Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji is popular Indian street food where dinner rolls/buns are served with spicy mashed veggies topped with dollop of butter. Street food doesn’t get better than this!

This Pav Bhaji Recipe is spicy, so flavorful and can be easily made vegan by replacing butter with vegan butter! If you have never had pav bhaji in your life, you are seriously missing out!

pav bhaji in a round plate served with a side of green chili, lemon slices and chopped onions

Indian street food is my favorite kind of food. It’s something that I can eat everyday and still not get bored of it. EVER. I can’t handle too much spice but somehow my tolerance level magically increases when I go to India and eat from those street vendors! I really don’t know how it happens but it happens every single time.

Ever since I can remember, I have been a huge pav bhaji fan. You can find it pretty much everywhere in India but if you want to taste the best pav bhaji , go to Mumbai!

That’s where this dish originated from and the one at Juhu Beach is so good, trust me!

I ate pav bhaji all my life but can still not forget the one I had in Mumbai. I think next time I go home, I will make a trip to Mumbai only for the food!

I have never met anyone who doesn’t like pav bhaji and even if I meet someone who doesn’t like it, I will be very surprised. It’s soooo good and tasty, how can you not love it?

How to Make Pav Bhaji

There are 2 parts to this pav bhaji recipe – the pav and the bhaji.

The Pav: is basically eggless dinner rolls. You can find them at Indian grocery stores or if you are up for it, here is the recipe to make it at home – Ladi Pav.

If  you can’t find pav and don’t want to make them at home either, regular burger buns or dinner rolls would also do.

The Bhaji: is a spicy blend of mashed veggies. To make bhaji, we first boil the veggies and then cook them with onion, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and a special blend of spices known as pav bhaji masala.

pav bhaji in a round plate served with a side of green chili, lemon slices and chopped onions

You may add any vegetable you want to your bhaji  but potatoes form the base of bhaji. Other veggies which are commonly added to bhaji are cauliflower, green peas, carrots and green pepper.

The boiled veggies are cooked with a special blend of spices known as pav bhaji masala.

You can get this masala easily at any Indian store. It’s a blend of spices like coriander, cumin seeds, fennel, cinnamon, amchur (dried mango powder) and more.

I prefer Everest brand of pav bhaji masala, but you may use whatever you like!

If you can’t find Pav Bhaji Masala, here’s a quick recipe to make it at home.

Homemade Pav Bhaji Masala

To make pav bhaji masala, you would need

  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds (20 grams)
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds (18 grams)
  • 5 dried red chilies (3-4 grams), adjust to taste
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds (9 grams)
  • 3 black cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick, around 2 inches
  • 1.5 tsp turmeric powder (6 grams)
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper (6 grams)
  • 1.5 tbsp amchur (18 grams)
  • ½ tsp ground ginger (1 gram)
  • 2 tsp black salt (12 grams)

Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chilies, cloves, fennel seeds, black cardamom and cinnamon stick in a pan on medium heat until fragrant, around 3-4 minutes.

Let it cool and then transfer spices to a spice grinder. Stir turmeric powder, ground black pepper, amchur, ground ginger and black salt.

Grind until powdered and well combined. Store pav bhaji masala in an airtight container at room temperature and use as required. This makes around 100 grams of pav bhaji masala.

pav bhaji in a round plate served with a side of green chili, lemon slices and chopped onions

Tips to Make the Best Pav Bhaji Recipe!

✓ use lots of butter and kasuri methi

✓ a generous squeeze of lemon juice is must before serving

✓ garnish with lots of cilantro

✓ use fresh ginger and garlic, the store bought ginger-garlic paste won’t give the same flavor

✓ when toasting the pav/bun, add a pinch of pav bhaji masala and kasuri methi to the butter and then toast the pav

✓ don’t forget the chopped onions while serving the pav bhaji!

 

Method

1- Boil the veggies first and keep them ready.

2- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and oil in a large pot on medium heat. Once the butter melts and oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle.

3- Add the chopped onions and mix. I like to use my food processor to chop them really fine.

4- Cook the onions for around 4 minutes until golden brown in color. Add the finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chili. Again, I used my food processor to chop them really fine.

5- Add chopped tomatoes and mix well. Let the tomatoes cook for 2 minutes.

6- Add tomato puree, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover the pan and let the tomato cook for 6 minutes until softened and completely cooked.

7- Add the pav bhaji masala, red chili powder and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. You may also add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar here (optional).

8- Mix well and then add in 2 teaspoons of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves).

9- Stir in the boiled veggies and mix.

