Pao bhaji




PAO MEANS BREAD AND BHAJI IS A MIX OF VEGETABLES. A classic mumbai street food this isn’t difficult to make at home. packed with nutritious vegetables its a complete meal.a variety of store brought pao bhaji masalas are available to choose from. you can also make ladi or gutli pao at home or substitute with soft dinner rolls, portuguese rolls, potato buns and brioche buns. COMMERCIAL PAO BHAJI MAKERS OFTEN ADD FOOD COLOUR TO THE MIX FOR IT BRIGHT RED FOOD COLOR. I PREFER NOT TO. YOU CAN ADD BEETROOT IF YOU LIKE.



  • 1 tbsp oil for tempering
  • 1 dried bay leaf/tejpata
  • 1 badi elaichi/large black cardamom


  • 4 tbsp butter and 4 tbsp vegetable oil for frying onions
  • 5 Roma or red cooking tomatoesfinely chopped
  • 1 cup peas / matar fresh or frozen but pre-cooked
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup small cauliflower florets
  • 6 cooking potatoesboiled until very tender, peeled  & mashed with a ricer 
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric / haldi
  • 1/4 cup  pav bhaji masala (your favourite brand adjust quantity to suit taste)
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp kasuri methi / dry fenugreek leaves (if your masala has this already omit)
  • 3 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 cup peeled and finely diced red onion
  • Juice of ½ lime 
  • water if required
  • red chilli salt and jaggery or sugar to taste
  • 4 tbsp chopped coriander leaves or cilantro



  • 12 pav / gutli/ladi pao/soft rolls/buns
  • 1.5 tsp butter per bun
  • lime wedges
  • 4 tsp coriander leavesfinely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped raw onions


  • Heat oil on a high flame. Add whole spices black cardamom and bay leaf and stir until golden and fragrant about 1 minute.

    Add and saute onions until soft, then add garlic ginger paste and cook till fragrant.

  • Remove the bad leach and tejpatta and discard.
  • Add tomatoes and cook until sides release oil about 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add carrots, cauliflower  pao bhaji masala, turmeric, kasuri methi (if using) and saute. Then  pressure cooker until soft and mushy or cook on a slow flame . Add more water if required.
  • Now add mashed potatoes and peas and  mash all the vegetables with a potato masher until soft and squishy. Add water only if required. The bhaji should be thick and should not ooze liquid.
  • Add salt and sugar or jaggery to taste. If required add red chilli powder. Add coriander leaves and stir well.
  • Stir well and cook until thoroughly combined and soft.
  • Stir in lime juice.
  • To prepare the buns slice them open. Apply butter to all sides of the buns and grill under a salamander or over a grill. You can also do this in a cast iron pan on a slow flame until the buns are golden brown but soft.
  • Garnish with butter, coriander leaves and serve with a side of lime wedges and chopped onions. Serve with toasted or griddled bread rolls.