Pav Bhaji

I’ll start off by saying, I’ve never had ‘proper’ Pav Bhaji, the closest I’ve had is from a sleazy joint in Chennai. Mangy assures me that it’s not the real thing because South Indians simply can’t make proper Pav Bhaji! But he wasn’t with me in Chennai – so I don’t know how he knows that it wasn’t the real thing…

Anyway, I thought I’d prove him wrong, and inspired by this video, I set out to make the best Pav Bhaji down-under. I even made the Pav, and will post the recipe in another post.

Mangy and his brother loved my recipe and cleaned out the pot. So guess what? South Indians must make good Pav Bhaji after all 🙂

You’ll need: (a)

  • 3 boiled potatoes
  • 1 cup green peas (frozen is fine)
  • 1 can  tomatoes
  • 1 large capsicum
  • 2 green chilies
  • 3 coriander roots – cleaned well
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 1 table spoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon roasted chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of Pav Bhaji Masala (I use MDH brand)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Butter

You’ll also need: (b)

  • Butter
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hing
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Pav Bhaji Masala
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon roasted red chilli powder
  • 3 tablespoons dried Fenugreek leaves
  • 1-2 drops red colouring (optional)


  • Onion – finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves – finely chopped
  • Green chilies – finely chopped
  • Ginger – cut into very thin strips (optional)
  • Lemon Wedges
  • Cubes of butter


  • Soft rolls
  • Butter

Normally the vegetables are cooked down and then mashed by hand. I thought I’d speed up the process, so I start by chopping all the ingredients in (a)  in a food processor to make a paste. Pour this mixture into a pan and cook with a lid on until the vegetables are tender and the mixture darkens slightly.

In a second pan, heat butter, add all the other (b) ingredients and fry until a thick paste is formed. Add this to (a), stir well, cover with a lid and cook well. After about 20 minutes, remove the lid, let the mixture thicken, and cook until the oil separates from the mixture. Finish off with a squeeze of lemon.

To serve:
Split the buns in half, heat a pan, drop some butter into the pan. Once the butter has melted, fry the buns on both sides until slightly crisp. You still want them soft, so don’t toast them too much.

Serve the buns on the side, the Bhaji in a bowl with desired toppings and a good dollop of extra butter. Enjoy!

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