Paneer pav bhaji recipe with step by step photos. There are some variations of Pav bhaji which you will get in Mumbai and this is one of them.
Many roadside stalls and almost all the Udupi restaurants in Mumbai offer this dish and its variations on their menu.
This is a list of the variations:
- 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. It used to be my favorite when I used to work.
- 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 bhaji along with a generous helping of buttered and sauteed onions, tomatoes, green chillies, coriander leaves and spices.
This dish can be had as a meal during lunch or dinner. You could also have it as an evening snack.
The method to make paneer pav bhaji is similar to making the regular one 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 bhaji. However if you want texture and bite, you can add paneer cubes.
How to make paneer pav bhaji
1. Firstly chop all the veggies and keep them ready. You can either rinse or chop them or rinse after chopping them.
2. Rinse the veggies and drain the water.
3. Boil 2 medium-sized potatoes, 1 cup chopped carrot, 1 cup green peas and 1 cup chopped cauliflower in a pressure cooker.
4. Add water to the veggies just covering them.
5. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt or as required.
6. Pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles or 10 to 11 minutes or till the veggies are cooked.
7. Strain the veggies and keep the broth or stock aside.
8. Mash the vegetables with the masher and keep aside.
9. Just lightly mash. Don’t make a puree. Alternatively, you can also mash when making the bhaji.
10. Measure and keep all the ingredients ready.
11. In a frying pan or kadai or a large tava/griddle, add 3 tablespoons butter/oil or add as required.
12. When the butter melts, add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds.
13. When the cumin seeds sizzle, add 1 large-sized finely chopped onion.
14. Fry the onions till they become transparent.
15. Now add 2 to 3 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste.
16. Fry till the raw smell of the ginger-garlic paste disappears.
17. Add 1 to 2 green chilies (finely chopped).
18. Fry for a minute.
19. Add 2 to 3 large-sized tomatoes (finely chopped).
20. Saute them for 7 to 8 minutes or till they become soft and mushy.
21. Add 1 small or medium-sized capsicum (chopped).
22. Add 1 to 2 tablespoon pav bhaji masala, 1 teaspoon red chili powder and 1 teaspoon turmeric powder.
23. Mix the dry masalas well. Fry for few minutes till the capsicum becomes a little soft.
24. You don’t need to make the capsicum very soft. A little crunch is alright.
25. Now add the mashed vegetables.
26. Combine the mashed vegetables well with the masala.
27. Add 1.5 cups water or broth or as required.
28. Also add salt as required.
29. Keep on stirring and let the bhaji simmer for 7 to 8 minutes, till the gravy thickens a bit.
30. Towards the end add 1 to 1.5 cups grated or cubed paneer.
31. Stir well and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
32. Lastly add ½ teaspoon garam masala powder, mix well. Check the taste and adjust the spices and salt as per your taste. if the vegetable becomes too dry and then add some more water.
33. When done, garnish with coriander leaves and grated paneer in individual serving bowls or plates.
34. Serve the bhaji hot with chopped onions and chopped lime.
35. 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 bhaji tastes very good. You can also make the bhaji first and then reheat it when serving.
Preparing buttered pavs
36. Slice the pavs. On a flat pan, heat some butter.
37. When the butter melts, keep the pavs or bread 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.
38. Serve the pavs or bread hot with the bhaji.
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Paneer Pav Bhaji
- 1 to 1.5 cups grated paneer or small paneer cubes (cottage cheese)
- 2 medium size potatoes
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup peas - fresh or frozen
- ½ cup french beans, chopped - (optional)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 small or medium sized capsicum (green bell pepper)
- 2 to 3 teaspoon Ginger-Garlic Paste
- 1 or 2 green chilies , chopped
- 1 or 2 tablespoon Pav Bhaji Masala
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chilli 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 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 12 pavs
- 3 tablespoon amul butter or add as much you want or white butter or oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoon grated or shredded paneer for garnish
- salt as required
- 1.5 cups water or add 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 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 chilli powder, turmeric powder and pav bhaji masala.
- Mix the dry masalas well. Fry for few minutes till the capsicum becomes 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 to 8 minutes.
- Towards the end add the grated or cubed paneer and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- If the vegetable becomes too dry and then add some more water.
serving the bhaji
- 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 or bread.
- You can add more butter, if you like it. In fact, with more butter, the bhaji tastes very good.
- You can also make the bhaji first and then reheat it when serving.
to make buttered pavs
- 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.
- The spice powders can be easily adjusted to suit your taste.
- If you don’t want to add butter, then you can also make the bhaji in oil.
- If you don’t have pav bhaji masala, then add garam masala. I have made bhaji with garam masala only and nobody could tell the difference. In this scenario, just add some dry mango powder/amchur to the 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 then don’t add the ½ tsp garam masala mentioned above. That is only meant if you are using pav bhaji masala.
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