Pav Bhaji (Spicy Indian Vegetables with Buttery Bread Rolls)

January 13, 2015
4 Ratings
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 5
Author Notes

Pav bhaji is Indian comfort food at it's best. Bread (pav) fried in butter is served with vegetables (bhaji) cooked with fragrant spices that taste like heaven reincarnated in a frying pan and will make your kitchen smell like an Indian market -- in a good way. —Aysha | The Malabar Tea Room

What You'll Need
  • For the bhaji
  • 350 grams cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 125 grams carrot, finely chopped
  • 300 grams potato, finely chopped
  • 25 grams butter, plus more for serving if desired (Preferably Amul butter)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 150 grams onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves galic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 500 grams tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pav bhaji masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon black salt
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • For the pav
  • 15 hot dog buns cut crosswise, or dinner rolls cut through the middle
  • 75 grams butter
  1. For the bhaji
  2. In a large pot, add the cauliflower, carrot, and potato. Pour enough water to cover the vegetables by an inch, and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, lower the heat and let it simmer until the vegetables are very soft, about 25 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Heat the butter and oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onions are transparent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chilli and turmeric powder to the pan and give it a stir to mix well. Add the tomatoes, and simmer till the oil separates.
  5. Add the boiled potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower the mix. Add the pav bhaji masala and black salt then mash the vegetables using a heat-proof spatula or a potato masher.
  6. Let it cook for another 5 minutes and add salt if needed, then take it off the heat.
  7. Just before serving, add cilantro, butter (optional) and lime juice. Serve hot with the warm pav.
  1. For the pav
  2. Generously butter the buns on the exposed side and fry it , buttered side down, on a pan kept on medium flame. When golden brown, flip over and fry for a minute or two.
  3. Repeat with the remaining buns.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ursula | Lil Vienna
    Ursula | Lil Vienna
  • MQAvatar
  • Aysha | The Malabar Tea Room
    Aysha | The Malabar Tea Room
  • iowabaker
An Indian food-writer with a penchant for cookbooks with obscure ingredients, Aysha spends most of her time adapting recipes from the world over in her small-town south-Indian kitchen with her mother, and recording the successful experiments at When not tinkering about in the kitchen, she can be found reading up on possible Game of Thrones theories that will bring back Jon Snow.

7 Reviews

iowabaker February 4, 2017
Can I use Garam masala instead?
jlpen77 January 28, 2015
I had to Google "Anul butter" and found out it is a brand name, and the FDA in 2013 and 2014 had alerted importers that (in stick form and as ghee) it contains substitutes for protein and fat that are not labeled, and are not dairy products. FYI.
btglenn January 28, 2015
How about providing US measurements from the metrics,or, at least offering both!
Ursula |. January 23, 2015
Sounds delicious! I love comforting food like this. With red chili powder, do you mean ground dried red chilis or chili powder spice mix (with cumin, garlic,...), thx
Aysha |. January 23, 2015
I mean the former! And thank you, it really is comfort food at its best!
MQAvatar January 21, 2015
What's in the pav bhaji masala? I like to make my own spice mixes or approximate them with what I already have at home.
Aysha |. January 22, 2015
It has- dry red chilies, cumin, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, and amchoor (dried mango powder)- roasted and ground. This looks about right: