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 10minutes
Cook Time 20minutes
Total Time 30minutes
Author Anjali Lalani
2mediumcarrots, peeled and diced into large pieces
1/2large cauliflower, diced into large pieces
2medium russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 4 pieces
1large Italian Eggplant, peeled, diced into large pieces
5medium-largeroma tomatoes, finely diced
1/2large white onion, finely diced
fresh jalapenofinely chopped (amount depends on your preferred level of spice)
sourdough bread slices, or gluten-free bread, french buns, burger buns, whole wheat bread, etc.
vegan butterearth balance
fine black salt (optional)
To make the Vegetable Curry (Bhaji):
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.
In a medium non-stick pot, heat thecooking oil (or vegan butter) on medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Fry for a few seconds.
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.
Add the roasted ground cumin and mix for another minute.
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.
Once the vegetables are cooked, completely mash them together with a potato masher (if you need, add a small amount of water).
Add the mashed veggies to the gravy and mix completely.
Cook covered for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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.
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:
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.
(optional) Sprinkle some black salt on one side of the bread.
(optional) Garnish the bhaji with freshly chopped onions, jalapenos, and/or cilantro.
Serve the Bhaji HOT with the grilled bread and vegan plain yogurt on the side (if using).
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.