Indian cuisine is finally getting attention from international food enthusiasts, and pav bhaji is one of the most popular dishes.
It’s a fast food dish that originated in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Pav bhaji consists of a veggie curry served with soft bread rolls.
It’s suitable for a quick meal and also pairs well with fried rice, gulab jamun, aloo tikkis, and papad.
So when considering what to serve with pav bhaji, you have several options, including savory and sweet dishes.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Pav Bhaji?
Pav bhaji is a dish that can make you full.
But it can get boring when you eat only one dish, even if it’s hearty and filling.
No matter how delicious pav bhaji is, it’ll taste even better when you serve side dishes.
If you plan to serve pav bhaji at any event you’re hosting, you’ll need compatible side dishes to make a complete meal.
Everyone attends a party and expects great and multiple dishes.
So if you have only pav bhaji, guests will be disappointed, and it may also feel awkward.
You’ll need some side dishes to fill up the table.
What to Serve with Pav Bhaji? 10 BEST Side Dishes
Here are the ten dishes to serve with pav bhaji.
1 – Fried Rice
Rice is a staple in most Indian households, and it’s also versatile.
So you can pair it with various dishes.
But instead of serving plain steamed rice, make and serve fried rice as it’s more flavorful and complements pav bhaji.
Every region has a fried rice recipe, but ingredients and seasonings vary, so the taste and aroma differ.
Since pav bhaji has Indian flavors, it’ll be best to serve fried rice in Indian style.
You can make the dish with cold basmati rice, as it’s aromatic and offers a fluffy texture.
Add veggies and Indian-flavored spices to make it perfect for pav bhaji.
2 – Aloo Tikkis
Potatoes are also a staple in Indian cuisine and are present in pav bhaji most of the time.
However, you can serve a potato dish if you don’t include spuds in your pav bhaji.
Aloo tikkis are popular Indian snacks that usually contain spuds, peas, herbs, and spices.
When translated, aloo tikkis mean potato patties or cutlets.
Tikkis are yummy and versatile and taste great with pav bhaji and other items.
Pav bhaji is flavorful, so it’ll be nice to keep the aloo tikkis simple, or you’ll have many things going on at once, and the dishes’ flavors may be lost in one another.
3 – Prawns Fry
Pav bhaji also tastes excellent with non-veg food so you can add some dishes as starters.
Prawns fry or fried prawns are delightful and fragrant.
Since pav bhaji is vegetarian, the two dishes will blend nicely.
Prawns cook quickly, so it’s a convenient dish to add when you don’t have much time to spare.
Prawns fry in Indian style is simple but flavorful, so you can make large batches quickly.
You must use fresh prawns for the dish, so check each piece when purchasing.
Avoid prawns that have a mushy and slimy texture.
Instead, look for firm heads and bodies and those that smell of the sea or ocean.
4 – Chicken Kebabs
How about delicious chicken kebabs to go with pav bhaji? You’ll have protein on your menu, and the combo will make you full.
It’ll be the perfect pair for those who like meat in their meal.
Chicken kebabs look appealing, and you may think they’re difficult to cook.
But it’s easy, and you don’t have to add numerous ingredients.
But you need a suitable marinade, or you won’t get the desired flavor.
Curd or yogurt is the base ingredient for the marinade, along with tandoori masala, turmeric, chili powder, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, salt, and vegetable oil.
Fresh chicken is best for this dish, so choose a pink, fleshy-hue package and examine the “best before “ date.
5 – Paneer Tikka
If you want a meaty texture without using real meat, paneer tikka is the ideal dish with pav bhaji.
It’s a popular Indian dish made of Indian cottage cheese (paneer), first marinated in a curd or yogurt-based marinade and then grilled.
You can use the oven or stovetop to grill the paneer.
Paneer tikka gets its delightful flavor from the marinade, so cooking the dish is a must.
Serve a sauce alongside, and you’ll have the perfect dish.
Add bell peppers and onions to the skewers for more taste.
The yogurt-based marinade contains spices such as turmeric, chaat masala, black pepper, coriander powder, garam masala, cumin, and carom seeds.
For more intense color, add Kashmiri chile powder.
It gives a nice color but not the heat.