10- Using a potato masher, mash the veggies until they are completely mixed with the masala.

11- Add the remaining 3/4 – 1 cup water and mix. I used an immersion blender to blend the veggies to a paste like consistency, this is optional. You may keep them as such.

Cover the pot and set heat to low. Let the bhaji simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

12- Open the pot and add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

13- Add a generous amount of chopped cilantro.

14- Then add in juice of 1 large lemon. Let the bhaji simmer for 2 more minutes and then remove pan from heat.

15- To toast the pav, melt butter on a pan. Sprinkle some pav bhaji masala on top of the butter and then place the buns on the pan.

16- Press to toast the pav until crisp and golden brown from both sides.

To serve the pav bhaji, place ladle full of bhaji in a plate. Top the bhaji with a dollop of butter. Serve with 2 pavs and a side of chopped onions and a lemon wedge.

I like to serve with lots of onions on the sides, it tastes really amazing that way!

pav bhaji in a round plate served with a side of green chili, lemon slices and chopped onions

If you’ve tried this Pav Bhaji Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in 2014.

Pav Bhaji

One of the most popular Indian Street Food - Pav Bhaji has a medley of spicy mashed veggies topped with lots of butter, cilantro, lemon juice and served with eggless dinner rolls! 

pav bhaji in a round plate served with a side of green chili, lemon slices and chopped onions
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian Street Food
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 424 kcal
Author: Manali
4.84 from 6 votes
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Ingredients

For the Bhaji

  • 2 large potatoes, 385 grams, boiled
  • 1/2 head of a small cauliflower, 215 grams, boiled
  • 1/2 of a large green pepper, 135 grams, boiled
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, boiled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 medium red onion, 230 grams, finely chopped
  • 2 inch ginger, 24 grams, finely chopped
  • 7 cloves garlic, 20 grams, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped, adjust to taste
  • 3 large tomatoes, 425 grams, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup tomato puree, store bought
  • 1.25 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1.25 cups water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pav bhaji masala, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons kasuri methi, also known as dried fenugreek leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1 large lemon

For the Pav

  • 12-14 pav, eggless dinner rolls
  • butter, to toast the pav
  • pav bhaji masala, to sprinkle

Instructions

Make the Bhaji

  1. Boil the veggies first and keep them ready. I used my pressure cooker to boil them until they were soft and tender. 

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot on medium heat. Once the butter melts and oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle.

  3. Add the chopped onions and mix. I like to use my food processor to chop them really fine.

  4. Cook the onions for around 4 minutes until golden brown in color. 

  5. Add the finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chili. Again, I used my food processor to chop them really fine.

  6. Add chopped tomatoes and mix well. Let the tomatoes cook for 2 minutes.

  7. Add store bought tomato puree, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover the pan and let the tomato cook for 6 minutes until softened and completely cooked.

  8. Add the pav bhaji masala, red chili powder and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. You may also add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar here (optional).

  9. Mix well and then add in 2 teaspoons of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves).

  10. Stir in the boiled veggies and mix. Using a potato masher, mash the veggies until they are completely mixed with the masala.


  11. Add the remaining 3/4 - 1 cup water and mix. I used an immersion blender to blend the veggies to a paste like consistency at this point but this is optional. You may keep them as such.

  12. Cover the pot and set heat to low. Let the bhaji simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

  13. Open the pot and add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

  14. Add a generous amount of chopped cilantro.

  15. Then add in juice of 1 large lemon. Let the bhaji simmer for 2 more minutes and then remove pan from heat.

Toast the Pav

  1. To toast the pav, melt butter on a pan on medium heat. Sprinkle some pav bhaji masala on top of the butter and then place the buns on the pan.

  2. Press to toast the pav until crisp and golden brown from both sides.

Serve the Pav Bhaji

  1. To serve the pav bhaji, place ladle full of bhaji in a plate. Top the bhaji with a dollop of butter. Serve with 2 pavs and a side of chopped onions and a lemon wedge.

Recipe Notes

  1. You may add kashmiri red chili powder/degi mirch to get that bright red color in your bhaji!
  2. To make it vegan, replace butter with vegan butter.
Nutrition Facts
Pav Bhaji
Amount Per Serving
Calories 424 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 1274mg 53%
Potassium 497mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 58g 19%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 5g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 13.3%
Vitamin C 61.4%
Calcium 21.4%
Iron 26.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

2 thoughts on “Pav Bhaji

  1. The first blog that catches my eye is the mouth melting Pav Bhaji. You have shared the methods very wisely with each and every detail on photos.

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