Lunch, Dinner and Entrees

Street Foods of India – Episode 2

Tava Pulav with brown rice and tofu – Mumbai special


Mumbai street foods are super famous in India for their unique flavors. I have only experienced the copy-cat versions in my local city, but I have heard plenty of stories from relatives and friends.

Today I present Episode 2 of my Street Foods series – Tava Pulav. This dish is famous in Mumbai and its made by the Chaat vendors for a late night carb-load. Due to this reason the flavors are similar to Pav Bhaji except that it has rice and some protein typical lentils or paneer. Today I give it a healthy twist and make it with brown basmati rice and tofu, thereby keeping it VEGAN too! 

This dish is usually done in an oversized flat skillet or tava, hence its name. The various masala ingredients are brought to the center, sautéed, and then pushed to the edges. This is typical of how Mumbai street food vendors cook. They make loud tapping sounds to attract the crowds as well. The whole atmosphere is full of energy and zeal.

So, what is special about the tava pulav? It uses the spicy and tangy Pav bhaji masala. This particular masala is typically not used in rice dishes. Sauté together flavorful ingredients – red onions, curry leaves, tomatoes, garlic, green chillies, etc. Then, mix in cooked rice and crispy tofu. 

The fresh flavors tossed together and consumed piping hot at street corners is indeed a fun experience. Enjoy it at home!

Street food – Episode 1 – Chennai Street food – Sundal from Marina beach

Try these other Fun foods –

Fusion – Bread pudding meets Aalu chaat and pav bhaji

Asian style pita strips stir-fry

Tava Pulav

Mumbai street foods are super famous in India for their unique flavors. Tava pulav is a spicy and aromatic rice dish for late night carb fix.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4


  • Large Wok or Skillet (Tava)


  • 4 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • Curry Leaves a handful
  • 1 large Red Onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp Kasoori Methi
  • 3 Green chillies slit
  • 3 pods Garlic sliced
  • 3 large Tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tbsp Chilly Garlic paste
  • 2 tbsps Pav Bhaji masala
  • 2 cups Brown Basmati rice cooked
  • 1 cup Tofu cubes extra firm
  • Salt


  • First marinate the tofu in oil and Pav Bhaji masala 
    Heat up a large wok, add oil, shallow fry to a golden brown color and crispy texture
    Remove the tofu and set aside
  • In the same wok, add cumin seeds and curry leaves
  • Keep adding the following and saute – red onions, garlic, green chillies, chilly garlic paste and tomatoes 
  • Add kasoori methi, pav bhaji masala and salt
  • Fry until the masala is nice and pulpy 
  • Add cooked rice and mix throughly to coat
  • Finally add the crispy tofu and garnish with cilantro leaves
  • Tava pulav is ready! 

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