6 – Pulao
Pilaf or pulao is another dish you can serve with pav bhaji.
It’s a popular rice dish worldwide, so you’ll find many variants.
But stick with Indian-style pulao so that the flavors don’t contrast.
Pulao or pilaf can be veg or non-veg, and you can make a version of your choice.
If you want to include meat, add chicken or mutton, as they’re the most used non-veg ingredients.
Else, make it a veggie pulao because it tastes equally good.
You can make pulao or pilaf with any long-grain rice, but basmati is the top choice, so you might like to use it instead of other varieties.
7 – Gulab Jamun
If you want to serve dessert after having pav bhaji, gulab jamun should do.
It’s a berry-sized rose-flavored sweet popular across India.
It’s mostly served on special occasions, so it’ll be perfect for hosting an event with pav bhaji as a main dish.
Gulab jamuns look exotic and elegant, and you may feel apprehensive about making them.
But they’re easy, and you’ll require few ingredients.
However, you must follow the instructions carefully, or you won’t get the right texture.
Milk solids called khoya bring out the best flavors, but it’s readily not available everywhere, so you can use milk powder instead.
8 – Raita with Cucumber
Also called cucumber raita, it’s a dish usually served as a dip or salad and has a cooling effect.
Hence, it can be a suitable dish to pair with pav bhaji as it can refresh your palate.
Raita cucumber usually has yogurt, chopped cucumbers, and sometimes green chili, onion, and tomato.
It’s a popular summer dish in the sub-continent and complements many items.
Cucumber raita not only cleans your palate and cools you, but it can be good for your health and help strengthen the immune system and lower blood pressure and the risk of constipation.
9 – Mung Dal Sheera
It’s also called moong dal sheera or mung dal halwa, and it’s a popular Indian sweet dish made of yellow lentils.
Moong dal is green gram lentils, and the dish is made with yellow moong dal.
Moong dal or mung dal sheera is a suitable dish to serve with pav bhaji if you don’t want to add or make gulab jamun.
You can enjoy the sweet dish after having pav bhaji.
The dessert comprises six ingredients, including lentils, milk, ghee, sugar, nuts, and cardamom powder (a pinch).
You can use almonds, pistachios, cashews, and raisins for crunch and extra taste.
10 – Papad
Papad is also called papadum or papadam in American English and is a thin, crisp bread or wafer of Indian origin typically served as a starter or side dish.
It’s made of lentil flour and flavored with spices.
You can fry papad in oil or cook it over an open flame.
It’s delicious and addictive, so make a large batch whenever you serve it.
You can get readymade packs of papad which you only have to fry or cook on the flame (wood fire or stovetop).
Flavors of papad can vary from one brand to another, so check the labels when buying any product.
Pav bhaji is a delightful Indian snack dish you can serve at any event or time.
The ten items can serve as side dishes, so you can use them whenever you serve pav bhaji.
But serve different dishes to avoid monotony and boredom.
For example, serve fried rice, papad, and prawns fried in one event and pulao, aloo tikkis, and raita in another.
You can add the sweets with either set.
But make it a point not to serve the same dish twice in consecutive events, or a dish will lose its fresh quality.
What to Serve with Pav Bhaji? 10 BEST Side Dishes
- Fried Rice
- Aloo Tikkis
- Prawns Fry
- Chicken Kebabs
- Paneer Tikka
- Gulab Jamun
- Raita with Cucumber
- Mung Dal Sheera
- Pick your favorite recipe from the article.
- Organize your ingredients and utensils.
- Follow the detailed instructions in the recipe to make your side dish.
- Prepare and serve for delicious meal!
Andrew Gray is a seasoned food writer and blogger with a wealth of experience in the restaurant and catering industries. With a passion for all things delicious, Andrew has honed his culinary expertise through his work as a personal chef and caterer.
His love for food led him to venture into food writing, where he has contributed to various online publications, sharing his knowledge and insights on the culinary world. As the proud owner of AmericasRestaurant.com, Andrew covers a wide range of topics, including recipes, restaurant reviews, product recommendations, and culinary tips.
Through his website, he aims to inspire and educate fellow food enthusiasts, offering a comprehensive resource for all things food-related.