Authentic Bombay Pav Bhaji

by soulmia     May 12, 2011
Authentic Bombay Pav Bhaji
Difficulty: Moderate
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 Min(s)
Cook Time: 45 Min(s)
Ready In: 65 Min(s)
This is a VERY spicy vegetarian dish often eaten as a snack but is so filling that is nowadays eaten as lunch too. A couple of my Bombay friends and I were salivating at the thought of some good ole ... << read more >>
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3 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets [+]
12 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks [+]
6 tablespoons oil (Hey! I never said it was a  healthy snack!) [+]
2 green bell peppers, chopped fine [+]
2 teaspoons turmeric powder [+]
2 teaspoons chili powder [+]
1 teaspoons ginger paste
1 teaspoons garlic paste
salt to taste [+]
600ml tomato puree [+]
2 cups peas (fresh or frozen) soaked in warm water [+]
6 tablespoons EVEREST(Brand) pav bhaji masala (or more to taste) - DO NOT USE ANY OTHER as it just doesn't taste the same!! [+]
unmentionable quantities of butter - realistically - about 300 gms [+]

2 onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coriander leaves (cilantro), chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
salt, to taste
Pav (an Indian bread that resembles a flat bun) but you can use bread slices too



1. Boil the cauliflower and potatoes until tender and set aside.  I did this in a pressure cooker but you can boil it too.

2. Heat oil in a deep saucepan and saute the bell peppers.  Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute some more.  Add the turmeric powder, chili powder and salt to taste and saute for a few seconds.  Add the tomato puree, peas, boiled potatoes and cauliflower, pav bhaji masala and all the butter.

3.  Continue to saute and mash together until it is a smooth mixture, adding water if required (you won't need water if you put enough butter *swoon*).  The mixture can spurt up as it boils, so keep a lid on it while you are not actively stirring it.  Simmer for 20-25 minutes to really get the flavors to meld together.  You have to keep tasting and adjusting salt, masala and tomato until you like the balance between the tomato, tang, and spice.

Serve with:

A dollop of butter (as much as you can dare really, don't be chicken now).

A mixture of finely chopped onions, finely chopped coriander leaves and wedges of lemon - on the side.

The genuine pav-bhaji is served with real Bombay laadi pav but since we don't get that here, I have to make do with another poor country cousin version... sigh..... I took some butter..... and fry the bread in this and serve - ooooh simply awesome :)

Happy eating :))


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A young cook from Minnesota, she is gluten-free and has shared many delicious, healthy, and gluten-free recipes. This was great for our campaign with Generation Rescue as many autistic children are on gluten and casein free diets.
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