paneer pav bhaji is a variation of pav bhaji. there are some variations of pav bhaji which you will get in mumbai and paneer pav bhaji is one of them.
many roadside stalls and almost all the udipi restaurants in mumbai offer pav bhaji and its variations on their menu.
this is a list of the variations of pav bhaji:
- jain pav bhaji - made without onions, garlic and potatoes. raw banana is used here instead of potatoes
- no onion no garlic pav bhaji - made without onions and garlic.
- cheese pav Bhaji – served with a very generous topping of grated cheese.
- paneer pav Bhaji -made with paneer and also topped with grated paneer.
- kada pav bhaji – where the vegetables are not mashed but cooked with their size and shape intact. so this dish has a bite and lots of textures in it.
- masala pav – the pav is pan fried with butter and then stuffed with the pav bhaji along with a generous helping of buttered and sauted onions, tomatoes, green chillies, coriander leaves and spices.
i like both paneer and cheese pav bhaji. cheese pav bhaji would be my favorite version of pav bhaji.
the method to make paneer pav bhaji is similar to making the regular pav bhaji and you just have to add grated paneer in the bhaji. i usually grate the paneer and add, since we like a smooth texture in the pav bhaji. however if you want texture and bite, you can add paneer cubes.
paneer pav bhaji recipe details below:
- 1 to 1.5 cups, grated paneer or small paneer cubes
- 2 medium size potatoes
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
- ½ (half) cup chopped french beans (optional)
- 1 large onion – finely chopped
- 2 to 3 large tomatoes – finely chopped
- 1 small or medium capsicum/green bell pepper
- 2 to 3 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped
- 1 or 2 tbsp pav bhaji masala
- ½ tsp garam masala powder (optional)
- 1 tsp chilly powder or freshly pounded 1-2 dry deseeded red chilies – the latter works much better and imparts a beautiful orange color to the bhaji
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 12 pavs
- 3 tbsp amul butter or as much you want or white butter or oil
- 2 to 3 tbsp grated or shredded paneer for garnish
- salt as required
- Boil all the vegetables except onions, tomatoes and capsicum in a pressure cooker or microwave oven.
- Mash the vegetables and keep aside.
- Just lightly mash. Don’t make a puree.
- Alternatively, you can also mash when making the pav bhaji.
- In a frying pan or kadai or a large tava/griddle, add butter.
- When the butter melts, add cumin seeds. When they sizzle, add the chopped onions.
- Fry the onions till they become transparent. Now add the ginger-garlic paste.
- Fry till the raw smell of the ginger-garlic paste disappears.
- Add chopped green chilies and fry for a minute.
- Add the tomatoes and fry them till they become soft and mushy.
- Add the chopped capsicum. Now add the chilly powder, turmeric powder and pav bhaji masala.
- Mix the dry masalas well. Fry for few minutes till the capsicum become a little soft.
- You don’t need to make the capsicum very soft. A little crunch is alright.
- Now add the mashed vegetables.
- Combine the mashed vegetables well with the masala.
- Add some water. Keep on stirring and let the vegetable simmer for 7-8 minutes.
- Towards the end add the grated or cubed paneer and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- If the vegetable becomes too dry and then add some more water.
- When done, garnish with coriander leaves and grated paneer in individual serving bowls or plates.
- Serve the bhaji hot with chopped onions and chopped lime.
- While serving, add amul butter to the bhaji and serve with buttered pavs.
- You can add more butter, if you like it. In fact, with more butter, the pav bhaji tastes very good.
- You can also make the bhaji first and then reheat it when serving.
- Slice the pavs .
- On a flat pan, heat some butter.
- When the butter melts, keep the pavs on the melted butter so that it absorbs the butter and fry for a minute.
- If you want to make the pav crisp, fry for a few more minutes. Serve the pavs hot with the bhaji.
If you don’t want to add butter, then you can also make the pav bhaji in oil.
If you don’t have Pav Bhaji Masala, then add Garam Masala. I have made Pav Bhaji with Garam Masala only and nobody could tell the difference. In this scenario, then just add some Dry Mango Powder/Amchur to the Pav Bhaji to get that slightly sour taste.
Quantity is 1 or 2 tsp garam masala with 1 tsp amchur/dry mango powder. If you are adding this than don’t add the ½ tsp garam masala mentioned above. That is only meant if you are using Pav Bhaji Masala.
The Pav Bhaji can be had as a meal during lunch or dinner. You could also have it as an evening snack.