Pav Bhaji

What Sloppy Joes is to the Americans, Pav Bhaji is to Indians… Buttery dinner rolls served with a spicy blend of vegetables!

Pav Bhaji Recipe | Bombay Chaat (Street Food) | Vegetarian Sloppy Joes For as long as I can remember, Pav bhaji has been the one dish that I order every single time I go to a hotel / restaurant… So intense is my love for this dish that I have to have this at least once a week. It is hard not to love such a simple, yet brilliant food… Toasted dinner rolls served with a spiced blend of vegetables!

PAV” buns are your Dinner Rolls while “BHAJI” is the standard name for any side dish. Combine the 2 and you have a quintessential Indian dish that so many of us know and love!

Pav Bhaji Recipe | Bombay Chaat (Street Food) | Vegetarian Sloppy Joes What I’m showing you is the standard and most common Pav Bhaji recipe. With this as a base, you can go on to build wild combinations and produce new Pav Bhaji dishes. (For example: Cheese Pav Bhaji, Paneer Pav Bhaji, Mushroom Pav Bhaji, Pav Bhaji Dosa .. and so on!)

There are quite a few different methods of making the “Bhaaji” or the side dish. The method I’m sharing with you is (in my opinion) the one that yields the best flavor… This recipe was passed on to my mom by a friend of hers.

{P.S: I’m trying a new format in this post where I first share the printable version of the recipe and then the step by step pictorial. I’d appreciate it if I could have your feedback on it. Formatting wise – compared to my previous recipes, is this one better or not?}

Pav Bhaji Recipe | Bombay Chaat (Street Food) | Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pav Bhaji
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
For the Bhaji
  • 2 Potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 1 cup Cauliflower florets, chopped roughly
  • 2 medium Carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 1 large Bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup Green Peas
  • 2 cups Onions, finely chopped (red / white onion)
  • 2 cups Tomatoes, chopped
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger, grated
  • 2 Green Chilli, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 4-6 teaspoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Pav Bhaji Masala (homemade / store bought) {*Or use garam masala}
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 2-3 teaspoons Salt (adjust to taste)
  • a pinch of Sugar
  • Water
Others
  • Dinner Rolls / Pav
  • Butter / Oil (for toasting)
  • Finely chopped Onions for garnish
  • Cilantro / Coriander Leaves for garnish
  • Lemon wedges
Pav Bhaji Masala - is a blend of
  • Black cardamoms - 4
  • Coriander seeds - ¼ cup
  • Cumin seeds - ⅛ cup
  • Whole black pepper - ⅛ cup
  • Fennel seeds - 1 and ½ tbsp
  • Whole red dry chillies - 10
  • Cinnamon - 10½ inch pieces
  • Dry mango powder - 2 tbsp
Instructions
For the Pav Bhaji Masala Powder
  1. Dry roast all ingredients on low heat until golden brown. Pass them through a spice blender till you have a fine powder. Store in air tight container until required.
For the Bhaaji
  1. Wash all the veggies well before chopping.
  2. In a large pan / bowl, add bell peppers, potatoes, cauliflower, peas and carrots. Fill them with water until all veggies are covered in water. Add a pinch of salt and mix well. In another pan, add the tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger & chilli. Add ½ cup of water to the pan.
  3. You can either boil both these pans on the flame until the veggies are cooked or cook them in the pressure cooker. The onion / tomato mixture would take about 5-10 minutes and the potato-cauliflower would take 10-15 minutes.
  4. Once cooked, discard all the water. Separately blend the two mixtures of veggies.
  5. In a wok / pan with high sides, heat 2 teaspoons of Oil and add the onion - tomato puree. Mix well and let it cook on medium heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the puree has reduced to a paste and you can start to see the Oil come out from the sides of the mixture.
  6. Add the potato-cauliflower blend of veggies to the reduced tomato paste. Gently mix everything together. Add reserved water from boiling veggies, Salt & Sugar and continue to mix.
  7. Meanwhile, on another small pan, heat up the 1-2 tablespoons of Butter / Oil. Add the Pav Bhaji Masala Powder & Chilli Powder. Let them boil for 20 seconds.
  8. Add the buttery spice mix to the pan with the "Bhaaji". Mix well.
  9. Let the mixture cook for 5 minutes or until you have a semi-thick Bhaji mixture.
  10. Switch off. Serve as required
To Serve
  1. On a griddle, toast some dinner rolls (PAV) or buns.
  2. Serve the Bhaaji on a bowl on the side.
  3. Garnish with some chopped onions & coriander leaves.
  4. Place a lemon wedge on the side.
Tips:
  1. Reserve the water from boiling veggies. You can use to make the gravy.
  2. Instead of regular dinner rolls / pav, serve with whole wheat dinner rolls or Roti or any healthy breads for a healthier version of the recipe.
  3. Substitute oil for butter and you have a Vegan recipe!

