Easy Lowfat Pav Bhajji and Grape-Avocado Chaat

happy shortcut for easy pav bhajji

Sometimes you stumble upon a happy shortcut that makes cooking so simple, it’s ridiculous. This “cheater’s version” of pav bhajji using a can of soup is a go-to recipe for me whenever I’m short on time. I always have the ingredients handy!

You can use frozen and/or canned veggies. Canned potatoes work particularly well for this dish. I know most recipes call for peas — if I’m weight-watching (err, always, all ways!) I usually leave them out in favor of more green beans or another less starchy veg. The soup has a few peas, as well as corn which adds an interesting little crunch to the mashed mix.

This is my weight-watcher’s dream dish — big on flavor and low in fat.
Of course, one teeny pat of butter on top never hurt anyone… πŸ˜‰

Easy Lowfat Pav Bhajji
makes a BIG batch!

In a large frying pan, heat 1 tsp canola oil over medium heat.

When hot, add:

1/2 c chopped onion (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp each ginger and garlic paste

Saute for several minutes, then add:

1 can sliced potatoes
1 16oz pkg frozen cauliflower
1 c frozen green beans

1/2 c frozen or fresh carrots
1/2 c frozen peas

Reduce heat to med-low, cover and cook about 10-15 minutes, until frozen veggies are no longer hard. Then stir in:

1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 heaping TB pav bhajji masala (I like MDH)

Mix well to blend spices, then add:

1 can Progresso Vegetarian Vegetable Soup
(rinse the bottom of the can with 1/2 c of water and dump that into the pan too)

Give it all a good few turns with a wooden spoon, then raise heat to medium, cover, and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. At this point the veggies should be soft — mash everything with a potato masher and continue to cook another 5-10 minutes, until the bhajji has thickened and smells deeeeeeelicious. Taste and add a little more masala if needed. Add salt at the very last — the soup is salty so it may not need any extra.

easy, lowfat pav bhajji with oat bran pita on ‘spiral’ by Hocking glass, circa 1928

Serve with Joseph’s oat bran pitas for a ww treat — or with toasty buttery bread a la dear Nupur, if you want to indulge!

here is the bhajji in a depression glass sherbet cup ~ the pattern is called ‘parrot’ or ‘sylvan’ by Federal glass, circa 1930 ~ if you look closely you can see the two parrots πŸ™‚


I also tossed this little chaat together with cubed avocado, halved grapes, a little yogurt mixed with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar, and some spicy boondi. After I took its photo I realised the dish was a pattern called ‘tea room’ — ha! πŸ˜‰

grape and avocado chaat in a ‘tea room’ bowl by Indiana glass, circa 1926


  1. Aparna said

    Love this twist on pav bhaji.
    Your glass ware is most interestingly named. You have quite a collection, it seems.

    Thanks Aparna — collecting depresison-era glass is another of my wild and crazy hobbies πŸ™‚

  2. trupti said

    I haven’t been here in AGES….how are you, lady???? I love your shortcut….wow…now thats what I call being creative!

    will be back….


    I call it lazy, Trupti πŸ˜‰

    Great to see you!!

  3. Nupur said

    OK that is seriously innovative, Linda!

    I wish I knew your clever recipe a few months ago….a friend left town and I “inherited” her pantry supplies, and there were so many cans of this soup. I gave them away because I really don’t enjoy the taste. I could have converted them to this fantastic pav bhaji!!

    I don’t love it alone either, Nupur; it tastes much better spiced up πŸ˜‰

  4. Bong Mom said

    You sure have imagination. I could never think soup & pav bhaji in the same sentence. Great idea !!!

    Congrats to the kids, did the daughter get her license ?

    Just gobbling up any shortcut I can find, these days! No license yet — this is just the classroom portion. She’s working at camp so the road lessons will have to come in a couple of months. A few more worry-free weeks for mom πŸ˜‰

    Hope you’re enjoying the summer!

  5. indosungod said

    Pav Bhaji Wa Linda! that sure is creative. Only you can come up with something so delicious with a can of soup.

    The Maple syrups have been handed over and the recipients enjoying them. Will be off to meet ammayee next week.

    Nice surprise to see you here this morning, ISG! Loved reading about your adventures on DM — look forward to lots more stories and pics. I’m sure my shortcut with soup can’t hold a candle to all the great home-cooking with the home-folks πŸ™‚

  6. Shyam said

    Niiiice! πŸ™‚ I love your beautiful crockery, by the way, Linda. Uh – is it just china that’s called crockery or does glassware also come under that classification? I’se ignorant, as you can see πŸ™‚

    I’se not believing you’re ignorant for one moment, Shyam! I *think* crockery is just for china/pottery etc, while glassware is another animal. Either way, I’m really glad to see you! πŸ™‚

  7. Rakhee said

    I admire the way you put across this dish, love your glass ware, love your writing style, love your pics and I love your current shortcut!!!!!! Please go thru my site if you hav time as its my maiden attempt in the food blogging world. Comments and criticism duly welcome and I hav added your blog in my blog roll !

    Love, BF Raks

    Hi Rakhee, thanks for visiting and thanks for all your kind words! Your blog looks great — I see lots of tasty recipes to try there. Have lots of fun with it! πŸ™‚

  8. Usha said

    This is such a creative and fantastic idea, I would have never thought to use soup in pav bhajji …looks inviting !

    Thanks Usha — it does make a handy shortcut for workdays especially! πŸ™‚

  9. Vani said

    Very creative there, Linda! Love the pav bhaji and the chaat too.

    Thank you, Vani! Hope all’s well with you πŸ™‚

  10. ann said

    Everything sounds too delish to miss! I love the presentation:)

    Thank you, Ann! πŸ™‚

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