Streetfood Stories: Pav Bhaji – the original working lunch


The streetfood of India has a history almost as rich and diverse as the country itself. In Streetfood Stories we reveal the tales behind some of our popular dishes. 

The ideal food on the move

The ideal food on the move

Indian food is renowned world-wide for its innovations, and in the Pav Bahji it has a good claim for being the origin of fast food.

This spicy blend of vegetables in tomato gravy served with pav (a small bun) cooked in butter is designed for the busy worker who is short on time but doesn’t want to shortcut flavour.

It began as a snack for textile mill workers in Mumbai in the 1850s. Mill workers’ lunch breaks were too short for a full meal, and the heavy workload meant most wanted a light lunch.

An enterprising street food vendor near one of the mills came up with this dish by combining other dishes on the menu. Using bread instead of roti or rice sped things up, while the rest of the dish was made with parts of whatever other dishes the chef had ready.

It proved so popular that it soon made its way onto the menu of other street vendors, and then into restaurants all over Mumbai and eventually the rest of the country.

These days our Pav Bhaji is made with a little more care and attention Рbut it retains its popular appeal and is an ideal lunchtime snack for those who like their food fast and delicious.

  1. Wow we are looking forward this kind of food in uk .thanks

  2. Wow we are looking forward this kind of food in uk .thanks


Leave a Reply