By Ambika Niranjan  on: 05 April 2020
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Pav Bhaji is a delicious street food and many might be missing it during the quarantine period. Even if one wants to cook it at home, the scarcity and unavailability of vegetables would not make it possible.

So, for all the pav bhaji lovers out there, sharing a quick recipe below of the bhaji that does not require vegetables and is also healthy, rich in protein, and also very delicious.


Pressure cooked pigeon pea (arhar dal) - 2 cups

Tomato cut or puree - 1/2 cup

Onion - 1 medium

Potato boiled - 2 medium

Capsicum - 1 medium

Pav bhaji masala - 3 tsp

Cumin seeds - 2 tsp

Dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) - 2 tsp

oil/ghee/butter - 2 tsp

Salt - as per taste


In a pan, add the ghee or butter, add cumin seeds, 1 tsp pav bhaji masala (this will make sure the flavours are enhanced even when all the ingredients are missing).

Now, add the finely chopped onion and capsicum and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the onions turn translucent.

Add the cut tomato or puree, boiled chopped potato, cooked lentil and also any other vegetables chopped and boiled if available (carrot, beetroot, green peas). Cook them for about 5 minutes and all the spices salt, chilli powder, 2tsp pav bhaji masala, dried fenugreek leaves,  and cook until week done.

Now, mash them all with the help of a masher and cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are well combined.  The bhaji is ready to be served.

You can relish this with pav, bread, or even roti or rice and live your old memories of eating the street food at your own place, delicious and yet a healthy one.

