Tawa Pulao

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Tawa pulao recipe with video and step by step photos. Tawa pulao is a popular Mumbai street food of rice and vegetables sauteed together with pav bhaji masala and other spices-herbs. It is a popular and tasty rice recipe that you easily make with leftover rice.

tawa pulao served in a white plate with a spoon kept in the right side on the plate.

Tawa pulao as the name suggests is made on Tawa/tava – a flat concave shaped pan used in Indian cooking for making chapatis, roasting as well as shallow frying.

The street side vendors use a huge Tawa and they make pav bhaji, masala pav, tawa paneer masala and tawa pulao on this huge tawa. For home cooks, this recipe can be made in a frying pan or even in a kadai (wok).

This tawa pulao recipe is quick to make if you have leftover rice. You also need to steam or cook the veggies beforehand. Usually, I make a not so spicy version, but you can spice the pulao as per your taste buds just by increasing the quantity of red chili powder.

You will need Pav bhaji masala to make this pulao. Usually, I buy pav bhaji masala and the Indian brands which I have used are MDH, everest and badshah. I find all of them alright.

Tawa pulao goes best with yogurt, raita or an onion-lemon salad. Also accompany a roasted papad and a lemon or mango pickle by the side.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Tawa Pulao

Cooking rice

1. Rinse 1 cup basmati rice a couple of times in water till it runs clear of starch.

Then add the rice in a pot or pan along with 4 cups of water. Also add salt to taste and 2 to 3 drops of oil.

Cook the rice till the grains are tender and softened. The rice grains should be separate yet completely cooked. You can also cook the rice until al dente, if you prefer.

cooking rice

2. Drain the rice in a colander. Please do read the recipe card details below on cooking the rice. Let the rice cool completely before you add it to the veggies.

drain the water from rice

3. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan and saute ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds till they crackle on low heat.

saute cumin

4. Add chopped onions (1 medium onion – 50 grams) and saute the onions stirring often till translucent.

add onions and saute them

5. Add ginger garlic paste (½ inch ginger + 2-3 garlic), made into a paste in a mortar-pestle or 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste).

Saute for a few seconds or till their raw aroma goes away. The ginger-garlic paste has to be sauteed well. Otherwise, the raw aroma is felt even later and might not go well with some folks.

add ginger garlic paste and saute them

6. Add 2 large chopped tomatoes (150 grams tomatoes) and 1 medium chopped green bell pepper (capsicum).

adding tomatoes and capsicum

7. Add 2 teaspoon pav bhaji masala powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder.

Remember to use a really good brand of pav bhaji masala as it is one of the key ingredient in the recipe. The flavor and taste profile of tava pulao largely depends on the kind of pav bhaji masala that you will use.

You can also choose to add homemade pav bhaji masala powder.

adding pav bhaji masala and spices

8. Stir and saute till you see the butter leaving the sides of the pan. About 6 to 7 minutes on a low heat. Even if the bell pepper has a slight crunch, they taste good.

The tomatoes will also become mushy and soften as you see in the photo below.

add veggies and saute them

9. Add the chopped steamed cooked veggies – ½ cup peas, 1 small to medium chopped carrot, 1 medium potato and salt as required.

You can even add french beans, baby corn, broccoli and cauliflower.

Optionally you can skip adding these boiled or steamed vegetables.

added steamed veggies

10. Stir to mix. Then add the drained cooked rice.

cooked rice added

11. Stir and mix gently and uniformly.

mix tawa pulao

12. Garnish tawa pulao with chopped coriander leaves and drizzled with a few drops of lemon juice (½ teaspoon).

Serve tawa pulao hot or warm with onion-lemon salad or yogurt or onion tomato raita accompanied with roasted papad and pickle.

tawa pulao recipe

More tasty pulao varieties

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tawa pulao garnished with coriander leaves and served on a white plate with a spoon kept on the right side.

Tawa Pulao

Tawa pulao is a popular Mumbai street food of rice and vegetables sauteed together with pav bhaji masala and other spices-herbs.
4.89 from 44 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Cuisine Indian, Mumbai Street Food
Course Main Course
Servings 3 to 4


for cooking rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice or long grained rice
  • 4 cups of water for cooking the rice
  • 2 to 3 drops of oil
  • salt as required

other ingredients for tawa pulao

  • 1 medium green bell pepper (capsicum) – chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes or 150 grams tomatoes – chopped
  • 1 medium onion or 50 grams onions- chopped
  • ½ inch ginger + 2-3 garlic – made into a paste in a mortar-pestle or 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder or add as required
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon Pav Bhaji Masala or add as required
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoon Butter or oil or half-half of both
  • 1 small to medium carrot – chopped
  • 1 medium potato – chopped
  • ½ cup green peas – fresh or frozen
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice or as required
  • a few chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves) or parsley leaves
  • salt as required


cooking rice

  • Rinse the rice grains till the water runs clear of starch. Rinsing for a while, you will come to a stage when the water will become transparent during the rinse. If there is starch in the water, then the rice becomes sticky.
  • Soak the rice in enough water for 20-30 minutes. Drain and then add the rice to a pot.
  • Pour 4 cups of water in the rice. Add salt and few drops of oil.
  • Stir. Cover and cook the rice till the rice grains are cooked well.
  • The rice grains should be separate also cooked well.
  • If the water begins to froth pushing the lid, then remove the lid or partly cover the pot with lid and cook the rice.
  • Don’t cook the rice too much or make them mushy. This will spoil the texture of the pulao.
  • In a strainer, add the cooked rice and let all the water drain away.
  • Gently fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Once all the steam has passed from the rice, cover the rice with a lid so that the rice grains on top don’t dry out.
  • Let the rice cool and you can proceed with the rest of the recipe.

