Pav Bhaji Masala Recipe

Pav Bhaji is one of my favorite Indian dishes. It's loaded with veggies, healthy, vegan, gluten-free, and packed with flavor in every bite! This easy-to-make Pav Bhaji Masala recipe consists of a thick vegetable curry served with grilled bread, and is the perfect meal for the entire family!

Course Main Dish
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Indian, Vegan
Keyword indian vegetable curry, pav bhaji, vegetable curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 132 kcal
Author Anjali Lalani


  • 2 medium carrots , peeled and diced into large pieces
  • 1/2 large cauliflower , diced into large pieces
  • 2 medium russet potatoes , peeled, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 large Italian Eggplant , peeled, diced into large pieces
  • 5 medium-large roma tomatoes , finely diced
  • 1/2 large white onion , finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic , minced
  • fresh jalapeno finely chopped (amount depends on your preferred level of spice)
  • 1 teasp fresh ginger , grated
  • 1/4 teasp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp roasted ground cumin , or garam masala or ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teasp ground corriander , ground
  • 1/2 teasp ground turmeric
  • 2 1/2 teasp lemon juice , freshly squeezed
  • garam masala , to taste (optional)
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil , or vegan butter
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro , finely chopped
  • water

For Garnish:

  • onions , finely chopped
  • fresh cilantro , finely chopped
  • jalapeno , finely chopped
  • vegan plain yogurt (optional)

Grilled Bread:

  • sourdough bread slices , or gluten-free bread, french buns, burger buns, whole wheat bread, etc.
  • vegan butter earth balance
  • fine black salt (optional)


To make the Vegetable Curry (Bhaji):

  1. Steam the carrots, eggplant, potatoes, and cauliflower by your preferred method. I always use my pressure cooker, but you can also use a steamer, instant pot, or boil the vegetables until mashable. While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the gravy.

  2. In a medium non-stick pot, heat thecooking oil (or vegan butter) on medium heat.

  3. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Fry for a few seconds.
  4. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and fresh jalapenos (if using). Saute until fragrant and the onions start to become translucent. Be sure not to burn the garlic or onions. If you find this happening, either add some more oil or turn down the heat.

  5. Add the roasted ground cumin and mix for another minute.
  6. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, ground coriander-cumin, and salt. Turn the heat down to low-medium. Mix and continue to stew the tomatoes into the other ingredients until pasty and softened.

  7. Once the vegetables are cooked, completely mash them together with a potato masher (if you need, add a small amount of water).
  8. Add the mashed veggies to the gravy and mix completely.
  9. Cook covered for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. The consistency should be that of a thick vegetable curry. Cook for additional minutes if needed to burn off excess liquid, or feel free to add a little water while cooking if needed. 

  11. Add the lemon juice, season with salt to taste, and add 1/4 bunch freshly chopped cilantro. If using, add a few pinches of garam masala at this time. Mix thoroughly for another 3-4 minutes. 

To Serve The Dish:

  1. Choose your favorite bread (my personal favorite to go with this dish is sourdough, but traditionally people use buns). Spread butter on both sides and grill on the pan until crispy.

  2. (optional) Sprinkle some black salt on one side of the bread.
  3. (optional) Garnish the bhaji with freshly chopped onions, jalapenos, and/or cilantro.
  4. Serve the Bhaji HOT with the grilled bread and vegan plain yogurt on the side (if using).

Recipe Notes

Make-Ahead Tip: Chop all the ingredients & steam the veggies ahead of time. Then it'll take a quick 15-20 minutes to finish the rest of the dish. 


Vegetables: Feel free to omit any vegetables you do not like or add others that you do enjoy (such as peas). If you omit the potatoes, the consistency will not be as thick. The carrots add a hint of sweetness to the dish, but I've omitted them several times and it still tastes great (no sugar  needed). 


Roasted Ground Cumin: This is one of my favorite spices to have on hand! It's definitely different in flavor than it's non-roasted counterpart and allows me to keep this recipe spice-free for those of you who do not like the heat. It's available at most stores, but if you don't have it on hand, I'd recommend using plain ground cumin and some garam masala. 


For Toddlers/Kids: Omit the spice if needed. Some garam masala are spicy, so just use roasted ground cumin instead. You can also drizzle some of your favorite vegan plain yogurt (my current favorite is Kite Hill almond milk plain or Forager cashew milk plain yogurt) on top or mix it into the vegetable curry for a milder flavor. 

Nutrition Facts
Pav Bhaji Masala Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 132 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Sodium 815mg35%
Potassium 600mg17%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 3420IU68%
Vitamin C 41.7mg51%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.