Pav Bhaji recipe – Authentic Mumbai street style

Pav Bhaji recipe – a delicious amalgamation of different healthy vegetables cooked in a unique mixture of spices and mashed, served with two tawa fried pavs soaked in butter. Soft buttery pav and delicious bhaji, pav bhaji is mouth-watering street food.

Try this stovetop Pav Bhaji recipe and I guarantee, it will become one of your favorite recipes! You will not make pav bhaji any other way again.

pav bhaji recipe

What is Pav Bhaji?

Pav in Marathi means bread roll and Bhaji means dry or gravy dish made with vegetables. As both are served together, the name Pav Bhaji. But, when good pav is not available, I even like to have it with sliced bread.

Pav Bhaji is one of the most popular and favorite street food in Maharashtra, with its origin in Mumbai. Hot bhaji (smooth and thick consistency) with a big dollop of butter melting and spreads in all directions served with lightly toasted soft pavs laden with butter. Well, this is a reason to love it by all age groups. Street food can’t get better than this!

While Maharashtra can proudly claim to be the origination of this much-cherished dish, different regions of India have added their own flavors and varieties to this famous street food. Mumbai’s iconic dish Pav Bhaji has crossed social and geological limits and is presently cherished by individuals all over India.

No matter which place or what time, there is always a queue for this dish. While waiting for the order, the aroma of spices and butter is a real test of patience. But, it is worth the waiting time.

Pav bhaji which started as a ‘street junk food’ has now found its way into some of the Indian restaurants around the world. People are noticing and just can’t get enough of this Indian street dish which is not surprising too. Because pav bhaji has a seductive and spicy flavor that teases and excites the taste buds simultaneously.

Every bite is transportation to culinary heaven.  The punch of spices from the bhaji is balanced by the butter on top and the crunch of the onion along with the slight tartness of the lemon when had with pav is a perfect burst of flavors in the mouth. You can relish this dish at any hour of the day, for breakfast, or brunch, or lunch, or even dinner.

Two ways to prepare Pav Bhaji

1. Pressure cooker: Can also call it a One-Pot Pav Bhaji. When short of time, this makes life easy as the process is simple and quick and something special is ready in minutes.

2. Traditional way/Stovetop: My personal choice is the traditional way; use big tawa to sautee vegetables along with different spices. The advantage of making in tawa is, all the pieces of chopped vegetables touch the tawa and cook well. Also, this process enhances the taste compared to a pressure cooker.

Instead of a big tawa, I use a thick base-wide pan.

After relocating to Hyderabad, this is one of the street foods I miss. As a passionate cook, I gave it a try in my own kitchen. Though the taste was good, it never matched the memory I had in my head. This lead to experimenting after watching videos on YouTube and I have been successful in making the best at home with basic ingredients.

During lockdown time, while at home, had extra time to experiment and master this dish.

If you want to relish the taste and aroma Chowpatty style at home, follow this pav bhaji recipe below. Everyone in the family will surely like it. Would be glad to know in the comments section below, how was your experience.

Pav Bhaji recipe

With this pav bhaji recipe, making the dish is simple. The best part of the pav bhaji recipe is that you do not have to follow an exact recipe in order to cook correctly. To complete the dish, don’t forget to garnish the bhaji with a big dollop of butter on top! As it said, butter makes everything better.

While making pav bhaji you can use different proportions of vegetables. Skipping or adding a different vegetable will not ruin the dish.

Pav Bhaji recipe is the smartest way to make kids eat healthy vegetables. The common veggies used to make Pav Bhaji are, Potatoes, tomatoes, green peas, capsicum, onion. You can make it healthier by adding carrots, cauliflower, and beetroot.

Reasons to try this Pav Bhaji recipe

Chatpata and Flavorful: With this pav bhaji recipe, you will learn how to use ready made pav bhaji masala and turn it into the most delicious dish.

The perfect texture: The key to authentic Mumbai style bhaji is the texture. Vegetables should be mashed well as you cook untill little chunky texture.

Buttery: One of the key ingredient to complete pav bhaji. Amul butter makes the bhaji, utterly butterly delicious.

Secret Ingredient in Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji masala is the secret or magical ingredient which makes the bhaji taste so delicious. To make street/restaurant style Pav Bhaji, a good quality pav bhaji masala is a must. There are many brands of masala available in the market.  After trying few brands, some great pav bhaji masala brands I recommend are:

1. Everest pav bhaji masala

2. MDH pav bhaji masala

3. Tata Sampann pav bhaji masala

4. Badshah pav bhaji masala

The reasons to recommend these brands are

1. The unique blend of many great ingredients.

2. Processed with the latest equipment which retains the taste and quality of ingredients.

3. Ingredients are sourced from India’s tops farms.

How to make Pav Bhaji

Heat butter and oil in a thick bottom pan. Add bay leaf, jeera (cumin seeds) and let them crakle. Add chopped onion and on medium flame saute till they turn soft.

