Pav Bhaji must be the most popular recipe cooked on a tawa in India. Google up Pav Bhaji and you will get zillions of Pav Bhaji recipes and also its history on Wikipedia. We still remember the ad of Everest Spices on TV in India with a punch line that conveyed Everest Pav Bhaji Masala is a blend of 13 secret spices. The punch line added so much elusiveness to the recipe that my mom actually used to use it. Though invented in Mumbai, the recipe has made its way to every nook and corner in India and is an extremely popular street food and also served in high-end fast food chains.
The base of the recipe is boiled potatoes mashed up with spices and butter which is what the original recipe was. As time went by creativity made its way with addition of peas, cauliflower, bell peppers etc. We made Pav Bhaji with just potatoes to keep it simple and original; and we did not use any ready-made Pav Bhaji masala. We realize now what a hoax the ad was. The truth is it’s a simple recipe that needs just garam masala (we used MDH brand garam masala) and some red chilies. The taste is all from butter; and we love butter in our food so we used it really generously.