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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Pav Bhaji .... Mumbai Street Food

Pav Bhaji is a Mumbai Street Food popular all over India. It is sold in every nook and corner with the name 'Bombay Pav Bhaji' written on the stalls. The basic ingredients in this mouth watering dish are potatoes and tomatoes. While cooking this dish at home I try to make it healthy by adding as many vegetables as possible. You can add whatever veggies are available at your home. Cut them in bite-size pieces and pressure cook them with water for 7 whistles or slow-cook them for 10 minutes after one whistle. Mash the cooked mixture and temper with ginger & garlic paste, onions and butter. Street food is always prepared with lots of butter. But you can adjust the quantities if you are calorie conscience. However the taste will be a little different if you use less butter. My family loves to have it as breakfast on Sundays. The recipe I am sharing today is very easy to prepare. You can boil vegetables a day before, store it in the refrigerator (without mashing) and use it the next day. This way you can enjoy Pav bhaji even on the days when you are too lazy to cook, because the subsequent steps don’t take much time.

Traditionally, the Pav is cooked on the Tawa (Girdle) with Bhaji but that way the paav soaks up a lot of butter. Therefore, there is a twist here. I cook it on an electric griller to reduce butter. Please try it once. I am sure you will like it. 

So without wasting much time let us start with the dish. 

We need

  • 1 Cup Peas

  • 1 Large Capsicum

  • 200 Gm Potatoes

  • 250 Gm Tomatoes

  • 12 Cloves Of Garlic

  • 2" inch Ginger

  • 1 Green Chillies

  • 1 Large Onion. 

  • 1 Lemon

  • 2 Onions Chopped. 

  • 1Tbsp Oil

  • 2 Tbsp Butter

  • 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds (Zeera) 

  • 1 Tsp Kasuri Methi

  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Coriander

  • 3 Tbsp Pav bhaji Masala 

  • ¼ Tsp Red food Colour (optional) 

  • 1 Tbsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder. 

  • 1 Tsp of Salt. 

Let us Start:

  1. Wash all the vegetables . Peel potatoes. Cut them into cubes. De-seed Capsicum and cut into cubes. Chop tomatoes. Grind ginger, garlic and green chilli together to a fine paste.

  2. Add all the vegetables to a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water along with salt and 1 Tsp of Pav bhaji masala. Cook it till 6 whistles. Don't release the pressure, let it cool on its own. Open only when the pressure is totally released.

  3. All the vegetables are soft by now. Mash them well with a hand masher. Don't use a blender otherwise bhaji will become like a chutney without any texture! 

  4. After everything is blended together , keep another pan on flame. Add butter and oil to it. It is always advisable to add oil along with butter to prevent the butter from burning into an ugly brown colour. Add 1 Tsp of zeera. When it starts sputtering, add chopped onions to it. Saute them on low flame till translucent brown. 

  5. When the onions turn to translucent brown add ginger, garlic and chilli paste to the pan. Saute for one minute. 

  6. Add a pinch of salt, turmeric powder, Coriander powder, Kasuri methi, 2 tsp of Pav bhaji Masala and kashmiri red chilli powder. Add 2 tbsp of water and saute till oil separates out on the sides. Adding water prevents the masala from burning. 

  7. Now our masala is ready. Add mashed vegetables to it. If you want market style red colour of Bhaji then you can dissolve ¼ tsp of food colour in 1 Tbsp of water and add to the bhaji . Give it a good mix. ( I am not using red colour)Now let the vegetables simmer for 4 to 5 minutes to absorb all the flavours in it. 

  8. After 4 to 5 minutes of simmering,  bhaji is ready to serve. Just squeeze one lemon on it and mix well, right before serving it to give it a tangy taste.

  9. Heat an electric griller. Soften around 3 Tbsp of butter. Now paste the Pav with the softened butter. Put it in the griller and grill it till your desired level of crispness. Avoid tightly closing the griller. Just keep the lid softly otherwise the pavs will become hard and crisp. 

  10. Pav Bhaji is ready to be served! Just top the bhaji with butter, serve it with grilled pavs, green chutney and chopped onions. Enjoy the street food of Mumbai in the hygiene of your kitchen.


The masala should not be over-cooked, it should be lightly cooked only, else the taste of bhaji will be spoiled.

Squeeze the lemon juice only when you are ready to serve, because if it stands for long it will make the bhaji bitter.

Avoid using electric blender, use hand mixer only to mash the vegetables.

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Serves: 4-5 people

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