Best Pav Bhaji Instant Mix in India – We Reviewed 5 Brands
Kitchens Of India Pav Bhaji was chosen as our Top Pick in the best ready-to-eat pav bhaji review. It came closest to a plate of street-style bhaji.
The clink-clunk sound of the tava with the spatula is what comes to our mind when we think of pav bhaji. Best accompanied by a couple of butter-soaked pao-breads, chopped onions, and a big squeeze of lemon juice.
There is simply no comparison between a street-style pav bhaji (pao bhaji) and the one out of a sealed pack. But, many ready-to-eat meals can come close to that tangy, spicy, red-hued pav bhaji we gorge on. Which is what we wanted to find through our review.
We picked five popular Pav Bhaji Instant Mix Brands in India. After testing them for their flavor, texture, and closeness to a street-style pav bhaji, we chose a winner. The ready-to-eat pav bhaji by ITC Kitchens Of India is Mishry’s Top Pick. Why did it perform better than the others? Read on.
Pav Bhaji Instant Mix Brands in India – Everything You Need To Know
Why did we only pick these brands? What are these pav bhajis made of? Do they contain preservatives? Read all about the ready to eat pav bhaji brands in India, their price range and main ingredients.
1. Reviewed Brands
We picked brands that are popular in the ready-to-eat section, online or offline. In case a brand, however popular, is not available even after multiple trials, we choose to leave it out. Availability is also a major factor, afterall.
The brands we picked are –
- ITC Kitchens Of India Pav Bhaji
- Haldiram’s Minute Khana Pao Bhaji
- MTR Pav Bhaji
- Gits Pav Bhaji
- M.O.M (Meal Of The Moment) Pav Bhaji
2. Available Sizes
The ready-to-eat pav bhaji is available in single-serve packs. Depending on the brand, the grams can vary anywhere between 250-300 gms.
3. Main Ingredients
Butter. Butter. Butter. (Okay, just kidding!)
A good bhaji is not just about the butter. It needs to have a balance of potatoes, tang of tomatoes, some bursts of peas, and a lip-smacking masala.
The list of ingredients differs from brand to brand. But, some common ingredients used in all ready-to-eat pav bhajis are potatoes, tomatoes, and butter. Other vegetables that the brands have added include cauliflower, green peas, and/or capsicum.
4. Price Range
On average, the price range of a single pack (300 gms) of ready-to-eat pav bhaji is between Rs 90/- to Rs 110/-.
Our Review Factors To Find the Best Pav Bhaji Instant Mix
What were we looking for? Of course, no one is comparing a fresh homemade or street-style bhaji with a ready-to-eat meal. But we were looking for the brand that came closest to it.
To gauge that accurately, we set the following parameters for this review –
We were looking for a ready-to-eat pav bhaji that came closest to the ones we eat at a street-style vendor. The masala mix, the flavor of butter, and the mixture of veggies. How well does everything come together? Are the ratio of potatoes, tomatoes, and other veggies balanced? How pronounced is the pav bhaji masala?
A major deciding factor was the tanginess of the tomatoes and the butteriness of the bhaji.
2. Texture & Colour
We eat with our eyes first. Does the bhaji look appetizing? Can we spot any vegetables? Is the bhaji almost paste-like or does it have a semi-lumpy texture? Does it have a natural tomatoey red color or a pale yellow color?
Packaged meals can often turn out to be extremely artificial and synthetic to taste. We were looking for a ready-to-eat pav bhaji that retained its freshness. How fresh does the pav bhaji taste? Could we detect any industrial flavor?
Is the ready-to-eat meal priced competitively? Is it value for money?
Pav Bhaji Instant Mix Brands in India – Detailed Review
To standardize the entire procedure, we used the stove-top method to heat all the ready-to-eat bhajis.
Our taste test was divided into two stages – Dry tasting and Mishry Secret Sauce. The dry tasting included us tasting the bhaji as it is after heating. For Mishry Secret Sauce, we tasted the bhaji with butter toasted pavs. Because what even is the point of eating bhaji if not for the pavs soaked in copious amounts of butter!
While heating all these bhajis, we noticed that they needed to be continuously stirred or else they would stick to the frying pan very quickly.
Here is a table comparing five brands of ready-to-eat pao bhaji with price, quantity, shelf life, calories, and main ingredients.
#1 Kitchens of India Pav Bhaji – Mishry Top Pick
The Kitchens Of India Pav Bhaji is priced at Rs 110/- for a 285 gm pack. It comes in a yellow-colored carton. Inside the carton is a sealed pouch pack that can be heated using three methods: stovetop, microwave, or hot water bath. We used the stovetop method. As instructed, we cooked the bhaji for 5 minutes in a frying pan on a stovetop. The bhaji spluttered a lot while heating.
Let’s start visually. ITC’s ready-to-eat bhaji has a mashed consistency and is not extremely oily. The color of the bhaji comes very close to the one we make at home using fresh tomatoes. We could see a few semi-mashed peas in our bhaji.
