Pav Bhaji

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Last Updated on December 14, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Bhaji Pav

Blogging Marathon #33
Theme: Combo Platters

Every culture has combo platters – things that are eaten together and when eaten on its own feel inadequate. Here in America, some popular ones are burger and fries, spaghetti and meatballs, ham/bacon and eggs with toast. Hot dogs with ketchup/mustard and sauerkraut. Imagine having a bowl of spaghetti with nothing on it? Just wouldn’t be the same!

This week, my BM theme is combo platters and the first combo today is a popular street food throughout India.

Pav are soft bread rolls – just like Western dinner rolls – which are the basis for many street foods throughout India. There’s Misal Pav, Bhurji Pav, Masala Pav and Vada Pav, just to name a few. However, Pav Bhaji is probably the most popular one. Originating in Mumbai, it is now available in most metropolitan areas in India.

 I decided to go all out and make the rolls as well as the bhaji.

Pav Rolls (adapted from ChefInYou)

Yield: 12 rolls

  • 3 – 3 1/4 cups bread flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pkg. dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Combine 2 cups of the flour and salt in a large bowl.
In a saucepan, heat milk and butter to 115-120 F.
In a small bowl, combine water and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, until frothy.
Add milk and yeasty water to flour and mix. By hand, stir in additional 1 – 1 1/4 cup flour a little at a time adding just enough flour for the dough to come together.
Knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch out air bubbles and roll out into a square.
Cut into 12 equal portions. Roll each into a ball and place on a greased cookie sheet, leaving a little space between each ball. Cover with the kitchen towel again and let rise until doubled, about 30-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Bake for 30-40 minutes


Next comes the bhaji, which is basically a mashed vegetable curry. Most of the recipes I saw called for store bought pav bhaji masala. I already have a bunch of masala powders in my pantry. Instead of adding to the store bought collection, I decided I would make the masala myself since my pantry was already stocked with all the ingredients needed.

Pav Bhaji Masala (adapted from VegInspirations)

Yield: approximately 1 cup

  • 5 black cardamom
  • 1/4 cup coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 10 dried red chiles
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 7 2 inch cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons dry mango powder (aamchur powder)

In a dry skillet combine everything except the mango powder. Roast for a few minutes, until fragrant. Add mango powder and roast for 1 more minute.
Cool and combine everything in a coffee/spice grinder. Grind to a fine powder.

Pav Bhaji Masala
Bhaji (adapted from Sailu)

Serves 8

  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 small potatoes, chopped
  • 1 large red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower, chopped
  • 10 green beans, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen green peas defrosted
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green chiles thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder (cayenne pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons Pav Bhaji Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon jaggery, powdered
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook potatoes, caulfiilower, peas and green beans until soft. Drain, but reserve water. Mash vegetables.
Heat oil. Add onions, chiles and bell pepper. Saute for 5 minutes until softened. Add ginger garlic paste and cook for 1 more minute.
Add turmeric, chile powder, masala powder jaggery, tomatoes, 1 1/4 cups cooking liquid and salt. Cook for 5 minutes on high heat, until tomatoes are softened. Add mashed vegetables and 1/2 cup water (or more of reserved cooking liquid if you still have). Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
Add butter, lemon juice and cilantro. Stir to combine.

Mashed Vegetable Curry

To serve, split Pav Rolls and spread with butter. Toast rolls in a skillet.
Serve bhaji with toasted Pav Rolls and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Mumbai Street Food

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#33

 Chef Mireille

Thank you for sharing!

About Chef Mireille

Chef Mireille is a NYC based freelance chef instructor and food photographer. Due to her very diverse family background, she was able to travel and learn about global cultures and flavors from a young age. Her passion for culture, cooking, history and education had made her an expert on developing traditional globally inspired recipes & delicious fusion cuisine.
Her extensive travel history provides a plethora of background information and Travel Tips!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Pavani N

    Oh man Mir! you made everything from scratch.. wow!! great efforts and I'm sure every minute was worth the effort. That final click looks too good and very tempting.

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