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Pav Bhaji (or Indian Spiced Vegetarian Sloppy Joes) served on a wooden cutting board with a wheat bun
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5 from 6 votes

Pav Bhaji (or Indian Spiced Vegetarian Sloppy Joes)

This Pav Bhaji is the perfect Indian inspired street food, but it has a healthy and nutritional twist that is insanely good. Munching on this Indian spiced vegetarian sloppy joe style sandwich will keep the entire family happy and makes for an easy dinner idea. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Vegan
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 340kcal
Author: Anjali Shah



  • Put the red lentils and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are softened, about 15 minutes.
  • Cook the cauliflower, mixed vegetables, zucchini and potatoes in water until soft. When they’re soft, mash the vegetables well, in the liquid. Stir in the cooked lentils.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes and cook until the onions have browned and the tomatoes start to break down (about 5-10 minutes)
  • Stir in the turmeric, Pav Bhaji masala and garam masala, cook for 30 more seconds.
  • Add the mashed vegetables/lentil mixture, salt, and cayenne pepper to taste (if using). Cook on low for about 20 minutes.
  • Serve with sprouted wheat burger buns, sloppy joe style!




Top Tips for Making Pav Bhaji
  • Cook the red lentils until they are completely softened so they blend with the potatoes well and absorb all of the spices. To increase the protein in this dish, double the amount of lentils (note: you'll also have to add more spices to taste to account for the increase in lentils)
  • Use a potato masher or a fork to get this pav bhaji into a chunky consistency. Do not blend it into a puree! 
  • Feel free to switch up the veggies with anything you have on hand in your fridge! 
  • Top your pav bhaji with chopped cilantro, diced red onions, crushed cashews, diced tomatoes, or a bit of lemon or lime juice for added flavor.
  • To make this gluten free, use a gluten free bun.  
  • To make this spicer, add more pav bhaji masala, cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper.
  • To store, place the pav bhaji in an airtight container and put it in the fridge. It will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge. This recipe is also freezer friendly, and will keep in the freezer (stored in an airtight, freezer safe container) for up to 3 months.
  • To make this in the instant pot, just add all of the ingredients + 2 cups of water to the instant pot and pressure cook on high pressure for 15 minutes, natural release. When cooking in the instant pot, to avoid the "burn" error, and add the water first, then the rest of the ingredients (do not stir), and then close the lid.
This recipe makes 10 servings. 1 serving = 1/10th of the mixture + 1 sprouted wheat burger bun.


Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 66.2g | Protein: 18.8g | Fat: 2.7g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 496.2mg | Fiber: 17.9g | Sugar: 1.7g