The Pav Bhaji Story

by dassana amit updated May 24, 2013


The Pav Bhaji is a dish originally invented in Mumbai. In Marathi and in Mumbai Hindi Pav means bread loaf and Bhaji means vegetable.

I have heard that the bread loaf is called as Pav as the bakery workers used to knead the dough with their legs. Initially, one could get the Pav only in bakeries, but now we get in grocery stores and almost all the hypermarkets Mumbai. The Pav can be considered the staple food of Mumbai. It is used with batata vada, misal, omlette, onion pakoras.

This dish was invented during the times of the mill workers era in Mumbai. To satisfy the hungry overworked workers the food vendors got an idea to make use of leftover vegetables mashed with spices served along with bread. The poor workers could afford this meal. This is how pav bhaji was born.

As time passed, there were many variations and moderations in the way it was made. Even now some bhaji vendors in Mumbai have their own secret spices. The vegetables used for the bhaji also varies. Though, one thing is common with all the pav bhaji vendors in Mumbai….. they use dollops of butter to make the bhaji and frying the pav. Usually it is the much popular indian brand of Amul Butter that most of them use. But it can also be made with homemade butter.

pav bhaji

I have made pav bhaji both with amul butter and homemade butter and both of them taste good. I have also added the recipe for Mumbai Pav Bhaji and you could read it on this link: Bombay Pav Bhaji. Few other pav bhaji recipe from my blog are Mumbai Kada Pav BhajiPaneer Pav Bhaji.

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hemlata August 18, 2012 1

your pav bhaji is a best way to feed healthy mix vegetable to the young children in our family.some times i roast the potatoes , cauliflower and little bit carrot in the oven with butter and covered with foilpaper till it carmalize little bit , at the end lots of cilantro ( stems only) finely chopped enhance the flavour.This is also a good make ahead dish for barbeque picnic day to balance the meal.Thanks for the recipe .


dassana August 18, 2012 2

you have given me a good alternative to cook the veggies instead of steaming or pressure cooking them. thanks hemlata. roasting in the oven must be imparting its own flavor to the bhaji. i had recently made roasted tomato soup and it tasted so different from the regular tomato soup. so i can imagine.