Classic Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji – soft buttered bread served with mashed, spiced vegetables. One of the best fast food dishes in the world! It originated in Maharashtra in the 1850’s as a quick lunch dish for textile mill workers in Mumbai. It became so popular that it is now found, all across Indian and many places abroad. There are many variations of the bhaji: Paneer Pav Bhaji, Mushroom Pav Bhaji, Cheese Pav Bhaji to name a few. This recipe is from my sister, and it’s delectable 🙂


  • Prep time – 30
  • Cook time – 20


  • Large Red Onions (finely chopped) – 2
  • Tomato (finely chopped) – 1
  • Potato (small pieces) – 3/4 cup
  • Carrot (small pieces) – 1/4 cup
  • Cauliflower (each floret to be cut into smaller pieces) – 1/2 cup
  • Capsicum – 1/4 cup
  • Peas – 1/4 cup
  • Garlic
    • 2 tbsp of Chinese garlic
    • OR 2 tsp if using Indian garlic
  • Chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Ready made Pav bhaji masala – 1 tbsp
    • OR Prepare your own pav bhaji masala (outlined below)
  • Dry Mango Powder or Amchur powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Lime juice – 1 tbsp
  • Unsalted Butter – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp or more as per taste
  • Coriander leaves for garnish

Method to prepare Pav Bhaji:

  1. Pressure cook the potato and carrot until they are soft and mushy. If using a traditional pressure cooker, it is two whistles and 5 minutes on low flame. If using an electric cooker, it is 8 minutes on high pressure
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped onion and fry till onions are translucent
  3. Add the garlic and fry till the onions are golden brown
  4. Add the tomato and fry till tomatoes are slightly soft
  5. Add the chilli powder, amchur powder and pav bhaji masala (ready-made or homemade). Roast for 3 minutes
  6. Add the soft potato, carrot and the rest of the vegetables
  7. Add 1/4 cup water and salt. Mash the potatoes and carrots while cooking and cook the mixture for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add extra water if necessary
  8. Add the lime juice, coriander leaves and mix well
  9. Add the butter and let it melt on top of the dish
  10. Serve with hot pav 🙂 (recipe below)

Method to prepare Pav and serve the Pav Bhaji:

  1. Butter both sides of the bun and toast lightly till golden brown and slightly crispy
  2. Serve the hot pav with the pav bhaji masala. Keep some chopped onion and half a lime on the side to put over the bhaji  while eating (see picture below)
Extra Ingredients if Preparing Pav Bhaji Masala (OPTIONAL Extra Ingredients):
  • Black peppercorns – 1/4 tsp
  • Cloves – 12
  • Dried red chili – 6
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Coriander seeds – 1.5 tbsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1/2 tbsp
  • Cinnamon sticks (1 inch each) – 3
  • Black cardamom – 1/2
  • Bay leaves – 1
  • Curry leaves – 4
  • Black salt – 8 tsp
  • Dry mango powder / Amchur powder – 3/4 tbsp
Instructions to Prepare Pav Bhaji Masala (OPTIONAL Extra Steps):
  1. Add all spices (except the black salt, curry leaves and amchur powder) to a lightly heated pan. Roast the spices for 5 minutes and be careful not to burn any
  2. In a separate, heated pan, roast the curry leaves until they are crisp. Add these to the first mixture of roasted spices
  3. Cool the mixed spices and add them to a spice blender. Blend till it is a fine powder
  4. Add the amchur powder and black salt and mix until well combined. Avoid any lumps
  5. Use a tbsp of the prepared pav bhaji masala for your bhaji mixture. The rest can be stored in an airtight jar

Pav Bhaji Plate


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