making tawa pulao

  • Steam the carrot, potato and green peas till all of them are cooked well in a steamer, pan or pressure cooker.
  • Peel and chop the carrot and potatoes. Keep aside.
  • In a pan or kadai/wok melt the butter. Add the cumin and fry them till they get browned.
  • Add the finely chopped onions and saute till translucent.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw aroma goes away.
  • Then add the finely chopped tomatoes and bell pepper (capsicum).
  • Stir and add all the spice powders – turmeric, red chili powder and pav bhaji masala.
  • Stir again and saute the whole mixture till you see butter releasing from the sides.
  • Add the chopped potato, carrot and peas. Sprinkle salt and stir.
  • Add the cooked basmati rice and gently mix the veggies with the rice.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and sprinkle some lemon juice on the tava pulao.
  • Serve tava pulao hot with onion tomato raita or cucumber raita or plain yogurt accompanied with papad and pickle.



  • This recipe can also be made in a frying pan or even in a kadai (wok).

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Tawa Pulao
Amount Per Serving
Calories 400 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 1667mg72%
Potassium 700mg20%
Carbohydrates 69g23%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 4430IU89%
Vitamin C 59.2mg72%
Calcium 74mg7%
Iron 3.8mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Tawa Pulao Post from the blog archives, first published in May 2014 has been republished and updated on December 2022.

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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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  1. Turned out real good wife was happy as it was surprise for her….I added some paneer and mushrooms as well and skipped the carrot as we don’t like it5 stars

  2. Dassana’s recipes will never fail.. this pulav reminded me so much of aamchi mumbai n as usual it tasted perfect .. Thank you5 stars

    1. thanks sam for this lovely feedback and the rating as well. nice to read your comment. happy cooking.

  3. I have had tried it with left over brown rice. It came out very well. I have been trying other recipes by you as well. You have beautiful way of explaining the recipe with pictures. Thank you so much!5 stars

    1. thanks jasmeet for the feedback and rating. glad to know that you liked this tawa pulao recipe and other recipes as well. welcome and happy cooking.

  4. Turned out to be amazing. Thanks for the recipe.

    Could you tell me which pan are you using in the video? It looked really good. Cast iron?5 stars

  5. Turned out just amazing, so simple but yet elegant to share with guests. This is the best tawa pulao recipe I’ve ever tried.4 stars

  6. apki site m hindi m dishes ni milti h plz apna app n site hindi m b kijiye
    hindi ka option bhut kam show hota h n kbi hota b h to b work ni krta h

    1. divya, we are slowly translating recipes in hindi also. here is the link for hindi website – vegrecipesofindia.com/hi/

  7. Hey Dassana,

    Tried tawa pulao for dinner tonight and it was amazing! Skipped capsicum, added baby corn and substituted pav bhaji masala with garam masala + amchoor powder (using your suggestion in the pav bhaji post).
    Thanks for these delicious recipes, Dassana! You are the best!
    Neeti5 stars

  8. Beautifully written recipe but the end product was not as tasty as I expected it to be. Too much taste of Pav bhaji masala.

    1. only 2 teaspoon pav bhaji masala is added to 3 to 3.5 cups cooked rice along with other ingredients. then how it can be too much of taste of pav bhaji masala. have you used correct spoon measurements or added using the regular spoons we have in the kitchens. any recipe if followed with the correct measuring spoons or cups will not give negative results. hope this helps.

    1. yes sravanthi. you can do this method. even i make tawa pulao this way at times with remaining pav bhaji. but just saute a bit of onions and tomatoes before adding the pav bhaji.

  9. Hi Amit,

    Tried this recipe, also added paneer to it and it turned out very tasty. Thank you very much for the recipe5 stars

    1. have taken a note of your request priyanka and will add the recipe in a couple of months.

  10. You’re too good! Best collection ever .. This is the only site I come to if I want to cook anything 🙂

  11. Such a phenomenally simple yet mouth wateringly yummy recipe. Tried at our place recently with lot of guests and everyone loved it. Thanks and keep sharing many more such gems.5 stars

  12. Hi Dassana,
    I love love your blog.I have started trying out your recipes and they are amazing.I started with your daal curry.and mind you our family is not a daal family.but we were literally licking the vessel.i am excited to tryout all your recipes.Thank you so much for sharing your recipes.and with pictures and videos.
    tomorrow’s menu is rava dosa and coconut chutneys and millet payasam.
    Thank you once again for these wonderful recipes.happy Navarathri.5 stars

    1. welcome deepthi. glad to know this. thanks for sharing your positive feedback. wishing happy navratri to you.