Next, add chopped capsicum and saute for a min. Capsicum when stir fried gives a very nice aroma and infuses flavor in the dish too. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till raw smell goes away. Now, add green peas (I have used frozen) and saute for 30 seconds.

Add chopped tomatoes and cook till soft and mushy. Now, mash the veggies with a potato masher. Add little water and mash well.

Add boiled potatoes and mash again. Make a space in the center. Turn the flame to low and add butter.

Add kashmiri red chilli powder, coriander powder, pav bhaji masala, ginger garlic paste, coriander leaves, salt and water. Let it come to a boil and mix well. Add more water and mash again.

Cook on low for 10-15 minutes and adjust the consistency.

Add butter and mix well. Finish with coriander leaves. Serve it hot

Variations

Jain Pav Bhaji – Jain version is without using potatoes, onions, ginger or garlic. Potato is replaced by Raw banana.

Kathiawar Pav Bhaji – This version makes use of local spices which give it a very unique taste and is usually washed down with a glass of buttermilk.

Khada Pav Bhaji – Kada means whole. This version is the same as regular, the only difference is that the vegetables are not mashed.

Punjabi Pav Bhaji – This version has lots of spices (garam masala) and is served along with a glass of lassi.

Kholapuri Pav Bhaji – Kholapur region is known for eating spicy food. This version uses Kholapuri kanda lasun chutney/masala which makes it spicier.

Paneer Pav Bhaji – Either the paneer is grated on top of the bhaji or bhaji is made along with paneer pieces.

Cheese Pav Bhaji – Cheese is grated on bhaji.

Storage Suggestion

Usually I make a large batch so that I have leftovers. A day old bhaji tastes even better as the flavors get intense.

Let the bhaji cool completely and refrigerate for 2-3 days in an air-tight container.

To store for longer period, you can freeze it too. Will suggest freezing in small portions. Cool completely, transfer to a zip lock bag or freezer bag/freezer-safe airtight container. If you use a bag, squeeze out as much excess air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 – 4 months. To thaw, keep the frozen rice bag/container overnight in the refrigerator.

authentic Mumbai pav bhaji

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Did you try this Mumbai street style Pav Bhaji recipe? Please leave a star rating and a review in the comment section. I always appreciate your feedback. You can also follow me on Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Recipe card

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji – Authentic Mumbai street style

Author: Santosh Allada
Pav in Marathi means bread roll and Bhaji means dry or gravy dish made with vegetables. As both are served together, the name Pav Bhaji. Pav Bhaji is one of the most popular and favorite street food in Maharashtra. Hot bhaji with a big dollop of butter melting and spreading in all directions served with soft pav laden with butter which makes it everyone's favorite.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cooling Time 5 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Main Course, Snacks
Cuisine Indian, Maharashtrian, Street Food
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tbsp Butter (Amul)
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 2 small Bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp Jeera
  • 3 Potatoes (Boiled and peeled)
  • 1/2 cup Peas (Fresh, Frozen or Dried (soaked and pressure cooked))
  • 1/2 Capsicum (finely chopped)
  • 1 Onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 Tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp Pav Bhaji masala
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp Coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon wedges
  • 8 Pavs (slit from center)

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil & 2 tbspn butter in a wide pan.
  • When hot, add bay leaf and jeera. Let it crackle.
  • Add finely chopped onion and saute till they turn soft.
  • Next, add chopped capsicum and saute for a min.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and fry till raw smell goes away.
  • Add peas and fry for 30 seconds. With masher, mash as much as possible.
  • Now add chopped tomatoes and cook till tomatoes are soft. Add little water and mash.
  • Add boiled potatoes and mix well. Mash again till the mixture is smooth.
  • Make well in the center. Add remaining 1 tbspn butter. When melted, add red chilli powder, pav bhaji masala, coriander powder and salt. Saute for 5 seconds and add a cup of water. Let it cook for a min.
  • Spices will blend with the water. Now mix well. Add more water to bring it to a consistency.
  • On low flame cook for 10-15 minutes to bring out the flavor of all the masalas. When it reaches the desired consistency, add butter and mix well. Finish with coriander leaves.
  • Let it cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile can prepare the pavs.

Toasting Pav

  • Slit the pavs from center.
  • Heat a pan or tawa. Make sure the flame is low and add butter.
  • When the butter melts, place the pav on the butter. Move the pavs all around the tawa so that butter is well absorbed.
  • Turn the pavs upside down and move all around.

Serving Pav Bhaji

  • Take the required quantity of bhaji in a plate or bowl.
  • Add a big dollop of butter on top. Add little coriander leaves.
  • Serve along with buttery pavs, chopped onion and lemon wedges.

Notes

Adjust the quantity of spices mentioned as per your taste buds. 
Pav Bhaji masala makes the difference, so use good quality. 
The vegetables mentioned are exactly the same as used by street vendors. Also, vendors use dried green peas (soaked and pressure cooked), as it is available throughout the year.
At home, you can add vegetables of choice. Either finely chop or pressure cook till half cooked and follow the recipe.

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