Dec 3, 2009

Paneer Pav Bhaji

The last time I was in Bombay ..well Mumbai I guess, I went shopping to Chembur market as it was close to home ( my fav shopping place is still Linking road!). And when you're shopping in the streets of Mumbai, you have to eat something there even though you might not be really hungry. You just have to eat. The food is that great. So this time I went into Sadguru - they are famous for their pav bhaji's - they have like about 10 varieties of Pav Bhaji on their menu and about a hundred or so of the other things! And their fresh fruit juices are awesome!

So, this time I ordered their Paneer Pav Bhaji and just l-o-v-e-d it - I mean loved it. I love paneer any way you make it - and this was just awesome. And of course it was almost floating in butter - which makes is even more awesome. (Did I tell you about the few pounds I gain every time I visit India?!)

So, this is my attempt to make something similar. This is no match compared to the original at Sadguru - but probably the best here this side of Los Angeles! I haven't had this anywhere here! I have to bow down to Sadguru's people for making this awesome dish! Thank you!

Before I start off my rant on the paneer pav bhaji, I have to tell you that I tried to make fresh pav bread at home this time. But, my biggest mistake was that I decided to make this for dinner at 6:15 - and we all eat dinner latest by 8. So, I admit - I did not really plan well. The bread did come out ok - but not as soft as I expected. I did not give enough time for the yeast to rise. I did take a million pictures to provide step by step instructions - but I'm not going to do that this time for the pav. Its not perfect and hence I will not give you that recipe. I promise - I'll make it again soon and will make sure I do it correctly. And will then blog about it.

Here's a quick look at the bread going into the oven to get baked.

Let's start with the paneer bhaji. I used store bought paneer for this. I'm a fan of home made paneer but I wanted the perfect shape for this dish and hence bought a pack of paneer.

Cut paneer into long thin slices.


Then chop them again into small cubes.


Fry the small cubes in about a tsp of ghee separately for about 5 mins. They should not turn red or brown yet. But, this frying will get rid of any raw smell and will also make the paneer a little more soft.

This is the color we need - as you can see, most of it is still white.


In a pan, fry chopped green chillies, ginger and garlic for a min. Add a tsp of ajwain and fry till brown. This provides a lot of flavor to the bhaji. Then, add finely chopped onions to this. Saute for about 3-4 mins.


Then add a whole bunch of finely chopped tomatoes - I used about 7-8 small roma tomatoes.


Add a little bit of water to this and let it cook well. Add salt, a pinch of turmeric powder and about 2-3 tsp of pav bhaji masala. Let this boil well.


When the bhaji has boiled well and the tomatoes look completely cooked, use a hand blender and blend this a little. Just do a quick 3-4 blends - we don't want to make this into a thick mushy liquid like a soup. You still should have a few pieces of onion and tomatoes left in here for texture.


Now, add the cooked paneer in here and mix well. Let this cook in simmer for about 10 mins. All the flavor from the bhaji will get into the paneer and make the paneer totally awesome!


When its almost done, add ghee or butter at this time. I added just about 1 tbsp of butter. But, if you want the original taste and flavor - close you eyes, ask for forgiveness and dump that butter in.


Now, that's almost done. Don't you want to just eat this??


Here's my bread out from the oven. It certainly looks good.


Another shot of it - as always I'm obsessed with taking pictures!


Add some fresh chopped cilantro to the paneer bhaji.


Serve hot with pavs. Add chopped onions on top of the bhaji for an authentic taste.


Another view - more obsession!




Enjoy! Peace Out!


  1. It looks good and tasty startin to feel hungry just by seeing it it looks delicios nice work!!!!

  2. Pav look awesome for a first attempt! :)

  3. Slurpppp!!! makes me hungry..just drooling over those delectable paneer pav bhaji...feel like inviting myself to ur place..

  4. you made me nostalgic, linking road was my favorite destination too.
    The bhaaji looks delectable dear. And the pav are also good considering u made them first time.

  5. Have never tried this..looks so yum.

  6. yum yum yummy paneer pav bhaji.My mouth is watering to just grab it fro the picture and have a taste of it.

  7. Wow - I can almost taste it. Great addition to my pav bhaji recipe.
    Great looking pavs - I drool and envy...

  8. Very innovative way of having pav bhaji//looks awesome

  9. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.. you are making me hungry.. Wish I could grab few from the pics.. :)

  10. That really looks good! I wish I could taste the original, you really described it well :)

  11. Hmmmmm...looks awesome..feel like eating it right off the screen:):).Never heard of Paneer bhaji..for a paneer lover like me,I am sure it would be a delicious twist.Do you have a recipe for Pav??They look just right,the crust looks great,with just the right golden brown shade:)

  12. the paneer pav bhaji looks delicious with detailed pictures.

  13. Wow! Making pavs too at home! Lovely colour and texture. Feel like clumsily eating them right away.

  14. Wow..this is new to me.. I love Paav-bhajji in all its avtars

  15. Whoo looks so spice and paneer in all form:)

  16. beautiful step by step pics...

  17. Your pav bhaji looks so delicious...PB is one of my fav dishes. I look forward to you posting your pav recipe :)

  18. Paneer Pav Bhaji looks very very have made me very hungry now...

  19. bhaji with paneer is new idea, I like it


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