pav bhaji
Pav Bhaji 19 Nov 2017 refreshed 2 Oct 2022
Pav Bhaji
Pav Bhaji
Calle Comedias

Pav Bhaji

A lunchtime street food from Mumbai, pav bhaji is a deliciously spiced vegetable dish with lightly-buttered, fried pavs (bread rolls). I first fell in love with this dish in Camden market, at a stall that had a big cauldron of this top tiffin - it was the highlight of my Sunday. On looking over these humble ingredients, it is hard to imagine the divinely unctuous mash that pav bhaji is. Make it and see.



serves 3-4

    Pav bhaji

  • 300g potatoes*
  • 200g cauliflower
  • 150g carrots
  • 100g French beans
  • 70g garden peas*
  • 2 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 20g fresh ginger
  • 20g garlic
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 100g fresh green pepper*
  • 1-2 small green chillis
  • 1 heaped tbsp pav bhaji masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • Sea salt to taste


  • 6-8 soft dinner rolls
  • butter to cook the pavs

    to serve

  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Lemon wedges


You could use any variety of potato for this recipe. I always use the yellow-fleshed agria variety.

For the peas, you could use fresh or frozen. As with all fresh produce, the level of phytonutrients diminishes over time. Seeing as frozen peas are deep frozen so soon after picking, you can be assured of their freshness.

Any fresh green pepper will work here; my personal preference is the Italian green pepper.

When cooking vegetables in water, remember that the vitamins they contain are water-soluble and therefore leach into the cooking water. Don't tip those vitamins down the drain. In this recipe the cooking liquor is added to the dish - and any you don't use, could be served as a vegetable consume with a little sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Remember: if it grows below ground, add the vegetables to cold water and bring to a simmer. If it grows above ground, bring the water to the boil before adding the vegetables.


Wash, peel, and chop the potatoes and carrots. Drop them into a saucepan and generously cover with cold water* - remember, you will be adding more veggies to the pot.

Once the pan comes to the boil, you can add the chopped cauliflower. After 5 minutes add the chopped French beans and peas - I like vegetables in the finished dish to still have a little bite.

Continue to cook the vegetables until the potatoes are soft. Remove from the heat and drain - reserving the cooking liquor.

Dice the red onion. In the same saucepan, heat the butter and oil before adding the cumin seeds. When the seeds start to sizzle, add the onion and gently cook for 5 minutes or until translucent.

Crush the garlic cloves and add them to the onion. The fresh ginger should be grated with a fine grater before adding it to the pan. Cook and stir for a minute before adding the tomato.

When the tomato has softened, add the chili and green pepper. Mix in the spices and continue to cook until the green pepper starts to soften. Now, combine the boiled veggies, mix and mash along with the reserved cooking liquor to the desired consistency. Season to taste. You can make the mash creamier, if you wish, by adding a little butter. Any remaining liquor can be served as a simple veg consome - seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the pavs, heat a knob of butter in a shallow pan and add your cut soft rolls. Cook on both sides untill golden brown. Scatter some coriander leaves over your bhaji and serve alongside your pavs and a lemon wedge.


Pav Bhaji
Pav Bhaji
Calle Comedias

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