Masala Pav

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Somewhere between the Pav Bhaji, Vada Pav and the Kutchi Dabeli, a Masala Pav came into existence; another very common snack on the streets of Mumbai in Maharashtra. The Masala Pav recipe has sliced pav or soft fluffy bread rolls, stuffed with a buttery, spiced onion-tomato-capsicum filling. Try this recipe and I am sure you will love it.

masala pav garnished with chopped onions, coriander leaves and served on a white plate with lemon wedges on top.

What is Masala Pav

Literally, ‘masala’ here for this recipe would mean a savory spiced veggie mixture and ‘pav’ is a classic eggless bread roll, a staple of Mumbai. So, basically a Masala Pav is nothing but these two put together. Garnished with finely chopped onion, fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon, it makes for a yummy, tangy snack on-the-go!

Pav bhaji and Masala Pav are two of our top most picks when it comes to street food snacks. So, whenever I make these at home as well, I always make the Pav too, from scratch. The aroma of freshly baked pav is simply mesmerizing, and comforting without even biting into one.

While the ‘city of dreams’ has every vendor referring to their own Masala Pav recipe to make it stand out and be better than the rest, this particular recipe is my version of a very comforting and earthy one. I even use my homemade Pav Bhaji Masala for this recipe.

More On My Recipe

The Masala Pav recipe is somewhat similar to pav bhaji in taste as most of the ingredients are same in both – onions, tomatoes, capsicum and pav bhaji masala powder. These three veggies also form the ‘holy trinity’ of this dish and most of the restaurants too have these in their recipes.

In case you don’t have capsicum or green bell pepper, you can make this dish with red or yellow bell peppers too. However, onions and tomatoes cannot be substituted as these are a must. Some variations also use mashed potatoes in their masala. My Masala Pav recipe does not have it.

This recipe can easily be assembled by using the leftover bhaji too. In that case, all you have to do is to prepare fresh pav or dinner rolls by toasting them in butter. Then, jazz the entire thing up with the garnishes.

The pav that I bake at home are usually slightly larger than the ones available in the Indian bakeries. So, I use 4 pav buns for this Masala Pav recipe. For smaller sized pav, 5 to 6 buns can be easily used.

With the extra pav left, you can always make many delicious recipes like Misal Pav and others as mentioned above.

The Masala Pav is a very easy and scrumptious snack for times when you want to cook something filling, but quickly. For making it as a great party starter, you can double or triple the measurements of this recipe.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Masala Pav

Preparation

1. First slice 4 to 5 pav or dinner rolls into equal halves and set aside. Here I have used homemade whole wheat dinner rolls.

sliced pav for masala pav.

2. Rinse and finely chop 1 medium onion (⅓ cup finely chopped onions) 2 medium tomatoes (1 cup finely chopped tomatoes) and 1 medium capsicum a.k.a green bell pepper (½ cup finely chopped capsicum).

Also, crush 3 to 4 medium garlic cloves, ½ inch ginger and 1 to 2 green chilies to a paste in a mortar-pestle. Keep aside.

preparing ingredients for masala pav.

Make Masala

3. Now, take a medium or large sized tawa/skillet or a shallow frying pan. Melt 2 tablespoons butter on it. You can also use oil instead of butter.

melting butter on a pan.

4. Add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and let them splutter on medium-low to medium heat.

spluttering cumin seeds in butter.

5. Then, add the crushed ginger-garlic-green chilies paste.

crushed ginger-garlic-green chilies added to the butter.

6. Stir and sauté for a few seconds until the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.

sautéing ginger-garlic-green chilies in butter.

7. Add the finely chopped onions.

finely chopped onions added to the butter.

8. Stir and mix well.

chopped onions stirred well.

9. Sauté the onions till they turn translucent and soften.

sautéing onions.

10. Add finely chopped tomatoes.

finely chopped tomatoes added to the butter.

11. Stir and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes on medium-low to medium heat.

sautéing onion-tomato mixture.

12. Next add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon red chili powder and 3 to 4 teaspoons Pav Bhaji Masala.

You can add the pav bhaji masala according to your taste preferences.

turmeric powder, red chili powder and pav bhaji masala added to the onion-tomato mixture.

13. Stir and mix the spice powders evenly with the sautéed onion-tomato mixture.

cooking onion-tomato mixture.

14. Now, add the finely chopped capsicum (bell pepper).

finely chopped capsicum added to the onion-tomato mixture.

15. Sauté for 2 minutes.

sautéing the onion-tomato-capsicum mixture.

16. Season with salt as required. Stir to combine.

salt added to the onion-tomato-capsicum mixture.

17. Add ⅓ cup of water.

water added to the onion-tomato-capsicum mixture.

18. Bring the mixture to a simmer on medium-low to medium heat. Adding water softens and cooks the tomatoes very well.

simmering the masala.

19. The mixture will thicken and reduce as it simmers.

cooking the masala.

20. Reduce the heat to low and let the masala come to the consistency as shown in the picture below. There should not be a lot of liquids in the masala, as then this will make the pav soggy.

cooking the masala to the right consistency.

21. Bring the masala to one side of the tawa or pan.

cooked masala on the pan.

Make Masala Pav

22. Melt 1 to 2 tablespoons butter on the empty space in the tawa or pan or skillet.

If you prefer you can use another frying pan or skillet to toast the pav or dinner rolls.

melting butter on the pan.

23. Place the pav slices on the butter. Toast them lightly or you can just let them absorb the butter. You can toast more also if you want.

toasting pavs on the butter.

24. Turn over and toast the other side. If you want you can add more butter.

toasting pavs on the butter.

25. Now, place the masala evenly on the pav with the spoon or spatula.

spreading masala on the toasted pav.