NOTE: You can make this “Bhaji” and serve with whole wheat tortillas (Roti) or any kind of bread. You can make your own blend of Pav Bhaji Masala. Otherwise, you can buy it from any Indian Store or order it online!

Pav Bhaji Recipe | Bombay Chaat (Street Food) | Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Pav Bhaji – step by step pictorial –

You’ll need –
Pav Bhaji Recipe | Bombay Chaat (Street Food) | Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

In a pan, add cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, peas & bell peppers. Fill it with water (until the veggies are covered in water ) and mix a pinch of salt. Boil it for 10-15 minutes until the veggies are cooked. Discard the water. Add the vegetables to a mixer / blender and grind to a coarse paste.
Pav Bhaji Recipe | Bombay Chaat (Street Food) | Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Similarly, in another pan, add tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger & chilli. Add 1/2 cup of water and boil for 5 minutes or until the onions are not pungent. Filter out the water. Pass them through a blender to make a smooth paste.
Pav Bhaji Recipe | Bombay Chaat (Street Food) | Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

In a wok / pan with high sides, heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Pour the onion tomato puree. Mix well and let it cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes – stirring occasionally. Cook until the mixture reduces to a paste (you’ll know when oil starts to come out from the sides)
Pav Bhaji Recipe | Bombay Chaat (Street Food) | Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Add the cauliflower – potato paste to the tomato paste. Gently work it into the paste until everything is evenly distributed. Add about 1/2 – 1 cup of reserved water, salt, sugar and mix well.
Pav Bhaji Recipe | Bombay Chaat (Street Food) | Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Meanwhile, heat some butter on a small pan. Add the Pav Bhaji Masala Powder & Red Chilli Powder. Let it boil for 20 seconds. Pour it on to the Bhaaji. Mix well. Let it cook for another 5-8 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasonings.
Pav Bhaji Recipe | Bombay Chaat (Street Food) | Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

To serve, toast some buns / dinner rolls. Serve the Bhaaji on the side garnished with butter, onions & coriander leaves. Also place a lemon wedge on the side.
Pav Bhaji Recipe | Bombay Chaat (Street Food) | Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

If you love Bombay street foods, I’ve got some other firecracker recipes for ya! 🙂

Sev Puri
sev puri recipe

Bhel Puri
bhel puri recipe

Vegetable Bhajiya
vegetable bhajiya recipe

Misal Pav
Misal Pav

Tawa Pulao
tawa pulao recipe

Dabeli (Sloppy Joe-2)
dabeli recipe

Sabudana Vada
sabudana vada recipe

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4 Replies to “Pav Bhaji”

  1. Great article! Very detailed narration of the recipe

  2. […] rolls with these babies for almost all my meals (when I do eat rolls). My Indian favorite – Pav Bhaji is now more of a Bhaji + these oatmeal dinner rolls And trust me – toasted with a little […]

  3. […] me smile with a foolish fondness I reserve for very few people / things in my life. This & this being 2 of […]

  4. Yum 🙂 And fyi I like your new presentation better- can see all the ingredients etc in one go.

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