Vegan Mofo: Pav Bhaji!

My SLR is still out of commission. Using a inferior point and shoot. So sad.
My husband and I have a pair of friends from India who loved to feed us. Even though they are from Orissa, they would make us dishes from all over India. One night, we were surprised to see that they were serving a mushy mixed vegetable curry on buttered and fried hamburger buns. "What's this?" we asked. "Pav bhaji; it's from Gujarat." Love at first bite. Since then, when it is available at an Indian restaurant, my husband has to order it. Mumbai fast food is seriously amazing.

I can't believe that I never actually made pav bhaji myself until now, since it is fairly easy to whip up. The only exotic ingredient you really need to make an authentic pav bhaji is a "pav bhaji masala" and you are good to go. Most Indian stores sell the spice mixture already made, but you can also make your own. My recipe is a bit westernized because I try to work with ingredients that you can buy from a regular grocery or health food store. I also like it on the dry side since it is less messy to eat.

Pav Bhaji Sandwiches Recipe (vegan)
serves 4-6

  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • 3 TB mild oil
  • 1 TB minced garlic (or hing)
  • 1 TB grated ginger
  • 2-3 TB pav bhaji masala (You can make your own by using this recipe right here.)
  • 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cup of cauliflower florets (the smaller, the better)
  • 1 cup each: frozen green peas, finely shredded carrots, and finely shredded cabbage
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 lemon
  • dash pepper
  • hamburger or dinner rolls (the whiter and more processed, the better!)
  • margarine
  • garnishes: fresh chopped tomato, chopped fresh cilantro, onions, etc.

  1. Boil and mash potatoes. Set aside.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat oil and add garlic, ginger and pav bahji masala. Saute for a minute and then add tomatoes.
  3. Add florets and saute for a few minutes then add carrots and cabbage. When they begin to soften add peas. The veggies should be all mushy and evenly soft.
  4. When the vegetables are all very tender, add mashed potatoes, salt, and pepper and squeeze lemon top. Stir until all are well combined.
  5. Generously spread Earth Balance on all sides of rolls and fry their insides until crispy and golden brown.
  6. Stuff each bun with your bhaji mixture and top with garnishes, if any. Personally, I don't think it needs any, but if you want to be fancy and authentic, go for it


  1. No way! How weird, I JUST posted about this. I used Fat Free Vegan Kitchen's version and it's really good. I have to say, I was surprised to see cabbage in the recipe - I didn't realize it was used in Indian cuisine.

  2. Oooh! I have to check that out. The buttery-ness really makes it, so make it fatty latty!

  3. I've never heard of this dish - curry in a sandwich is a new one on me but sounds great - I can imagine how delighted my partner would be if I made this he loves curry and eats bread with everything

  4. BTW - I nominated you for a liebster award


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