Why is the Tawa Pulav so famous ? If you know, you know. But if you don’t you need to try this recipe.

We haven’t been able to post regularly on this website lately. We’re going through some changes in the household. Haha, getting a second dog was a good but a tiring decision. And since they are not really friends yet, we have to be extra careful with them. And that pretty much takes up all of my time. But, but. Even with all that, I was able to make this pulav because it is that easy. We are all big fans of watching food videos, yes. And I came across this dish on YouTube by Your Food Lab channel. I immediately knew I had to make this because the last time I had tawa pulav, it was nearly a year ago. So much time has passed in this quarantined period, that I have almost forgotten what it is like to eat out. Especially famous street foods.

Anyway, for those of you who aren’t super familiar with this dish, tawa pulav is extremely famous in Mumbai. Mainly with street food vendors, who make this on the same tawa that is used to cook pav bhaji’s bhaji. So this is essentially rice flavoured with the bhaji. But since we are starting fresh, we’ll be using store bought pav bhaji masala. It’s quick and easy. And after eating this, I felt like I was transported to Mumbai haha.

Do check out my other recipes like this great banana halwa that we finished in less than half hour.

Mumbai Tawa Pulav

Traditionally made with rice mixed in the tawa containing left over bhaji (pav bhaji), this is a simplified version of the rice that can be made with ingredients available at home.
Prep Time10 mins
Active Time20 mins
Resting Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian, Street Food
Keyword: How to make tawa pulav ?
Yield: 5 People


For the rice

  • 1.5 Cups Long grain white rice Basmati Rice
  • 1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1/2 Cup Corn

For the Chilli Garlic Paste

  • 8-10 Nos Long stemmed dried kashmiri chillies
  • 8-10 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Black Salt
  • 1 Tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 Cup Hot water

For the vegetable mix

  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Onion Medium sized, Chopped into long pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cabbage
  • 1 Capsicum Medium sized, diced
  • 2 Tomatoes Medium sized, diced
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 Tbsp Pav Bhaji Masala
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Coriander Optional, for garnish
  • Butter Optional, for garnish
  • Grated cheese Optional, for garnish


For the Chilli-Garlic Paste

  • Deseed the dried chillies.
  • Soak them in hot water for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, transfer the red chillies to a blender. Save the water for later use.
  • Add the other ingredients (spice powders, garlic) and 4 tbsps of the water we soaked the chillies in.
  • Grind to a smooth paste.

For the rice

  • Take the given amount of rice, wash and drain the rice and keep it aside.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, take 3 cups of water and add corn and turmeric powder.
  • Add the drained rice, and let the water come to a boil.
  • Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the flame and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until water evaporates fully.

For making the vegetable mix

  • In a kadai, heat oil and butter together.
  • Add cumin seeds.
  • Add the onions and saute them for 2 minutes.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste, and saute until onions turn brown.
  • Add the ground chilli garlic paste, and saute until oil starts to separate from the sides.
  • Add capsicums and mix well.
  • Add cabbage and mix well.
  • Add tomatoes, and cook until the vegetables soften. This will take around 5-7 minutes.
  • Lastly, add salt, pav bhaji masala, and garam masala and mix well.

For mixing the rice and vegetables

  • If you are going to serve it immediately, add the rice to the vegetable mix as soon as you are done adding the spices in the last mentioned step. However if you are going to be serving it a little later, you can do what I did. Heat a cast iron skillet on the stove.
  • Add 1 teaspoon butter, and the cooked vegetable mix.
  • Add the boiled rice, and mix well.
  • Lastly, add lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot with the suggested garnishes or any garnish of your choice.


  1. Traditionally peas are used in the recipe, I did not have any at hand so I used corns. If you want you can use peas in place of corn. 

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