26. Masala Pav is ready to be served. In the same place, melt some more butter and toast the other pav, till all the masala is used up.

prepared masala pav.

27. Place the Masala Pav on a serving plate.

prepared masala pav on a plate.

28. Garnish with finely chopped onions, coriander leaves and lemon wedges. Serve Masala Pav hot.

Squeeze some lemon on it and savor them with your family of friends. You can also sprinkle some fine sev or grated cheese on the Masala Pav.

masala pav garnished with chopped onions, coriander leaves and served on a white plate with lemon wedges on top.

Expert Tips

  1. While it is mandatory to use butter for an authentic street style flavor, you can even use oil to cook the masala.
  2. You can keep the masala ready. But toast the pav and spread it on them just before serving in order to enjoy the maximum.
  3. Though Masala Pav tastes fab when a little spicy, it can be adjusted according to the preference of your spice levels.
  4. Some sev (fried gram flour vermicelli) can also be used as a garnish on the Masala Pav. Craving for cheese? Add some grated cheese on hot Masala Pav, let it melt slightly and enjoy a cheesy version.
  5. The leftover masala can be used to top on toasted breads as well for a quick Masala Bread Toast variation.

More Mumbai Street Foods To Try!

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masala pav garnished with chopped onions, coriander leaves and served on a white plate with lemon wedges on top.

Masala Pav

Masala Pav recipe has sliced pav or soft, fluffy bread rolls, topped with a buttery, spiced onion-tomato-capsicum filling. Makes for an easy, quick and tasty snack.
4.86 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Cuisine Indian Street Food
Course Snacks
Diet Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 2
Units

Ingredients

Main ingredients

  • cup finely chopped onions or 1 medium-sized
  • 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes or 2 medium-sized
  • ½ cup finely chopped capsicum or 1 medium-sized (green bell pepper)
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves – small to medium-sized
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 1 to 2 green chilies
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • 3 to 4 teaspoon Pav Bhaji Masala or add as per taste
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • cup water
  • salt as required
  • 4 to 5 Pav (dinner rolls) – sliced in equal halves
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Butter – for toasting pav

For garnish

  • ¼ to ⅓ cup finely chopped onions or 1 small to medium-sized
  • 1 lemon or lime, chopped or quartered
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • First slice all the pav or dinner rolls into equal halves and keep aside.
  • Rinse and finely chop onion, tomatoes, and capsicum (green bell pepper). 
  • Also crush the garlic cloves, ginger and green chilies to a paste in a mortar-pestle. Keep aside.

Making masala

  • Now take a medium or large sized tava (skillet) or a shallow frying pan. 
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter. You can also use oil instead of butter. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  • Then add the crushed ginger+garlic+green chilies paste.
  • Stir and sauté for a few seconds till the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.
  • Add the finely chopped onions. Stir and mix well. Sauté the onions till they soften and become translucent.
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes. Stir and saute for 3 to 4 minutes on a medium-low to medium heat.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, pav bhaji masala. You can add the pav bhaji masala as per taste.
  • Stir and mix the ground spices very well with the onion-tomato mixture.
  • Now add the finely chopped capsicum and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Season with salt as required. Stir and mix. Add water and again stir to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer on a medium-low to medium heat. Adding water softens and cook the tomatoes.
  • The mixture will thicken and reduce as it simmers.
  • Reduce the heat to a low and let the masala come to the consistency as shown in the photo below. There should not be a lot of liquids in the masala, as then this will make the pav soggy.
    making masala pav recipe
  • Bring the masala to one side of the tava or pan.

Making masala pav

  • Melt 1 to 2 tablespoon butter on the empty space in the center of the frying pan or skillet or tawa.
  • Place the pav slices on the butter. Toast them lightly or you can just let them absorb the butter. You can toast more also if you prefer.
  • Turn over and toast the other side. If you want you can add more butter.
  • Now place the prepared sautéed masala mixture on the pav halves evenly with the spoon or spatula.
  • Place the pav on a serving plate.
  • In the same way, melt butter and toast the other pav as well, till all the masala is used up.
  • Garnish masala pav with finely chopped onions, coriander leaves and lemon wedges. 
  • Serve masala pav hot. Drizzle some lemon juice on the masala pav and savor them with your family of friends.

Notes

  • Any neutral flavor oil can be used instead of butter. 
  • You can opt to use salted or unsalted butter.
  • Adjust the spices and seasonings according to your taste preferences. 
  • Use dinner rolls that are soft and fluffy.
  • The recipe can be doubled or tripled to make for potlucks or small parties.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Masala Pav
Amount Per Serving
Calories 465 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 45mg15%
Sodium 473mg21%
Potassium 515mg15%
Carbohydrates 56g19%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 1478IU30%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 4mg20%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin B12 1µg17%
Vitamin C 72mg87%
Vitamin D 1µg7%
Vitamin E 2mg13%
Vitamin K 14µg13%
Calcium 201mg20%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 82µg21%
Iron 4mg22%
Magnesium 56mg14%
Phosphorus 147mg15%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Masala Pav recipe post from the archives first published in November 2015 has been republished and updated on 13 June 2022.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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32 Comments

  1. I like your recipes.Your way of presentation is so good.I like your ideas and your way of cooking.Thank you for sharing the recipes with us5 stars

  2. I love all ur recepies. ..easy to make and tasty. …This one is also very tasty. ..Thanks. ..

  3. I’ve been trying some of your recipes for the past few weeks and they’ve turned out great! I especially love how you’ve provided pictures for every step. I’m a huge fan! 🙂

    Thank you!5 stars

  4. mam. I liked the way of presentation. Because of this i improved a lot. -I tried a lot of recepies by your way. All are very tasty and easy to cook. Excellent

    Again iam so thankful to you

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