Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Pav Bhaji Masala

It is funny when you realise that when it comes to food, most cities are well known for their street food or their unfinished, unpolished lunch and tea stalls that serve just about anything. Most of these places (and I agree it is not everyone) prepare food to share their family cuisine with the people around them. Their love for the food they prepare is more important than the business they want to establish with their food. And that, I reckon is their success.

Things are no different in Mumbai. Hawkers selling food from their portable food stalls are iconic to the city and people belonging to different classes of the society enjoy the delicacies from these stalls all round the clock. My personal favourite is Pav Bhaji, where Pav means Bun and Bhaji means vegetable. It is interesting to see the vendors mashing and stirring up its ingredients on hot sizzling pans throughout the day, making a hot and spicy favourite, and a wholesome meal for the young and old to savour.

Makes: 2 - 3 serves
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

For Vegetable Masala
  • 1 cup brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green chilly, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cup potato, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cup carrot, finely diced
  • 1 cup cauliflower, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry blue peas, cooked and mashed
  • 1 cup tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Pav Bhaji Masala (See below for recipe), adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilly (optional, this adds colour)
  • 1/2 tsp amchur/ dry mango powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 - 2 tbsp oil or butter, extra
  • coriander leaves, as required
To serve
  • 4 serves Turkish bread or any bread of your choice, sliced through
  • 3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 whole lime
  • salted butter, to serve and toast bread
1. Heat oil in a pan and stir garlic and green chilly for a few seconds. Then add onion and ginger and keep stirring until onions starts to change colour. Then add 1 tbsp pav bhaji masala, chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt together with potatoes and carrot. Mix well, add 1/2 cup of boiling water and cook on medium flame till half done. Add tomato, cauliflower and 1/2 cup boiling water and cook till all vegetables are well done. Add mashed peas and mix well. Using a potato masher mash all vegetables, mixing it well in between. Add remaining pav bhaji masala (adjust to taste) and amchur powder, season to taste and mix well. Then add the extra oil or butter with 1/4 cup water. Let it boil over medium flame till oil separates. Mash vegetables once again and add 1/4 cup of water. Allow it boil again until oil separates. Continue this for 2 - 3 rounds. The final dish should not be too dry. Remove from flame and stir through chopped coriander leaves.
2. Mix together chopped onion and coriander leaves and keep on serving plate. Cut lime into wedges and place on serving plate.
3. Butter bread as required and toast on a pan. Place on serving plate.

To serve - Add a dollop of butter on the vegetable masala and serve together with chopped onion and coriander leaves and squeeze of lime juice. Keep bread on the side.

Enjoy hot!

Recipe for Pav Bhaji Masala Powder
  • 50 g dry red chilly
  • 50g coriander seeds
  • 25g cumin seeds
  • 25g black pepper
  • 25g cinnamon
  • 25g clove
  • 4 black cardamon
  • 25g amchur/ dry mango powder
  • 10g fennel seeds
Roast all whole ingredients seperately. When cool, grind it to a fine powder and sift with amchur powder. Store in an air tight container.


  1. Miss this here in US. so have to made it at home. Yummy.

  2. one of my fav street food,Yummy!!
    You can link this to my friend's event page here if u wish:)
    Link is-http://roshellechefaldente.blogspot.com/2012/11/new-event-street-food-of-india.html

  3. Never tried making my own Pav Bhaji. It looks yummy!!

  4. My fav chat.. I am big on chat.. I love this

  5. Lovely, I think the turkish bread adds glamour to the already exciting Bhaji!!
    Yummy and nice shots too!