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Tawa pulao in a skillet with a wooden spatula

Tawa Pulao

Shweta Arora
Tawa Pulao is popular Mumbai street food made of rice and vegetables cooked in spicy pav bhaji masala. It is a quick, complete, and flavorful meal served with raita. Vegetarian and gluten-free.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 2 tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds zeera
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 3 tomatoes finely chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper chopped
  • ¼ cup carrots chopped and boiled
  • ¼ cup green beans chopped and boiled
  • ¼ cup green peas fresh or frozen, and boiled
  • ¼ cup corn kernels fresh or frozen, and boiled
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder adjust to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Pav Bhaji Masala adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 3 cups cooked rice approx 1 cup uncooked
  • handful coriander (cilantro) leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice adjust to taste


  • In a pan, heat butter and once melted add the cumin seeds, allow them to splutter, and then add the onions and saute for a minute or two.
  • Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and mix well. Cook till onion are translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes followed by salt and pepper. Mix well, cover and cook till the tomatoes are soft and juicy. Stir intermittently.
  • To this add the red and green bell pepper and cook for a min. These taste best when they still have some crunch so don't cook them fully.
  • Stir in the spices - Pav bhaji masala and red chili powder. Give it a good mix and cook for another minute for the masala to cook.
  • Add the boiled veggies like green peas, corn, carrot, and beans. Mix well and cook for a minute allowing these veggies to soak the masala.
  • Stir in the cooked rice. Mix well so that everything gets well incorporated.
  • Finally, add the lemon juice and coriander leaves and give it a final stir.
  • Delicious spicy veg Tawa Pulao is ready! Serve warm with some chilled Onion Raita.


  • Leftover rice works best for this recipe. If making fresh rice, cool it slightly and then add to prevent it from breaking.
  • Use veggies of choice. Cauliflower florets and boiled potatoes work great in addition to the veggies mentioned.
  • Along with pav bhaji masala, I prefer Kashmiri red chilli powder as it gives good color and is not that spicy. But regular red chili powder can also be used.
  • Instead of white rice, brown rice can be used.
  • To Boil veggies: Add veggies, water, and some salt in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave or 2-3 minutes or until the veggies are ¾th cooked. Drain the liquid. This can also be done on the stovetop.
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