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26 March 2020
The outbreak of COVID-19 and sudden lockdown around has restricted our movement to places. During this period, storing the non-perishable items is way easier, but the concern is about storing the perishable food items like fruits and vegetables. Travelling often outdoors may lead to the risk of virus attack whereas, staying indoors may lead to lack of vegetables after certain duration. Though frozen vegetables are easily available at some stores, during the lockdown period this option is ruled out. So, to avoid such situations, I will sharing a few ways in which certain vegetables can be stored. 1. Green Peas - Green peas is a highly fibrous vegetable which is also high in vegetarian protein and loaded with Vitamins and Minerals. So, a very good method to store them for longer is, peal and collect the pods, make sure that no rotten pods are in. Immediately transfer them into a ziplock bag or air - tight container and freeze. These last good at least for 6 months. 2. Spinach - Clean the spinach and then blanch (add in hot water for about 30 seconds) and then immediately into cold water. Leave the spinach in cold water for about 2 minutes. Next, strain the leaves completely, and then blend them into a month paste and juice half a lemon into it and blend again. Transfer this puree into an air-tight plastic or glass jar. This puree will last in the refrigerator for about a week and in the freezer for about 3-4 weeks. 3. Corn - take the peeled corn kernels and add them into an air-tight container or zip lock bag    immediately and store in the freezer. In the freezer, these will last for about 4 months. Apart from adding to the vegetables, these can also served as a snack by boiling up and spicing them as per requirements. 4. Tomato - Tomato is a very essential ingredient in Indian cooking but also comes with a shorter shelf life. They can be easily stored for months by using the method below. Wash the tomatoes thoroughly and make a criss-cross pattern cut using a knife at the top portion. Boil water in pan and add the tomatoes in it and boil for about 10 minutes. Now, peel the skin of the tomatoes and upon cooling, blend them into a puree. Transfer this puree into a air-tight glass or plastic jar and freeze store it. This puree will last for about 4 weeks. 5. Green beans - Clean the green beans by cutting their stem from both ends. Wash the beans thoroughly and then spread them on a sheet or cloth and dry them completely. They need to be dries to make sure no water droplets or moisture is left. Now, cut them into small pieces and add them into a zip lock bag and freeze immediately. These beans can be stored for about 4 weeks. While cooking them, take out the desired amount of beans, add them into hot water for about 2 minutes and they are ready to use. 6. Green leaves - clean the leaves by cutting the end part of their stem. Make sure no moist or rotten rotten leaves are present  in it. Take a kitchen tissue towel and roll these leaves in the towel. Now place these leaves into a refrigeration container and store in the refrigerator. These will last for about 2 weeks minimum depending upon the amount of moisture present. This way, coriander leaves, curry leaves, fenugreek leaves and other green leaves can also be stored. 7. Cauliflower - There are two ways in which cauliflower can be stored. The rice form and the florets form. Both have their own convenient ways of being used. Cauliflower rice method - Chop the cauliflower well and rinse them under running water and drain. Now, add these florets into a food processor or mixer grinder and grind them until rice grain like consistency. Add this into a zip lock bag and freeze. These last for about 6 months. While cooking, take the required amount into a bowl and microwave for 1 minute or pan cook in a tsp of oil for 1 minute. Cauliflower florets method - Cut the cauliflower into florets and wash thoroughly under running water. Dry them completely and spread on a plate or tray and freeze the plate for about an hour. Now, collect the frozen florets, add them into a zip lock bag and store in the freezer. 8. Potatoes - Though have a longer shelf life, they also loose their texture and moisten in sometime due to the starch present in them. To preserve them for longer, wash the potatoes, peel them, and cut them into desired shape and size. Now, blanch them in boiling water for 1 minutes. The time depends upon the size and shape of the potatoes. Now, add them into ice cold water, and then drain the water completely by spreading on a sheet or tray.Pat dry them to make sure no moisture is left. Ones they are dried, freeze the tray for 1 hour, and then collect the frozen potato pieces and freeze them into a zip lock bag. 9. Pumpkin - Pumpkin is a very nutritious and high in fibre vegetable. To store it for longer, cut the pumpkin and peel the skin. De-seed and cut the slices into cubes. Now, add the cubes into a zip lock bag and freeze. These can be stored for upto 3 months. 10. Okra or bhindi - wash the okra thoroughly under running water and then in a pot filled with water and 2 tbsp vinegar and leave for about 15 minutes. This process will make sure all the chemicals and pesticides are washed off. Now, dry the okra thoroughly by spreading on a sheet or tray. Ones dried, cut them into small pieces to assure no insects are left behind. Now, spread these on a tray and freeze the tray for an hour. Then, collect the frozen okra pieces, add into a zip lock bag and freeze. These last for about 3 months depending upon the amount of moisture left out. Though there are ways to store vegetables, rationale in usage needs to be maintained to ensure no wastage is done. STAY HOME TO STAY SAFE!!!
QUARANTINE PULAO RECIPE - Minimal vegetables onepot meal
05 April 2020
Pulao is a one pot meal every part of the country enjoys and some parts of the world too. But, due to the lockdown and scarcity of the variety of vegetables makes it next to impossible to enjoy this dish. So, below is a recipe of a yummy, healthy and tasty pulao which has two vegetables that have a longer shelf-life and can be freezed very easily.   Ingredients: Oil - 2 tsp Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds - 1 tsp Curry leaves - 1 sprig (optional) Peanuts - 3 tbsp Green chillies - 2 slit (optional) Potatoes - 2 medium (cut into wedges) Green peas - 1/4 cup Salt - as per taste Turmeric powder - 1 tsp Vegetable masala/garam masala - 1 tsp Basmati rice - 1 cup (soaked for 30 minutes)   Procedure: In a pressure cooker, add oil, ones it’s hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, peanuts, fry them for a minute. Now, add the turmeric powder, green chilli, potatoes, green peas, rice, salt, vegetable masala. Next add 1 cup water (equal to the amount of rice taken), cover and cook for one whistle. Let the pressure release on it’s own and the pulao is ready to be savoured. This is a dish which does not even need any raita, dal or any sides to be complete with. This dish is a complete and tasty meal in itself.
Ambika Niranjan

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Nutritionist / Dietitian in Sec 119, Noida, India 

You become what you eat... It is always 80% food and 20% exercise... Don't starve to be healthy, rather eat healthy to be healthy.... These are some of the fitness mantras which prove to be so very true. For someone who was obese to 95kgs at the age of 21 to a person who has been on a rough roller coaster to achieve the ideal weight and the best shape with a naturally radiant and glowing skin.My journey to fight my obesity issues forced me to learn more and transform myself into a completely new and energetic me overloaded with confidence.I have completed M.Sc and Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) in Alternative Medicine with Diet and Nutrition as one of the major subjects and also Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Nutrition in Clinical nutrition and DietiticsA nutritionist by profession and passion, I am always available for my clients through the best communication system possible to help them overcome their health issues, a stronger, energetic, confident and healtheir you full of positivity. Expertise in obesity, PCOD, PCOS, post pregnancy weight loss, thyroid, Diabetes Management and all the other disorders arising due to nutrition issues. You hire me as your nutritionist and I'll ensure that you reach your goals. I am also an expertise in online consultation available through skype or any other mode of communication, so that I can consult people at any places. 
Ambika Niranjan
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