Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji is one of the most popular Indian Dish!

Pav Bhaji is a medley of mashed vegetables simmered in onion tomato gravy, special pav bhaji masala powder and lots of butter served with a special bread called pav. It is always served with chopped onions and lemon wedges. This dish originates from from Maharashtra, especially Mumbai.This dish can be had for lunch, evening snack or dinner. ‘Pav’ refers to a special India bread which is like a soft dinner roll and ‘bhaji’ refers to medley of mashed vegetables.

If you have never tried Pav Bhaji, you must try them at-least once!! Otherwise you are sure to miss out on something so delicious!!

This is a signature dish of my husband Mohit. There are no short cuts when he makes this dish at home. He uses a huge iron tawa (Skillet) which is used in most of the street shops of Mumbai. Our family and friends are always awaiting when they will receive an invite for Pav Bhaji party.

My husband uses Pav Bhaji masala of ‘Badshah’ brand which is our favourite but you can use whichever masala you want. I have also written a Pav Bhaji masala recipe in case you find it difficult to find the masala.

Lots of people often say “Oh! just put any vegetables in Pav Bhaji as it will be mashed anyways”. Well, yes, you can add whatever vegetables you want but the choice of vegetables used to make bhaji defines it’s taste.

Mostly potato, peas, tomato, onion, garlic and capsicum/green peppers are used to make bhaji.  I would recommend just using these vegetables initially and then later you can add different vegetables to experiment with various flavours.




Mash boiled potatoes, tomatoes and boiled peas with enough water in a pan. Add salt as per your taste. Cook it until this medley of vegetable turns into a smooth paste.


In an iron kadhai (if possible), add 2-3 teaspoons of butter and 2 teaspoons of oil. Add 2 teaspoon of garlic paste, chopped onions  and chopped peppers and fry till onion turns translucent and the raw smell of garlic is gone.



Next, add cooked mashed vegetables in it.

Add salt, chilli powder, pav bhaji masala and lemon juice in it.

Mash the Pav Bhaji using a potato masher till it is all mushy and mixed very well.You can add little water if the Pav Bhaji thickens and cook for 5 minutes on medium low heat stirring continuously.

Garnish the Pav Bhaji with chopped coriander leaves, a little of butter and serve hot with pav accompanied with remaining chopped onion and lemon wedges.


For breadrolls/Pav

Slit open the pavs from the middle. Apply butter in the inside & place them on a pre-heated frying pan. When they get golden brown from the inside take them off.

Serve hot pav with bhaji.


Garlic Chutney

Grind the garlic with ¼ teaspoon of turmeric.
In a pan heat butter and oil.
Add garlic paste and chopped tomatoes in it.
When tomatoes are cooked, add salt, pav bhaji masala and chilli powder.
Mix all the ingredients.
Add lemon juice after taking it off the heat.

Tips & Variations

  1. You can use kashmiri mirch for the vibrant red colour.
  2. You should add little oil when adding butter to the pan as butter will not burn.
  3. Iron Skillet is recommended but you can cook in any pan.
  4. Use of fresh ingredients are absolutely essential.
  5. Generous addition of butter is the key to the delicious Pav Bhaji.
  6. Remember to serve the bhaji with butter crusted pav, finely diced onions, lemon wedge and a dollop of butter!
  7. The vegetables must be cooked until they are nicely softened. Otherwise you will have chunks of veggies in your bhaji.
  8. Use a potato masher to mash the bhaji. No other equipment works as well as this simple masher.
  9. Variation of Pav: Sometimes we make ‘Khada Pav’ to make it even more indulgent. These are for people who love spicy food and would not mind some extra butter. Cut 2 pav into 1-inch pieces. Warm up 1 teaspoon butter in a pan and add 1 teaspoon of bhaji pav masala and ½ teaspoon of chilli powder in it. Add the chopped Pav and mix well.
  10. The roadside vendors use dried green peas soaked in water to make the pav bhaji and that gives it a very distinct taste.
  11. Pao Bhaji can be stored in the fridge for a day or two. Like some of the other Indian dishes, pao bhaji taste even better the next day.
  12. If you do not have rolls you can serve slices of bread too. Just butter the slices of bread and fry them on a griddle or pan to warm them up.

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