Pav Bhaji (Spicy blend of vegetables served with bread)



When Betfair  asked me to create  a recipe inspired by one of the 14 nations in the Cricket World Cup this year – I immediately thought of India as Cricket is so popular in India.   The British Introduced cricket to India during the British rule.  According to BBC World Service, The first match in India was recorded in 1721 when a group of sailors gathered to play in Western India.  Within nearly three centuries cricket is India’s most popular sport.

I know when my family is watching cricket on the television, we tend to cook food that can be eaten easily whilst watching the match.  I usually make  Pau Bhaji, which  is a dish I  got introduced to  by my husband who used to enjoy this when he was in Mumbai as a child. This is a popular street food in Mumbai. Pau means bread and bhaji is the name given to the spicy curry which accompanies the bread. Apparently, this dish got invented in Mumbai because factory workers wanted a light and quick meal during their lunch break.

A lot of the Indian grocery shops carry boxes or packets of ready made pau bhaji masala but I use my own blend of spices.  Lots of the recipes I have looked up seem to use a lot of potatoes. As this dish is eaten with bread, I didn’t want to have too many carbs so I have tried to use lots of vegetables and just one small potato for my pav bhaji.

Ingredients for 4 servings

    • 1 potato
    • 4 -5 cups of mixed frozen vegetables (baby carrots,sweetcorn, peas, beans, cauliflower and beans)
    • handful of soya beans
    • 1 cup of pasatta ( or you can used tinned or fresh tomatoes)
    • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree ( you won’t need the puree if you are using pasata)
    • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1 tablespoon of blended ginger, garlic and green chilies mixture
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1 teaspoon dhana jiru (mixture of coriander and cumin powders)
    • 1 teaspoon garam masala
    • 1 tablespoon of jaggery (or you can use brown sugar or any artificial sweetener)
    • 1 tablespoon lemon

For the garnishing your Pav Bhaji Recipe when serving:

    • 1 finely chopped and stir fried onion
    • Fresh coriander (unfortunately I had run out so had to do without coriander).


  1. Wash and chop the potato into very small cubes and add it to the frozen vegetables.
  2. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and cook them until they are soft.
  3. Using a sieve remove all the water from the vegetables.  Save the water to add to the bhaji if it looks too dry.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add in the cumin seeds. Once they are brown, add all the vegetables and mix so that the oil coats the vegetables.
  5. Add the salt, turmeric, dhana jiru and the ginger garlic and chilly mixture.
  6.  Add  cup of pasata, the lemon juice and jaggery (or sugar or sweetener).
  7.  Finally add the  garam masala.
  8.  Stir and cook for 5 minutes.  After cooking your bhaji for 10 minutes, it will look like a mixed vegetable curry.


9.  Using a Potato masher, mash the bhaji. I don’t mash mine completely as I don’t like my Vegetables too mashed. Once mashed, cook this for 2-3 minutes more .

10.  Garnish the  Pav bhaji with fried onions and coriander  hot with toasted bread rolls.

11.  You can serve the bread and bhaji separately or bhaji can be served on top of the bread rolls.



NB: I was asked by Betfair to take part in the Cricket World Cup Recipe challenge.