This pav bhaji recipe is a healthy but equally delicious twist on the original recipe, and is made without adding any potatoes. Instead this healthy pav bhaji is made with boiled chickpeas and veggies like cauliflower, carrots, beetroot, green beans, peas, capsicum etc.
What is pav bhaji?
Pav bhaji is a popular street food dish from Maharashtra, although it is now eaten with great enjoyment all over the country.
It is known for its rich, spicy, and tangy flavors and is a favorite both locals and tourists The name of the dish refers to its 2 components : ‘pav’ and ‘bhaji’.
Bhaji is a spicy and tangy curry made from various boiled and mashed vegetables, cooked in an onion tomato gravy. This bhaji is served alongside toasted pav, which are a type of soft spongy bread similar to buns.
Is pav bhaji unhealthy?
Pav Bhaji is often considered unhealthy due to its ingredients & method of preparation –
- Loaded with butter – The dish, specially the ones served by street vendors, tends to be loaded with calories due to the generous use of butter while cooking the bhaji as well as while toasting the pav. The dish is often accompanied by additional toppings like grated cheese and is typically served with extra butter on the side. The excessive use of butter or oil makes pav bhaji rich in saturated fats.
- Carb heavy dish – The pav is usually made from refined flour, hence it lacks the nutritional benefits of whole grains and makes the dish loaded with empty carbs. The main ingredient of the bhaji is potatoes, which are also heavy on carbohydrates.
- Lack of protein & other nutrients – Since the dish is mainly bread & potatoes, it lacks sufficient protein content, and other nutrients required as part of a balanced diet. You also don’t feel as full after eating it which leads to overeating.
- Hygiene & additives – If eating this dish from street side vendors, there may be additional concerns around cleanliness as well as the use of flavor enhancers, additives and food coloring, which are not good for health.
How to make pav bhaji healthy?
You can easily make a much healthier version of this dish at home, that is nutritious as well as tasty, with just a few simple variations –
- Use Less Butter – You can reduce the amount of butter used in the dish or use healthy vegetable oils.
- Whole wheat pav – opt for whole wheat pav, to reduce the amount of refined carbs and increase the fiber & nutrient content of the dish. Whole wheat pav is also more filling compared to pav made from refined flour.
- Skip or reduce potatoes – Potatoes are not an unhealthy vegetable. However their main component is carbs, and they also have a low glycemic index, causing rise in blood sugar levels. As such they do not create a well balanced meal especially when paired with bread and no protein source. You can skip adding potatoes and replace them with other veggies for a more balanced meal.
- Add protein sources – I have added chickpeas here to add some protein and also provide body to the dish after removing potatoes. Green beans and peas also increase the protein content. You can add any other lentils, beans or even tofu to the bhaji.
- Include more vegetables – You can add any veggies of you choice to the bhaji to make it more healthy. I have added cauliflower, carrots, beetroot, beans and peas. You can also add broccoli, lauki, eggplant or any other vegetable you have at home.
Pav bhaji is best enjoyed hot with freshly toasted crispy pavs. You can garnish the bhaji with freshly chopped coriander leaves and sprinkle some finely chopped onions for extra crunch and flavor.
Serve along with some lemon wedge to squeeze over the bhaji. Garlic chutney or a tangy pickle like mango or mix veg pickle can also be served along with it.h.
A simple salad of fresh cucumber, onions and tomato slices, lightly dressed with lemon juice and a pinch of salt also goes very well with the dish and balances out the spicy flavors with some freshness and crunch.
To make healthy pav bhaji at home follow the detailed step by step recipe with photos posted below.
See more related recipes like :
Healthy Pav Bhaji Recipe
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Ingredients For Healthy Pav Bhaji Recipe
- 1 Cup White Chickpeas (Safed Chane) boiled
- 2 Cups Cauliflower Florets
- 1 Medium Sized Carrot (Gajar)
- ½ Beetroot
- ½ Cup Green Beans chopped
- ½ Cup Green Peas (Matar)
- 1 Medium Sized Onion
- 2 Large Tomatoes
- 1 Green Capsicum (Bell Pepper / Shimla Mirch)
- 1-2 Green Chillies
- 5 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Inch Piece of Ginger
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- ¼ Cup Coriander Leaves (Cilantro or Dhaniya)
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
- ¾ Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
- ½ Teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 Tablespoon Pav Bhaji Masala
- 1 Teaspoon Salt or to taste
- 1 Teaspoon Cooking Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 12 Pav Buns preferably whole wheat
- 2 Teaspoons Butter for toasting pav
Step By Step Instructions for Healthy Pav Bhaji Recipe
- Add all the vegetables like cauliflower, carrot, beetroot, beans and peas in a pressure cooker along with some water.2 Cups Cauliflower Florets, 1 Medium Sized Carrot (Gajar), ½ Beetroot, ½ Cup Green Beans, ½ Cup Green Peas (Matar)
- Boil the vegetables till you get 2 whistles. Then let the steam come out and open the pressure cooker. We want the veggies to be very soft and easily mashable.
- Heat some oil in a pan. Then add some butter and melt it. Adding the oil before prevents the butter from burning.1 Teaspoon Cooking Oil, 1 Tablespoon Butter
- Add cumin seeds to pan. Fry for a few seconds till they start to splutter.1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
- Then add finely chopped onions and green chillies along with minced ginger and garlic. Fry for 3-4 minutes on medium heat till the onions are golden brown.1 Medium Sized Onion, 5 Garlic Cloves, 1 Inch Piece of Ginger, 1-2 Green Chillies
- Add finely chopped tomatoes and saute for 4-5 mins till the tomatoes are cooked.2 Large Tomatoes
- Also add finely chopped capsicum (bell pepper) and mix well.1 Green Capsicum (Bell Pepper / Shimla Mirch)
- Then add the spices like red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, pav bhaji masala and salt.¾ Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder, ½ Teaspoon Turmeric Powder (Haldi), ½ Teaspoon Garam Masala, 1 Tablespoon Pav Bhaji Masala, 1 Teaspoon Salt
- Mix and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Then add the boiled veggies to the pan.
- Also add the boiled chickpeas.1 Cup White Chickpeas (Safed Chane)
- Then mash the veggies and chickpeas with the help of a masher or a blender.
- Add water as needed to adjust the consistency and simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Add lemon juice and finely chopped coriander leaves to the bhaji. Mix well.2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice, ¼ Cup Coriander Leaves (Cilantro or Dhaniya)
- Heat some whole wheat pav with some butter or oil, till it's slightly toasted.12 Pav Buns, 2 Teaspoons Butter
- Healthy pav bhaji is ready. Sprinkle some chopped onion, coriander and butter on top and serve it hot with toasted whole wheat pav and lemon wedges.
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