A Healthier Version of Pav Bhaji (A Popular Indian “Chili”)

There is this DELICIOUS Indian street food called Pav Bhaji that is basically a buttery, mixed vegetable “chili” with Indian spices. Indians enjoy this dish literally on a daily basis because it is easy, filling, and delicious! I personally love it – I cannot even describe how savory the dish is because of the authentic blend of spices, but sadly, it is also filled with butter and oil. Hence, my mom and I decided to experiment and create a healthier version to this yummy dish for dinner today. And, we were sneaky and included hearty quinoa grains into the recipe – you can’t even see or taste them – to make our own broth for the dish instead of using high-sodium, store-bought broths. With such amazing differences to the typical recipe, you are going to reap so many benefits from eating this dish because of the complete protein, fiber, and whole grain carbohydrates! Our unique take to Pav Bhaji is high in magnesium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A & B6 & C, potassium, and dietary fiber. Moreover, it has no cholesterol and is both low-sodium and low-sugar! You really don’t get that from your typical pav bhaji dish whether it’s from a street vendor or from an Indian restaurant! This popular dish is enjoyed simply alone, with some bread, or some rice. The texture of pav bhaji is like chili, but our recipe was a little bit thicker because of the quinoa so I would say it is almost in between chili and porridge. My little sister, who is very picky when it comes to eating, ate her entire bowl without complaining about no butter or a quinoa-y taste, which was pretty outstanding. Let me know how you like it!


The Recipe

Yields 3 – 4 Servings

1 cup quinoa, cooked

1 large bell pepper (preferably yellow, red, or orange so you get the color of pav bhaji)

8 large mushrooms, diced

1 large zucchini, diced

1 1/4 cup edamame, shelled

1/2 cup parsley leaves

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 bunch kale leaves (~ 1 cup chopped)

1 1/2 tbsp pav bhaji masala (*)

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp hing powder (optional)


* If you don’t have pav bhaji masala on hand, you can make it quickly by mixing the following spices together (you can add or remove depending on your taste too): black pepper, cardamom powder, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, coriander, cumin powder, ginger powder, dry mango, fennel, and turmeric powder. Pav bhaji masala can be found at your local supermarket or easily at a local Indian supermarket – they come in small packets like to the left.




1. Cut up all the vegetables and wash carefully.

2. Blend the cooked quinoa and the bell pepper together with a little water to make the broth.

3. In a big pot, place the edamame, the blended broth, and all of the spices. Let the broth simmer for about 5 minutes so the spices integrate into the entire dish evenly.

4. Throw in all of the other vegetables and cook for about 10 – 15 minutes till the vegetables are fully cooked.

5. Serve warm with some rice or bread!


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