The lonely baaji

Pav baaji is our family favorite but we have it only once or twice in a year. The various veggies and the strong pav-baaji masala were treats but not so frequent. I had my first pav-baaji at my friend’s place almost 10 years back.

When we moved to Chennai a decade ago our family tasted them in Hot chips. Hardly 3-4 times all these years. But after me getting in to the blogging world I startEd making the baaji at home and we would buy the readymade pav buns to mop it off.

Last week my sis wanted to have them as we visited the near by Food World super market. I grabbed 2 packs of pav buns and a pack of MTR Pav baaji masala. Somehow the Eastern masala was strong to our taste buds. The MTR pack had the baaji recipe at the back of the pack so I bought all the required veggies too. When I paid the bill at the counter at th right time my younger one started running around taking my mind out of the billing person (note here. the side effect in the end). I somehow managed to grab the bag and the little one and came out of the shop.

After coming home safely put in the bag in the kitchen cupboard and went to complete the chores for the end of the day (feeding the kids, setting up the bed, boling milk etc) and by the time I went to bed I was hardly able to hold open my eyelids.

The next day morning I invited my brother and sis-in-law for the evening pav party. By 5 in the evening I started preparing the baaji and the lovley smell filled the entire house. It was really soothing for that cold evening. When everybody gathered I started off to toast the pav buns and then started to realize the side effect. The buns were not there. I had missed them in the counter itself which I realized very late. Off came my brother to my rescue and he said he would roam around and find be some buns in the nearby super markets. Everywhere it was out of stock and in one place he was so wild and called me up and asked if he could buy it from the pav-baaji vendor 🙂 I said no and he saldy returned back. My Amma gave a wonderful idea. Why not make crispy dosas and have them with this baaji ?


Everybody agreed and we all had a real treat I should say. The baaji tasted even better with crispy dosas. I made some spongy soft ones for myself as I am not fond of crispy ones and they too tasted heavenly. Somehow I managed to take the pic of the lonely baaj without his ideal pair but he’s happy with his new friend the dosa 🙂

Pav Baaji


Potatoes – 250 gm

Cauliflower florets – 200 gms

Tomatos – 250 gm

Onion (medium sized) – 2

Ginger arlic paste – 1 tea spoon

Green peas (cooked) – 100 gm

Capsicum diced – 50 gm

MTR Pav baaji masala – 2 teaspoon

Chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt – as per taste

Corainder leaves chopped – 2 T spoon

Butter – 50 gm

Peanut oil – 50 gm

How to make it?

Boil, cool, peel and mash the potatoes. Cook the cauliflower florets in boiling water with salt for 3 mins and drain and reserve. Chop the onions and tomatoes and reserve.

In a thick bottomed skilltet melt the butter and add the oil. Once it is hot add the ginger garlic paste and the onions. Saute them till the onions turn translucent and add the tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes are soft and skins starts peeling off. Now add the cooked green peas, mashed potatoes, chilli powder, salt, MTR pav baaji masala and mix well. Add enough water to make it to your desired consistency. Check for salt and heat and adjust at this point. Once this comes to a boil add the par boiled cauliflower florets. Check for salt again and adjust. Using a masher or a thich spoon mash the vegetables as they cook. Its easy but keep on doing this till you get the dsired consistency. Once you reach the point as the entire gravy is apt to mop with the buns switch off the stove and sprinkle the coriander leaves and cover it. Let it sit for few mins to get the flavours blend well.

Serve with butter-toasted pav buns or with Crisy dosas! They were wonderful!


14 comments on “The lonely baaji

  1. Aha! How many times this has happened to us! You aren’t alone. Very often, I’ve bought things to make something special or assumed some of the ingredients are at home, and they never are! I have a packet of white powder which, after many years of it lying in the shelf, I’ve decided, is baking soda and not baking powder. I’ve scoured the Net for tips on how to determine what it is but I haven’t found an answer. In any case, my baking days are far behind and I think I even threw it out.

    Paav Bhaaji is a favourite snack of mine but I don’t eat it often. I love the butter-toasted crisping bread, it’s heavenly!

  2. Love pav bhaji any day:-) This recipe is really nice

  3. Nirmala, the story of our lives 🙂 I have visited stores to buy a specific item and come back without that one thing but several others because of the distraction caused by our dear offsprings.

    I love the idea of pav bhaji masala with dosais. I almost always never add the powder, yes like you said the smell is a little too strong. I add chicken masala powder instead and it works.

  4. Pav Bhaaji is my fav street food, well now I make it at home though. Have been using Nupur’s recipe mostly. If I can get the pav shaped buns in the regular store here, I use that or just any loaf of bread. Crispy dosa’s sound great though, masala dosa for sure 🙂 Infact I think I saw this combo at a hotel in Hyd.

  5. I hate it when that happens, I too miss some essential ingredients all the time, and it is very annoying to find it out half way through. Since some innovative dishes are born that way, we shouldn’t complain right? Now, about this paav bhaji, I am one of those weird desis who don’t like paav bhaji 🙂 I know, what a shame! I recently realized that it is the paav that I really dont like, I am okay with bhaji, so it is a great idea to serve that with dosa. 🙂

  6. You are sweet to share that story with us. The combo sounds interesting.

  7. Paav Bhaji looks so inviting! Never thought of trying it… Putting on my to-do list… Nice blog you got here!


  8. Hi Nirmala, I haven’t used green pepper in pav bajji but yours looks delicious — I will try next time. Loved the market story — what happens when little ones disctract us! 🙂

    Best wishes,

  9. yes. that’s the way to eat ‘pav’ bhaji. if you put even a shoe inside a crisp dosa, i may eat it. today jai made dosas after nearly six months on the cast iron pan. they were sooo crisp and delicious.

  10. I also always put green pepper (1 small), in my bhaji. It gives a very nice flavor.
    Haven’t tried having bhaji with dosa though.

  11. I try to make a list, but often fail and come back forgetting half of the things. The pleasure to have a store to run out to is sorely missed

    Loved your idea of bhaji with dosa, only someone has to make it for me 🙂

  12. Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

  13. Thank you for the receipe. Please post them in http://www.newspaanai.com and invite more readers to your blog. It is a tamil social bookmarking website and it has a separate receipecorner for receipes. For easy posting of your articles with once click of a button please visit http://www.newspaanai.com/easylink.php

  14. Nirmala..I missed reading ur blog all these days..My wishes to ur kids and amma.

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