Tawa Pulao is a famous Mumbai street food Rice dish prepared with vegetables and cooked rice sauteed in Pav Bhaji Masala.
Tawa Pulao is a rice pilaf prepared on a big flat cast iron pan. Hence, the name. This recipe was created on the streets of Mumbai. Now, we all know pav bhaji needs no introduction. And this delicious pulao is created with Pav Bhaji's s special masala.
What is Tawa Pulao?
This vegetarian pulao/ pilaf recipe is made using a mix of vegetables, cooked rice, and bhaji pav spice mix. This spice mix is available online and at any Indian store. Cooked in a generous amount of butter, this pulao is traditionally made on a Tawa. Tawa is a large flat cast iron pan, hence the name. I like to cook mixed vegetables with spices so they absorb all the flavors beautifully. At the end cooked rice is added to the prepared masala, mixed well and garnished with lots of cilantro, and finished with a squeeze of lime juice.
Can we make this recipe Vegan?
Yes, absolutely. I use a mix of peanut oil and butter for this recipe. I highly recommend swapping the butter with vegan butter. The luscious buttery taste of this pulao makes it absolutely scrumptious.
Ingredients to Make Tawa Pulao
- Cooked Rice - The best pulao happens when perfectly fluffed rice is mixed into a delicious masala, tossed gently, and let absorb all the flavors. We will be using Long-Grained Basmati Rice for this recipe. Cooked rice ensures, that your pulao turns out fluffy instead of mushy.
- Vegetables - We make a delicious masala with onions, garlic, and tomatoes tossed in oil and cooked with spices. Then we add our vegetables like green bell pepper, carrots, potatoes, and green peas. These vegetables are then simmered in this masala until cooked. This way, the vegetables absorb the flavors of the spices and make this rice so scrumptious.
- Aromatics - Minced garlic and finely chopped green chilies hit the spice and flavors perfectly in this rice recipe. The garlic adds a delicious buttery and nutty flavor to the pulao with a kick.
- Spices - I like to only use pav bhaji masala, red chili powder, and salt for this recipe
- Garnishes - Cilantro is your best friend to garnish this recipe, and if you want to take it up a notch, you can also garnish it with some freshly grated paneer.
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- 2 Heavy Bottom Frying Pan
- 1 Spatula
For Cooking Rice
- 2 Cups Long Grained Basmati Rice
- 4 Cups Water
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Peanut Oil
For Tawa Pulao Masala
- 1 Tbsp Peanut Oil
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1.5 Tbsp Garlic Minced
- 1-2 Thai Green Chilies Finely Chopped
- 1 Cup Onions Finely Chopped
- 1.5 Cups Tomatoes Finely Chopped
- 1 Cup Potatoes Diced
- 1/3 Cup Carrots Diced
- 1/3 Cup Green Bell Peppers Diced
- 1/2 Cup Fresh/ Frozen Green Peas
- 1.5 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
- 2 Tsp Pav Bhaji Masala
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Water
- 3 Tbsp Cilantro Finely Chopped
- 1 Tsp Lemon/ Lime Juice
For Cooking Rice
- Wash and soak 2 Cups of Long Grain Basmati Rice for 10 minutes.
- Drain the water from the rice after 10 minutes.
- Place a heavy bottom pot on the stove on high flame. Add oil, and add rice. Sauté rice for a minute or until fragrant.
- Now add 4 cups of hot water to the pot. Add salt and stir well.
- Cook the rice for 5 mins on high. And then on medium flame for 10 more minutes.
- Once the rice has absorbed alomst all the water, cover and cook the rice for another 5 minutes. Once the rice is cooked, let it cook down completely and fluff the rice with a fork.
For Tawa Pulao Masala
- Now while your rice is cooking, you begin prepping the vegetables. To make your work faster I recemmend you to use a food chopped to chop all the vegetabls.
- Once the veggies are ready and rice is cooked, begin to make the masala.
- In a heavy bottom frying pan add oil and butter. Once the butter melts add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
- Add minced finely chopped thai green chilies, minced garlic, finely chopped onions and pinch of salt. Cook the onions and garlic on medium flame, until onion softens.
- Once the onions soften, add finely chopped tomatoes. Let them cook until they are mushy. Keep stiring to make sure nothing sticks to the pan. Splash little water if you need to deglaze the pan.
- Once the tomatoes are mushy, add all the chopped vegetables. To this add red chili powder and pav bhaji masala along with salt. Mix everything well.
- Add 1 Cup of hot water, cover and let the veggies cook until well done on medium flame.
- Once the veggies are cooked,let the masala simmer on low flame.
- By now your cooked rice should be cool and ready.
- Gently add the cooked rice to the masala little at a time, giving it a mix.
- Make sure you mix it gently so the rice doesn't break
- Finish off with adding squeeze of lime juice, and garnishing with lots of finely chopped cilantro.
- Serve hot with side of your favorite raita, papad and pickle.
- Make sure to not mix rice, when the rice is still hot. This can make your pulao mushy.
- Gently mix the rice into the tawa pulao masala so you don't break the rice
- Cook the rice as per instructions or you can also use leftover cooked rice for this recipe.
- I highly recommend using long-grained Basmati Rice for this recipe.
- Use a good quality pav bhaji masala. I like the Everest brand. You can easily find it at any Indian Grocery Store or online.
- You can add any vegetables of your choice.
- To Make it Vegan, use Vegan butter
- To make it healthier, you can use quinoa instead of rice.