 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/3 cup chopped beans
  • 1/3 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup cleaned cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 capsicum finely chopped
  • 2 potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 11/4 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1.5 – 2 teaspoon pav bhaji masala
  • 2 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi (dried Fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1-2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1-2 drops Red food coloring/ 1 tbsp beetroot puree – optional
  • Water as required
  • 8 pav/ dinner rolls/ soft bread rolls
  • 4 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pav bhaji masala
  • 4 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves

Steps to prepare

  • Assemble all the veggies first – beans, capsicum, peas, cauliflower, potatoes and carrots. You can separately boil these veggies and them add them together or boil them together. Either way, it wouldn’t make difference
  • Add veggies to pressure cooker with 2.5 cups water and pressure cook for 6-7 whistles over medium heat until veggies are soft and tender. Note these veggies will be mashed hence should be very soft
  • Heat butter in a pan
  • Add chopped onions to the pan
  • Add cumin powder to the pan and mix well. Alternatively you can use cumin seeds too. If using seeds, then add them to the pan and splutter before adding onions
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  • Saute until onions are translucent over medium heat
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  • Add in ginger garlic paste to the pan and saute until raw aroma disappears (approx 3 mins)
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  • Add in green chilies to the pan and saute for few seconds
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  • Add in chopped tomatoes to the pan and mix well
  • Saute until tomatoes are tender and mushy over medium heat, approx 7-8 minutes
  • Add in turmeric powder and Kashmiri chili powder and mix well
  • Add in Pav bhaji masala and mix well. Do not skip this step or substitute pav bhaji masala with any other masala
  • Add boiled cooked veggies with water to the pan
  • Add salt and Kasuri methi to veggies and mix well
  • Mash the Bhaji for 5 minutes until you get smooth texture. If you wish to retain some chunks of veggies then do not smash it completely
  • I have added beetroot puree, you can add red food color or skip this step completely
  • Add water if required and mix well. The consistency of the bhaji should neither be thick nor thin. Check and adjust seasonings if required. Simmer and cook for 5 mins
  • While bhaji is cooking, let’s roast the pav. In a small pan, add 4 tsp butter, red chili powder, pav bhaji masala and coriander leaves. Mix well. This will be used for pav. Alternatively you can directly roast pav with butter too
  • Slice pav in centre. Do not slit completely
  • Heat tawa (girdle), add prepared butter mixture to the pan and roast the pav until warm . It’s best to roast on both sides , you can alternatively roast only the inner side
  • Serve Pav bhaji hot topped with dollop of butter, roasted pav, lemon wedges and some finely chopped onions
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Pav Bhaji
Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions

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