Shital's-Kitchen: Pav Bhaji

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji, another favorite of most Mumbaites (people in Mumbai)! Bhaji is mixed Vegetable cooked with spices is served along with pav/bun. A simple meal of middle class people commuting for work, has turned into a Mumbai specialty and delicacy.

When writing about Pav Bhaji, how could I forget Cannon Pav Bhaji stall opposite V.T Station (now CST station) and Sardar Pav Bhaji at Tardeo! My favorite childhood places for Pav Bhaji :) A super size tawa/ griddle on which Bhaji was mashed and cooked and served with freshly roasted butter pav.

When my sister and I were in school, our mom used to cater food to our school food court/ canteen. One of her most popular dish was Pav Bhaji. It was so loved by all the students' of our school. I remember a big batch of Bhaji was cooked at home, and sent it to our school canteen. The same bhaji would also be a part of our home lunch to envy our friends at the lunch tables :) Delicious!!

 As a part of our marketing experience in the final year of college, we set up a mini market and a Pav Bhaji stall/booth. I remember my friends coming to my place early morning to help with chopping veggies and my mom prepared Bhaji to serve more than 100 plates. Pavs were heated live on electric griddle. This was one of the popular booths and we enjoyed a lot!

Here is my mom preparing a big batch of bhaji when she hosted a get-together on my arrival to India.

Three most fun people in my life! See my sis slitting the buns and preparing them for when the guests arrive :) You could also see a large container full of chilled orange drink to go with spicy pav bhaji :)

Here is the recipe for delicious Bhaji! 

Make ginger and green chilli paste by grinding them together with some salt.

Make garlic chutney by grinding garlic cloves, dry red chillies, salt, fresh lime juice and water.

Chop 2 medium onions, 8-10 large tomatoes, (adding more tomatoes will give it bright red color)
1 medium green bell pepper.
Thaw 1 cup frozen green peas.
I hand chop veggies and not use chopper here. Chopper will make the veggies mushy and sweaty and change the taste.
I have tried using a chopper but, the best Bhaji is when I hand chop the veggies.

Boil 4-5 medium potatoes.

Peal and mash them.

Of course I make Bhaji in Amul butter :)
Utterly, Butterly, Delicious!!

Heat 2 tbsp. butter. Fry 1 tbsp. cumin seeds.

Saute onions till they turn pink.

Saute bell pepper till they turn soft.

Cook peas for 4-5 minutes.

Use a potato masher to mash these veggies well.

I like my steel masher better.

Add chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. Cover and let the tomatoes cook well.

Mash tomatoes to make a smooth gravy with other veggies.

Add salt, ginger and green chili paste, 1 tbsp. garlic paste, pinch on turmeric.
Salt and spice can be adjusted to your taste. Do not add everything. Take a taste test and add more later.
Mix well.

And the secret spice blend. I like to use Badshah pav Bhaji masala only :)

Around 4-5 tbsp. of spice blend. Mix well.

Cook spices for 3-4 minutes.

Add mashed potatoes and mash and mix them well with other veggies. 
Add a cup of water depending on the consistency.

Add cilantro and fresh lime juice. 
Give a taste test and add salt of spice as needed. 
When I tasted this Bhaji, salt, spice and garlic was perfect as per the flavor I like. I did not need to add anything more :)
Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.

Slit through the center, but not ripping them apart.
Heat a tbsp. of butter on hot griddle. Add some pav bhaji masala and roast Pav/ Buns on the griddle.

Serve with chopped onions (seasoned with salt, lime and cilantro).
 Garnish with cilantro and top with butter.
Also serve well grown, washed, and cleaned onion bulbs.

Enjoy Hot N Spicy Pav Bhaji!!

Tell us why you like Pav Bhaji a lot or your memories with it!


  1. here's a tip.. put a little bit of boiled beet in the bhaji to get the red color of road-side bhaji-pav...

  2. HI Shital,

    I am a member of 'Ghar ka khana' facebook group and i saw some of your recipes there and checked your blog today. Your blog is really wonderful. Step by step details and your presentation is great. You got a regular visitor of your blog. Keep up the good work!!


    1. Thanks Minal for checking my blog! :) Would love to see more comments and feedbacks from you! :)

      Happy Cooking!

  3. Whenever I am free I visit this blog, looking at cool pics gives me a divine satisfaction. Thanks Shital.

  4. Thanks shital for yum receipe ☺

  5. please can you elaborate on ingredients for making garlic chutney and ginger-chilli paste for this recipe and how much of each did you add in this recipe.

    1. For garlic chutney: grind 4-5 cloves of garlic, 2-3 red chilies or 1 tsp. chilli powder, some salt, and add bit of water or oil to make the paste. I would add entire paste to the bhaji.
      For ginger green chili paste:1/2 inch ginger and 1-2 green chilies (depending on the spice level) grind them and add to the bhaji.

  6. Hey Shital, I always add cabbage and cauliflower to my bhaji. I never knew bombay bhaji had none of these. I will try it your way and see which one tastes better,

  7. Hi Shital, I liked your website with all details. Can you pl provide the receipe of your homemade Pav.

  8. Even in the best of places in Mumbai, cauliflower is always added. Most restaurants have an open tawa to make bhaji and I have seen cauliflower added.

  9. How many people is the recipe for? I wanted to adjust ingredients to make for 2 people