Pav bhaji is a fast food dish from India, consisting of a thick vegetable curry, fried and served with a soft bread roll.
The dish originated in the 1850s as a fast lunchtime dish for textile mill workers in Mumbai. Pav bhaji was later served at restaurants throughout the city. Pav bhaji is now offered at outlets from simple hand carts to formal restaurants in India and abroad.
Pav bhaji being prepared on an iron tava
Pav bhaji has many variations in ingredients and garnishes, but is essentially a spiced mixture of mashed vegetables in a thick gravy served hot with a soft white bread roll, usually cooked on a flat griddle (tava).
Variations on pav bhaji include:
- Cheese pav bhaji, with cheese on top of the bhaji
- Fried pav bhaji, with the pav tossed in the bhaji
- Paneer pav bhaji, with paneer cheese in the bhaji
- Mushroom pav bhaji, with mushrooms in the bhaji
- Khada pav bhaji, with vegetable chunks in the bhaji
- Jain pav bhaji, without onions and garlic and with plantains instead of potatoes
- Kolhapuri pav bhaji, using a spice mix common in Kolhapur
- White pav bhaji, with no garam masala or no chilli powder.