Tawa pulao recipe – Bombay street food- How to make Tawa pulao bbay street food

  • Prep Time : 12m
  • Cook Time : 7m
  • Ready In : 25m

When I worked in Mumbai, I was lucky enough to have my office near Khau Galli- which literally means- Food Lane, a place that answered the call of all those hungry souls whether  office-goers, tourists or shoppers. In fact Khau Galli is so famous, visitors used to go specially to see what it is and eat there.

Khau Galli, a foodie heaven, had an amazing variety of food to offer- right from panipuri and chats, juice, sandwiches to paobhaji- the works.

On Saturdays, when we went in to work, lunch was always at Khau Galli.

The Paobhaji stall was most crowded, where people jostled to get through to the vendor and place their order for some steaming hot food. But not everyone was interested in paobhaji. On side of the huge tawa filled with steaming hot paobhaji, would be a pile of already cooked Pulao- and no ordinary pulao it was- not the mild saffron rice meant to appease you. Here was redhot, spicy pulao that did make you reach out for the raita and a glass of water- but boy was it good?

Reminiscing about Bombay made me crave street food, so today I made some Tawa Pulao -spicy hot. Did I mention that it is full of veggies? Yes, it is choc-a-bloc full of veggies- a star studded pulao indeed.

And why do Paobhaji vendors sell them? Because, you know, unlike normal pulaos this one is made with Paobhaji masala and a sprinkling of lemon juice- just takes the pulao to a different level.

Try it!



  • Basmati Rice - 1 cup
  • Onion finely chopped - 1 cup heaped
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Tomato - 3/4 cup chopped
  • Capsicum - 1/2 cup chopped
  • Boiled Peas - 1/3 cup
  • Boiled potatoes - 1/3 cup or 1 medium sized potato
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Red Chilli paste/ powder (optional) - 1/2 tsp
  • Pav Bhaji masala - 2 tsp
  • Lemon juice- 1-2 tsp
  • For the tempering:
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  • Butter - 1 tbsp Butter - 1 tbsp Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves- to garnish


Step 1

Chop onions, tomatoes, capsicum & pepper.

Step 2

Boil peas with little salt or microwave for 1-2 minutes till soft. Boil and cube potato.

Step 3

To make chilli paste: Soak 8-10 red chillies in hot water for 1 hours after removing the seeds & grind to a smooth paste.

Step 4

Cook basmati rice with 2 cups of water and cool. Alternatively use leftover rice.

Step 5

Heat oil & butter in a kadai/wok , add cumin seeds, when it splutters, add finely chopped onions and saute until onions turn light brown.


6. Add in the ginger garlic paste and fry for 1 minute. Ad din the chopped capsicum ( peppers) I have used red peppers, but you could use whichever colour you have at hand.

7. Add in the tomatoes, add salt. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes till everything is soft and mushy.


8. Add in the green peas( blanched or microwaved) and add in the potatoes. Mix well.


9. Add paobhaji masala. Mix well. Ensure the masala coats everything.


10. Now add in the cooked rice.

Please ensure that the rice is room temperature/ cold as  warm/hot rice will break as soon a you try to stir it.

11. Mix in the lemon juice, it balances the taste and serve hot. Don’t forget to serve with yoghurt or raita. This pulao is fiery hot!


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