Mumbai street food most often means pav bhaji to a lot of people and we can’t completely deny that it is not. Cooked in oodles of butter which lends a flavourful edge, bhaji is an amalgamation of veggies served with butter-roasted pav, making for a wholesome meal. No wonder it is loved across all age groups. Even the fussy eaters (read- me) who can’t stand ghiya, tinda or torai , may eat it all mixed in a bhaji. And oh, I love to smear some extra butter on my pav and top my bhaji with a dollop of it too. Did you know this popular dish was actually invented to fulfill the requirement of lunch for textile mill workers who used to work till late in Bombay cotton exchange, during the American civil war in 1860s? The street-style pav bhaji is often full of excess flavours and spices, and may not be liked by those with low spice tolerance. And so, there’s absolutely nothing like homemade pav bhaji, I believe.  

While you may think that making a dish like bhaji, with so many veggies, spices and herbs might be an elaborate, cumbersome affair, you may be mistaken. In fact I think it is one of the easiest, and also healthy. Not only can you choose which veggies to add, all you need is to add it all together and mix with spices. Okay, that might sound too easy but that’s the easiest way to explain. And if you are still confused about where to begin from, we’ve got certain tips, tricks and a perfect recipe to get it right every time.


1. For the colour 

Street-side pav bhaji vendors often add colour to the bhaji but you can avoid that by simply soaking a handful of Kashmiri red chillies in hot water until soft, blend them to smooth, and add along with the pav bhaji masala. This can give you a vibrant, bright colour. 

2. Pav bhaji masala 

One of the most common ingredients used for flavour in pav bhaji is its special masala, but if you don’t have it, don’t worry. You can simply add a pinch of garam masala, red chilli powder and coriander powder each together. The taste might differ but it will be good. 

So now that you know basics of the recipe, you can get your apron and start cooking. While our recipe uses cabbage, cauliflower, potato, peas and capsicum, you can choose veggies according to your liking and availability. Cook them with chilli powder, pav bhaji masala, a dash of lime juice, tomato, ginger and garlic paste for a fulfilling dish.  

Find the full recipe of Pav Bhaji here. Try it at home and share your experience with us.