  13. Super recipes… I.just made this one! My hubby loved it… thanks for making it easier with pics and extra comments.. I also tried your shahi paneer korma, carrot chutney and bisibalebath… all turned out super well!!

  14. hi Dassana,
    I have been following your recipes for quite a long time now. I must say all your recipes came out very well. Especially garlic rolls, dhokla, gulab jamun etc etc..list is long . Thanks a lot.5 stars

  15. Hi Dassana,
    All your recipes are really tasty and your explanations are also very easy to understand. I tried this recipe today – it didn’t take long to cook and it tasted so delicious. I did a slight variation (this might be useful to cooks who use electric rice cooker). I cooked the basmati in electric cooker and used the steamer basket to simultaneously steam the veggies. It worked well and made the process faster.5 stars

    1. thanks nidhi for the feedback and for sharing your excellent tip. i am sure it will help other readers. thats very intelligent and smart way of cooking.

  16. hi Dassana i just try this recipe .me and my hubby jst loved it thank u so much your recipes are very precise that now i’dont need to go to restaurant thanxxxxxxxxx again

    1. thanks rutba. i steam veggies in my electric rice cooker. you can steam veggies in the pressure cooker or in a pot. just add 2-3 cups water in the pressure cooker (or in the pot). add the vegetables in another small bowl/pan and keep the bowl inside the pressure cooker (or pot)… and then steam the veggies. in pressure cooker just give 2 whistles.

  17. It really came well….I like spicy food….this one was too good…I tried Eggless tutti fruitti cake n masala bhath too…ur step by step procedure makes everything clear for a starter like me…thanks to u:-)3 stars

  18. made this pulao with some leftover rice and it came out really well ! Wife n I loved it !
    I made this with garam masala since i didnt have Pav bhaji masala at home, but turned out quite good 🙂

  19. superb recipe n especially the way u explain with the process of preparing with the pictures.

  20. I tried this recipe today and it turned out really well…. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. It’s a quick fix meal and awesome for a chilly evening.5 stars

  21. I have following your recipes for quite sometime.. Am pretty much a beginner in the field of cooking and I really like it if people explain their recipes with the correct proportions so that if someone like me tries, it will not be very different. Hence I really like the way you explain, the proportions, the step by step pictures and the overall layout.
    Thank you so much… Keep posting. 🙂
    P.s I made this tawa pulao.. It has come out very well.. Let me know where I can send u the pic of the same.4 stars

  22. Hi Dassana,

    I really need your help here.. i m very bad at coooking rice recipes. Every time i try such recipe rice turns out to be lumpy what could be done, i cant try pulavs at all

    1. hi dipti, the reason is rice getting cooked too much. first of all use a really good quality of rice. it need not be basmati, but any type of rice. i have used some kinds of rice, which become too soft and lumpy while cooking. so you have to try various types and then choose which you like. generally for 1 cup rice, 2 cups rice is good enough for cooking. if you have soaked the rice for 30 minutes, then you can add 1.5 cups of water. here the water is not drained, but absorbed. rice can also be cooked by draining method. just add 3 to 4 cups of water to rice. when the rice is cooked, drain the rice.

  23. Well, I tried today, it was tasty, enjoyed
    Cant thank you enough for this & many other recipes

    Best regards
    Manish5 stars

  24. It is very easi and seems to be very tasty. My question is how can we add paneer in thi pulao recipy. And another question is after mixing tava masala and cooked rice can we add some water so that masala and rice mixed well or if i do so then the result will be wrong.

    1. paneer can be lightly fried separately in a tawa or pan and then added towards the end. you can also add paneer when adding the cooked vegetables. if you add water, the result can be a soggy mixture.

  25. You are one awesome cook!
    Every dish of yours comes purrfffeect!
    Initially i used to google recipes and pick the best site…now i google your site and pick the recipe I want!
    Always a delight to find competency…no matter what the field!
    God Bless!5 stars

      1. Hi Dassana,
        You are a good cook and I have started following you :

        Could you suggest some dry recipe which we can make and provide our kids in tiffin as breakfast/lunch.

        Any guidance will be great help

  26. Can I cook rice in pressure cooker instead of boiling and cooking it in a pot with a lid?5 stars

    1. yes you can pressure cook the rice. for 1 cup of rice which has been soaked for 30 minutes you can use 1.5 to 1.75 cups of water for the consistency you want in tawa pulao. pressure cook for 2-3 whistles. just make sure that the rice does not become soggy. if you add 2 cups of water then rice becomes soft and the grains are not separate.

  27. i cant find the masala in ou shopsanywhre is thee somehing ese i can use.i only have access to themajor supermarket store im afraid.

    1. if you can get garam masala, then use it. thats the only substitute you can add instead of the pav bhaji masala.

  28. a great saviour recipe for consuming left over rice, addition of pav bhaji masala will add lot of flavour to it.


  29. when i visited mumbai last time i tasted this in the road side shop, it was awesome, and they served it with raitha and papad. i completely finished the one bowl. When i prepared at home too it was tasty. One of my favorite, Lovely clicks