Pav Bhaji (Indian Street Food)

 “Pav Bhaji (Indian Street Food)” is locked Pav Bhaji (Indian Street Food)

Pav bhaji is one of the most famous street foods from India. It is a snack made with mixed vegetables mashed and cooked in spices and butter. It is served with a bread called pav (similar to hamburger buns). While it is made with fresh vegetables, the amount of butter added to it makes it an unhealthy snack. This recipe is my mom’s pav bhaji recipe which she makes without butter, onion, and garlic. For years, this was the only pav bhaji I knew. It was kind of fixed menu for our birthday parties. I have made slight change to the recipe and added onions.

Whenever my mom is left with a less quantity of different vegetables, she just boils them all and makes pav bhaji for us. This was her idea of not wasting the vegetables and giving us something healthy and tasty to eat. I remember her using even bottle gourd (lauki) in the bhaji. I love the flavour capsicum and peas add to this dish. You can add fresh red chilli paste and garlic to enhance the flavor. My mom makes it in oil and I made it with olive oil last time and did not miss the butter at all in this yummy dish. For the butter lovers in my family, I just top the individual serving of bhaji with a generous dollop of butter.  

The interesting thing about bhaji is that it tastes best the next day. It is a perfect dish to make ahead for any party. You can even freeze it and heat it for a quick snack. At my place it is more of dinner than a snack and my siblings and I enjoy this dish a lot. We eat it with naan, we spread it on dosa, and we even use it as a grilled sandwich filling. The latest is Manchuria pav. Shall post the recipe soon.

Pav Bhaji (Indian Street Food)



Serves 3-4

For Pav

  • 10 pav or burger buns
  • 1-2 tbsp butter/ghee/oil
  • 1 tsp pav bhaji masala
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

For Bhaji

  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped capsicum
  • 2/3 cup chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ cup peas
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp pav bhaji masala
  • 1 cup chopped potatoes
  • 1 cup cabbage
  • ½ cup beans
  • ½ cup carrot
  • ¼ cup cauliflower florets (optional)


Boil or pressure cook potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, and carrots. Drain excess water (Do not throw the water). Keep aside. Boil peas and keep aside.

Heat oil. Add green chillies and ginger. Cook for 30-45 seconds. Add onions and sauté. Cook for 1-2 minutes or till onions are translucent. Add capsicum and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes till oil separates. Add tomato paste, salt, red chilli powder, pav bhaji masala and ¼ cup of water reserved from boiled vegetables. Cook for 5-7 minutes mixing in between till oil separates. Add the boiled vegetables and peas. Mash the bhaji well using a potato masher. Add more of reserved water from boiled vegetables as per desired consistency (1/2 cup should be good). Let it cook on slow flame for 10-5 minutes mixing in between. Serve with hot pav/dinner rolls and chopped onions with a wedge of lime.

For Pav

There are two ways to serve/eat pav with bhaji. One is, Slice the pav/dinner roll into two pieces, smear with generous amount of butter and warm or lightly toast on a hot griddle.

Another way is to cut each pav or dinner roll into 4-6 bite sized pieces. Sprinkle the pav bhaji masala, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and salt on the pav pieces. Heat oil or butter in a thick bottomed deep skillet or a kadhai. Add the pav pieces and mix well. Cook for 1-2 minutes mixing very frequently. Serve with hot bhaji, chopped onions, and a wedge of lime.

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