Monday, April 11, 2011

"Indian Inspiration Week" Recipe 3: Pav Bhaji

Rounding out "Indian Inspiration Week" is another favourite I discovered thanks to Bharti Vibhakar at Spice of India: Pav Bhaji!

This is considered a fast food dish and is a popular street food in most metropolitan areas in India, in particular in Mumbai. It's generally prepared in a huge flat pan and served with bread or a bun (the pav).

When Bharti's store was still open in downtown Kitchener, she had a freezer full of her dishes prepared ahead, including pav bhaji. The first time I tried this tasty stuff, I was instantly hooked! I loved the flavour balance, and being a spicy food lover, I was all about the chilis as well. I probably went back to the store 8-10+ times after that to buy more, at which point I thought hey, I should try to make this myself! There are of course many pav bhaji recipes online, but I wanted the Real Deal, so I asked the manager at the store if Bharti would be willing to part with the secret to its g00dness. The answer was a conditional yes - I buy her Spice of India book (which strangely enough doesn't include this dish) and she'd throw in her (hand-written) PB recipe as a bonus. DEAL!

I usually go against the tradition of the dish and serve it with basmati rice, but since the first two recipes I made this week incorporated rice, I served it on whole wheat buns instead!

The recipe below is very similar to Bharti's but with a few adjustments/clarifications. It serves about 4 people.


  • 5 medium potatos
  • 5 medium, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 300 grams of frozen peas
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green chilis, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp pav bhaji masala or garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tbsp butter


1) Peel potatoes and boil until soft

2) Cut cauliflower into pieces and boil until soft (in a separate pot)

3) Heat oil on medium-high. Add onions and cook for about 2 minutes.

4) Add potatos and fry for 5 minutes, stirring regularly and breaking up the pieces

5) Add all spices, cauliflower and tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add a little water if the mixture is really dry/thick. 

6) Add peas and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
7)  Add cilantro, green chilis and butter.

8) Mix and serve with your choice of bun, toasted bread or basmati rice. 

I hope you enjoyed these recipes! I plan to post more moving forward when the "inspiration" strikes! :)


  1. I just LOVE your recipes! Thank you for sharing them. I have been craving Indian and Persian food throughout this first trimester, and if history repeats won't go away anytime soon. My husband has been making me Fessen Jun which is amazing. But now I want korma and we need a good recipe for it because it's just not in the budget to go out to eat. We can't wait to try out your recipes!!

  2. Glad you're enjoying the recipes! I just Googled fessen jun - looks very yummy!! Will have to try making this sometime too!

    Just had a wagjag coupon come up this morning for 2 for 1 Vijay's (local Indian restaurant) - will have to snap this one up as well!!!

  3. That sounds great! I will be trying this out sometime soon!

  4. Yum! I love Indian food!! I have never attempted to make it though. This recipe looks simple enough:)

    Found you through another CD blog!

    Bridget from

  5. Thanks for the follow, BL! (Great name btw!) I added you back :)