Pav Bhaji

Probably the most popular of all the Mumbai street foods, this one is certainly my favorite. I do not make these quite often even though it is a very simple dish that can be put together quite quickly.  You can make the bhaji in bulk and freeze it as well. If doing so, freeze them in single portion sizes or batches and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then just heat and use it with some fresh bread! Great time saver huh?

Not really a pav bhaji expert but few pointers: Use fresh pav bhaji as that is the main flavor so if using store bought masala, use a good brand. Always eat it with some chopped onions; it makes a world of difference! Do not mash the potatoes or vegetables too much as that will turn it into a paste. There has to be some texture to the gravy so keep it bit chunky. Using good quality and fresh bread also matters. A touch of lime or lemon juice just before serving also elevates the flavors. 

You can make the bhaji with either only potatoes (which is how I prefer) or add mixed vegetables of your choice. Green capsicum need not be boiled and should be added only later to retain bit of its crunch. I have tried making another variation using beets - you can find the recipe here.

Pav Bhaji - Recipe

  • Potatoes - 3 to 4 medium, boiled or steamed and crumbled roughly 
  • Onion - 1 small, finely chopped and extra for garnish and as side
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Green chili - 2 finely chopped
  • Tomatoes - 3 small finely chopped
  • Tomato paste - 1 tsp
  • Green capsicum - 1/2 medium finely chopped
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder - 1/ 2 tsp
  • Pav bhaji masala powder - 1 tsp or to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp
  • Hot water - as required
  • Butter - as required
  • Cilantro - finely chopped for garnish 
  • Lemon or lime wedges to serve

  • Heat olive oil in a wok. Add the onions, ginger garlic and green chili and sauté on high flame till they begin to turn golden brown.
  • Add the tomatoes and sauté well till they turn mushy and the oil begins to show on the sides. Add the tomato paste and sauté for few minutes.
  • To this add salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder and pav bhaji masala powder. Fry for few seconds.
  • Add the green capsicum and sauté till they almost soft but do not make it mushy.
  • Add the crumbled potatoes mixing  it thoroughly with the tomato masala and gently mash it further with the back of the spoon or ladle while doing so.
  • Add some water and let it simmer. Keep stirring at regular intervals and add more water if it get thicker. You can adjust it as per your desired consistency. It is better to keep it bit creamy; not too thick or thin.
  • In another pan, heat a blob of butter. Add a pinch of red chili powder and some pav bhaji masala and few chopped onion. Saute for fews seconds and then pour it into the prepared bhaji. Mix well. 
  • Spread some butter and toast the pav or bread inside and out till they are slightly crisp on the edges and brown spots appear. 
  • To serve, place pav and bhaji on a plate with some chopped onions, a lemon wedge and sprinkle chopped cilantro onto the bhaji. Top it up with another blob of butter. Have it hot.


Thanks for dropping by. Your comments and feedback are highly appreciated. Happy Cooking!