Tava Pulao with Leftover Rice

I hadn’t heard about or tasted tava pulao until about few years ago when I was in Bangalore. I saw the item on the menu of a vegetarian restaurant in a food court and was very curious to try it out. And when I did, it was love at first bite! On researching a little about that preparation, I learnt that this amazingly tasty and filling dish was made popular by street-side pav bhaji vendors in Mumbai; they would use the leftover bhaji and some rice to make this superb-tasting pulao. It is typically prepared in the same tava that pav bhaji is made. Clever, eh? You don’t have to travel all the way to Mumbai for this delish dish, read on to find out how you can make this at home.


  • Leftover rice – 3 cups
  • Onion – 1(large) finely chopped
  • Red chilli paste – 3 tspns (reduce or increase the quantity based on your tolerance for heat)
  • Garlic paste – 1 tspn
  • Capsicum – 1 finely chopped
  • Tomato – 1 finely chopped
  • Frozen Peas – 1 cup
  • Butter – 1 1/2 tblspns
  • Pav bhaji masala – 3 tspns (heaped)
  • Chilli powder (optional) – 1 tspn
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tspn
  • Salt – To Taste
  • Coriander leaves – To garnish


  1. Fork out cold rice to fluff it up a little and keep aside.
  2. Heat butter in a kadai on medium-low.
  3. Add the chilli paste and keep pressing it into the butter.
  4. After the fat seperates, add the garlic paste, mix it with the chilli paste and cook for 1 minute or till the raw smell of garlic leaves.
  5. Turn the heat to medium-high, add the onions and cook them till the onions turn pink.
  6. Now, add the capsicum and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Make sure the capsicum does not become too soft in the process.
  8. Add the tomatoes and give it a stir.
  9. Use a pav bhaji masher and mash the mixture well.
  10. Combine the mixture with the dry spices and salt and keep mashing.
  11. Do so till the tomatoes are cooked completely.
  12. Slowly mix the rice and frozen peas.
  13. Give the rice and vegetable gravy a good mix.
  14. Turn the flame to medium and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  15. Garnish with coriander and serve.


  1. Cheese is a good add on for the dish. Before garnishing it with coriander, add grated cheddar cheese and mix the rice.
  2. The bhaji tastes best when cooked with butter; however, you could use oil if you have dietary constraints. But the taste may vary

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