Light Paav Bhaaji

Paav Bhaji is a crowd pleasing one dish meal that almost everyone loves. I like to slurp the bhaji with least amount of paav(breads) possible. I like the taste of all the vegetables together and spicy soup like paav bhaji. Everyone has their own recipe and they swear by its authenticity and I am no different. I like my vegan version of Paav Bhaji with crusty sourdough bread. Little while ago a friend told me she uses Kasuri Methi to garnish at the end and I tried that and fell in love with it. Another time different friend told me she uses mushrooms instead of potatoes and she loves that version. I am not a great fan of mushroom so I have not tried that version.

Later one day when I was making paav bhaji I remembered the conversation and wanted to cut down number of potatoes. So I decided to use big chunk of Dudhi or Ash Gourd which was eagerly waiting in my fridge to be used in something fancy(or not)! I had to pay attention to few things while making the final version but the general result was very light but tasty version of paav bhaji. I loved it, but significant other thinks its good for us to enjoy at home but might not be as crowd pleasing as the original version. Now I am looking for guinea pigs for my next round of trial :)

Here is the recipe for you to try and report if you liked it or still prefer the original potato heavy version!

Light Pav Bhaji

Serves 4 people generously.

2 Medium White Potatoes
1/2 of medium Dudhi (Ash Gourd)  (2-3 cups cubed)
1 Large Bell Pepper/Capsicum (I use red)
1 Small Carrot
Few Green Beans
3-4 Medium Tomatoes
1 cup Green Peas (Please do not use Petite Green peas they are too sweet)
3-4 Byadagi Chilies
1 Small Blob of Ginger (grated)
2tbsp Paav Bhaji Masala (or per taste)
Red Chili Powder - Per Taste
Salt - per taste
3-4 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
Water as needed

Garnish - 
1 Small Onion
Chopped Cilantro
Lemon Wedges

Pav/Sourdough Dinner Rolls/Dinner Rolls

Preparation -
Wash all the vegetables. 
Peel potatoes, cut in half.
Peel carrot and cut in 3-4 pieces.
Peel dudhi and dice in 1" cubes.
Quarter one tomato.
Add all these vegetables in pressure cooker, add one cup of water and pressure cook for about 15-20 minutes on medium heat or until done.
Meanwhile, chop onion, tomatoes, and bell pepper in 1/2" dice.
Mash all cooked vegetables with potato masher.
Heat oil in heavy bottom pan, add chopped onion and sauté onion until golden brown.
Mix in chopped tomatoes and sauté till oil separates.
Now its time to add chopped bell pepper and sauté until done.
Add green peas, pav bhaji masala, red chili powder and salt. Mix and cover for 3-4 minutes util peas are cooked. Mash with potato masher.
Add grated ginger and all mashed up vegetables, mix well.
Adjust salt, pavbhaji masala and chili powder.
Let the bhaji boil.

Serve piping hot as usual with toasted pav, chopped ciltantro, chopped onion and lemon wedge.

Tips -
  1. You can use zucchini or any other summer squashes instead of dudhi. 
  2. Please use water as when needed, dudhi or summer squashes contain water and can make bhaji bit watery. 


  1. That looks so good! The pav bhaji I make is very heavy on cauliflower, with just one or two potatoes, like this one.

    1. I have tried with more cauliflower too! But somehow I liked the dudhi/squash version more.

  2. Good to see you after a long break Mints..Happy New Year...I love paav bhaaji however you give me..:)..One variation I have liked is the one with beets and corn as well..:)


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