Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji

I think this is one of the Western India food that I tried the earliest in my childhood. I remember this roadside wala in Ranigunj in Hyderabad who served the best Pav bhaji and Pani Puri. Haven’t been there in 2 decades at least. I don’t even remember when we went there last, but my memory is fuddled on this. Snippets of large crowds, me on dads scooter, my sister just a baby, the vendor on a raised platform and tons of butter are all I have left. I wish I remember how it tasted. I know it was bright red and buttery. Dad always said he would take us back, but our schedules were packed as we got older. I’m not even sure if that place exists anymore. But the crowd was so big that we had to stand far away while dad got it.

My first memories of Pav Bhaji though pleasant, I can’t remember the tastes or the smell. When mum learned the recipe and started making it, we would be so happy! Mom makes it a different way then I do, not by much, but just a little. I add all the veggies I have in hand and serve it with home made slices of bread. Sometimes I make Pav at home, but most times it’s the freshly baked bread I have sitting on the counter. Arlo and VJ love it too, and is absolutely the best recipe to get into both of them with veggies they would never eat otherwise. Seasonal vegetables like Brussel Sprouts, Asparagus, or even squash can be added. When I added squash I found that it was way too sweet for my taste, so stopped adding squash. I know some who add beetroot too, but the color is so overpowering I don’t feel like using it. I use cabbage too when I have it. This isn’t the authentic Mumbai Pav Bhaji that you get, but it’s close enough. It tastes good and is the closest to a store one.


Butter – 5 tablespoons

Onions – 2 medium

Tomatoes – 3 medium

Peas – 1/2 cup

Ginger – a small piece (optional)

Salt – As needed (2 tablespoons)

Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon

Coriander Powder – 1 tablespoon

Cumin Powder – 1 teaspoon

Pav Bhaji Masala – 2 tablespoons

Kashmiri Red Chili Powder – 1 tablespoon

Coriander Leaves – For Garnish

Veggies to Steam:

Cauliflower – A couple of florets

Carrots – 2 (medium sized)

Peas – 1/2 cup

Potatoes – 2 medium


Cabbage – 2 cups

Zucchini – 1

Brussel Sprouts – 5-6

How To Make

Step 1: In a pressure cooker steam the vegetables with some salt and turmeric for 10-15 minutes. I cooked them in the instant pot for 15 minutes on Steam at High Pressure.

Step 2: Chop onions as thin as possible. Keep half of one onion aside. Chop (or purée) the tomatoes.

Step 3: In a pan once hot, add some butter, and oil. Add some cumin seeds and some Asafoetida.

Step 4: Add the thinly chopped onions, and fry them until they look slightly brown.

Step 5: Now add turmeric, salt (remember the steamed veggies have some salt too), coriander powder, cumin powder and Pav Bhaji Masala. Mix well.

Step 6: Mash the steamed veggies into a pulp. Don’t purée it too much in a blender. I take a potato masher and mash them until I don’t find huge chunks.

Step 7: Add tomatoes to the onions and fry them until mushy. Add remaining peas, 1 cup of water, and let the peas steam. Place a lid to help the peas steam.

Step 8: As the peas become soft, add the mashed veggies.

Step 9: Keep mixing until the raw smell of the veggies goes away. Add Kashmiri chili powder if needed, and more Pav Bhaji Masala. Add coriander leaves as garnish.

Step 10: Serve with warm toasted bread and a dollop of butter.


1. I steamed the veggies in Instapot but you can do on stove pot or a pressure cooker.

2. I avoid veggies like lauki (bottle gourd) or zucchini as they have a lot of water content, but you can.

♥️ Mahi

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