Here comes my recipe for home-style pav bhaji! This is a dish which is made in homes all around India and everyone has their own style of making and enjoying Pav bhaji. Mine has been modified and developed over the years to my family’s tastes and my (once upon a time fussy eater :p) kids.
Do not go on the visuals of the dish, at the base, it is potatoes so is there something really not to like?
Potatoes 1kg (it’s okay if they are a bit more or less)
Carrots 2 medium-sized
Cauliflower 1 cup of florets
Butter 2 tbsp + more for the pavs
Vegetable oil 1 tbsp
Ginger Paste 1 tsp
Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Onion 1 big/ 2 small
Green Pepper 1 small
Tomatoes 3medium/ 4small
Pav Bhaji Masala 2 tbsp
Chilli Powder according to taste
Salt according to taste
Pav (the bread)
In India, you can find pav buns in stores but if you’re living outside or you can’t find Pav, you can use hot dog buns they also work just fine.
Onion, chopped 1-2
Lemons 2-4 (depending on the size of the lemons)
Coriander leaves A good bunch!
Step 1 – Make the mash.
- Roughly chop the potatoes, cauliflower & carrots, add them to a pot, and put just enough water to cover the veggies and bring to a boil. After one boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and let it cook for 15-20mins (this time depends on how you chop the veggies, the smaller you chop the faster it’ll cook). In the end, what you need is overcooked mushy vegetables.
- Once the veggies are cooked, remove the pot from the heat, and with your masher mash all the veggies together. Do not mash it into a smooth paste but just enough to break down big chunks of veggies. It’s still nice to have some small pieces for texture.
- Keep this aside.
Step 2 – Make the masala (the flavour bomb)
- Preparation – 1. Finely chop the onions for the masala. 2. Finely chop the green pepper (capsicum) 3. Puree the tomatoes in a blender.
- In a big pot, heat 2tbsp butter + 1tbsp oil (to avoid the butter burning), add the onion and stir.
- Once the onion starts to turn brown (don’t burn it) add the ginger and garlic paste and mix for a minute.
- Next, add the pureed tomatoes and let them cook till you see the oil starting to separate. You will see the puree has drastically reduced. Keep stirring occasionally to avoid it sticking to the base.
- Once the water from the tomatoes has dried off, add the chopped green pepper (capsicum) and mix around for a minute.
- Add 2 tbsp pav bhaji masala and mix it in. (*the amount of pav bhaji masala you’ll need can differ a bit between brands but start with 2 tbsp you can always add a bit more later)
Step 3 – Bring it all together!
- Finally, add in the mashed veggies and mix well till the masala and the mash is properly mixed. Then reduce the heat to low and let it cook for at least another 10 minutes so the flavour can thoroughly infuse. You can let it cook for longer if the bhaji is thinner than you like or if it’s too thick, you can add a little water to make it thinner.
- At this stage, do a taste test and add a little salt if the flavour is not strong enough. You can also add a little chilli powder if you like it spicier or add more pav bhaji masala to elevate the flavour.
Step 4 – Prepare the Pavs
You can prepare your Pavs while the Bhaji is cooking. Best to do the Pavs right before you are about to serve/eat.
- Slice your buns in half horizontally, to have them thinner.
- Heat a flat pan on the stove and add 1/2tbsp butter, just enough to cover the base of the pan.
- Place your sliced buns on the pan, press them down a little with a spatula or anything handy – this helps them soak the butter & get a more even toasting. Then flip & repeat the same on the other side of the buns.
- You will have to prepare the buns in batches so add more butter when needed.
Step 5 – Serve & enjoy!
The onion, lemon & coriander are very crucial parts of the pav bhaji experience! All of them add freshness to the otherwise heavy dish, the lemon additionally adds a bit of tanginess & the fresh onion adds a nice crunchy textural element.
When serving, keep the bhaji and all condiments in separate bowls and only mix on the plate – to keep the freshness alive.
And enjoy your homemade Homestyle Pav Bhaji!