Messy Veggie Pav Bhaji Recipe

Indian cuisine is known across the world for its fantastic flavor derived from a wide variety of spices and herbs. It definitely falls into the comfort food category with lots of stew-like dishes and warm savory gravies. Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe for messy veggie pav bhaji recipe. "I love cooking all types of Indian dishes because they tend to be full of vegetables and very plant forward," she says.

This recipe for pav bhaji has 12 different vegetables included, making "eating the rainbow" possible all in one meal. There is a fair amount of chopping going on here, but once you have done that, the meal comes together pretty quickly and easily. Pav bhaji is always served with dinner rolls (pav means small loaf of bread in Marathi) and is a complete meal. It also pairs nicely with other carbs, like rice. Read on to see how to make this popular Indian street food at home.

Gather the ingredients for messy veggie pav bhaji

To make this recipe, we're going to spend some time in the produce department picking out all of the vegetables that go into this dish. You'll need some Yukon potatoes, onion, Serrano chiles, garlic, ginger root, Roma tomatoes, green cabbage, cauliflower, cilantro, red onion, grated carrots, and lemon. Head to the frozen aisle to grab some frozen peas. Then we'll need some pav bhaji masala, which is a blend of spices. "The blends can vary but for the most part they include coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper corn, fennel seeds, dried red chilis, cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom, amchur powder, star anise, green cardamoms, bay leaves, and ginger," Hahn says. "This makes for a very flavorful dish!" We will also need a few pantry staples like oil, salt, pepper, and then of course some dinner rolls and butter.

Chop the vegetables

Grab a chef's knife and a large cutting board — we've got some chopping to do. Start by chopping the potatoes. These will be boiled and mashed, so no need to get too precise. Hahn buys organic potatoes and leaves the peels on. "Since a lot of the essential nutrients are contained in the peel, I usually opt for leaving the skins on, plus it's a time saver," Hahn shares.

You'll also need to chop the onion, chili, garlic, tomatoes, cabbage, and cauliflower. You want everything about the same size, so this means really going small with the cauliflower. Using a micro plane, grate the ginger. We're going to top our final dish with cilantro and red onion, so while we're in chopping mode, get those ready as well.

Cook and mash the potatoes

This next step is a simple one. Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with water. Put on the stove and bring the heat to high. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes or until very tender. Take off the heat, cool, then mash with a potato masher and set aside.

Cook the rest of the veggies, add final ingredients, and serve

Add the oil to a large pot and bring heat to medium high. Once hot, add in the onion, garlic, and chile. Cook for 10 minutes while stirring frequently and breaking down the tomatoes. Then add the ginger and tomatoes and cook for 10 more minutes. Now add in the mashed potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, peas, pav bhaji masala, salt, and pepper. "If you feel like you need a little more liquid you can add some water here starting with ¼ cup," Hahn shares.

The heavy lifting is done — cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes and squeeze in the lemon juice which is our final touch. Then your flavorful messy veggie pav bhaji is ready to serve. Top with red onion, cilantro, serve with plenty of rolls and butter which are perfect for dipping into this masterpiece!

Messy Veggie Pav Bhaji Recipe
5 from 27 ratings
This messy veggie pav bhaji is bursting with brightness and nutrition.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pav bhaji with rice and rolls
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 8 small Yukon potatoes
  • ½ onion
  • 1 Serrano chile
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1-inch knob ginger root
  • 6 small Roma tomatoes
  • ¼ head green cabbage
  • ½ head cauliflower
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • ½ small red onion
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons pav bhaji masala seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 8 dinner rolls
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Chop the potatoes, onion, Serrano chile, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, cabbage, and cauliflower (finely). Also chop the cilantro and red onion, then set aside.
  2. Add the potatoes to a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and mash with a potato masher.
  3. Add the oil to a large pot and heat to medium-high. Drop in the onion, garlic, and chile. Cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently. Now add the grated ginger and tomatoes and cook for 10 more minutes. Now add the mashed potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, peas, pav bhaji masala, salt, and pepper. If the pan seems dry, add ¼-½ cup of water. Cover and cook for 15 minutes on low heat. After 15 minutes, squeeze in lemon juice and stir.
  4. The veggie pav bjaji is ready to serve. Top with red onion and cilantro, and serve with butter and rolls.
Calories per Serving 719
Total Fat 24.3 g
Saturated Fat 6.4 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 17.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 112.3 g
Dietary Fiber 15.9 g
Total Sugars 15.2 g
Sodium 959.0 mg
Protein 18.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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