Taste-wise, this bhaji is packed with maximum flavor. The bhaji tastes fresh and has a very natural flavor. It doesn’t feel like you’re eating a ready-to-eat meal, which can often end up tasting artificial or even industrial.
The spice levels are medium, and even when consumed with a pav, the bhaji masala’s strength doesn’t really weaken. The seasoning is spot on.
The best part? We could clearly taste the butter without it overpowering the tomato tang.
- ITC’s Kitchens Of India Pav Bhaji is priced at Rs 110/- for a 285 gm pack.
- The pav bhaji can be heated using three methods – on a stove top, heating in a microwave or by immersing the pouch in a hot water bath.
- Shelf life – 3 years
- Ingredients – Potatoes (28.8%), Tomatoes (27.3%),Capsicum (14.4%), Green peas (7.2%), White butter (5.8%), Refined sunflower oil, Cream, Onion (2.9%), Water, Garlic (1.1%), Iodised salt, Spices and condiments (0.7%), Ginger (0.6%) and Tomato paste (0.2%)
- No added preservatives.
- The pav bhaji tastes fresh.
- The tomato tang is very delicious and isn’t too tart.
- We could clearly taste the butter.
- This bhaji has the perfect proportion of vegetables. The potatoes, tomatoes, peas and capsicum all come together very well.
- Seasoning levels are perfect. It is not too spicy, neither is it bland. It leaves a little room for people who like extremely spicy bhajis to add some chilli if they like.
Best Suited For
For people living alone or young couples who stock up on ready-to-eat meals to cut down their time in the kitchen post-work.
This is also for people who are looking to buy some ready-to-eat meals during their travel abroad.
#2 Haldirams Pao Bhaji – Also Recommended
We heated the Haldiram’s Ready-To-Eat Pao Bhaji for 4-5 minutes in a frying pan. It did not splutter at all and was easy to heat. There was a particular sour aroma while heating it.
Visually, Haldiram’s Pao Bhaji is slightly oilier than our Top Pick. It has a semi-mashed consistency, but we could see many whole green peas and carrot bits in the bhaji. This has a lovely red tomato color.
There is a strong pav bhaji masala flavor with medium-high spice levels. The salt levels are balanced. The buttery flavor is wonderful, and this bhaji has a slight tomato tang that ties the entire flavor together.
- A 300 gm pack of Haldiram’s Pao Bhaji is priced at Rs 100/-.
- Shelf life – 1 year
- Ingredients – Tomatoes (45%), Cauliflower (15%), Potato (15%), Butter, Green peas (4.5%), Refined vegetable oil, Ginger, Iodised salt, Spices and Red chilli powder.
- Allergen advice – Contains milk components.
- This is a delicious, buttery and tomatoey pav bhaji.
- We could see a lot of green peas and carrots in the bhaji.
- The spice and salt levels are balanced.
- It is a bit oily.
Best Suited For
People who like a tomatoey bhaji with bits of veggies would like this.
#3 MTR Pav Bhaji Masala
MTR’s Pav Bhaji was heated using the stovetop method. We heated it for 4-5 minutes in a pan. It gives out an appetizing aroma while it’s being cooked.
This bhaji is red in color and has a semi-mashed consistency. Lots of potato bits, capsicum, whole green peas, and small bits of carrots could be spotted. It wasn’t oily at all.
Flavor-wise, MTR’s bhaji lacked the signature butteriness, and neither does it have that tomato tang we were looking for.
- A 300 gm pack of MTR Pav Bhaji is priced at Rs 110/-.
- Shelf life – 12 months
- Ingredients – Potato (35%), Water, Cauliflower, Butter, Tomato, Onion, Capsicum, Green peas, Tomato paste, Carrot, Salt, Coriander leaves, Garlic, Beetroot, Chilli, Ginger, Lemon juice, Sugar, Chilli powder, Mixed spices.
- The bhaji is not oily.
- Seasoning is balanced.
- There are no added preservatives or artificial colors.
- Lacks the buttery flavor expected out of a pav bhaji.
- The tomato tang is missing.
#4 Gits Pau Bhaji
Gits Pau Bhaji is red in color and has a mashed consistency. There are no whole veggies, but we can see a lot of green peas and carrots in their mashed form. This is not an oily bhaji. It does not splutter a lot while cooking.
While this is a buttery bhaji, the spice levels are a bit overwhelming. The strong masala hits the back of your throat.
- A 300 gm pack of Gits Pau Bhaji is priced at Rs 110/-.
- Shelf life – 10 months
- Ingredients – Tomatoes (32%), Potato (31%), Butter, Onion, Green Peas (5%), Capsicum (3%), Red chillies, Garlic, Salt, Ginger, Coriander Cumin, Carom seeds, Black pepper, Aniseeds, Split gram, Cinnamon, Green cardamom, Star anise, Clove, Nutmeg, Mace, Stone flower, Black salt, Bay leaf and Black cardamom.
- The bhaji has a buttery taste.
- It is not oily at all.
- This is extremely spicy and hits the back of the throat.
#5 M.O.M Pav Bhaji
M.O.M Pav Bhaji is a pouch that holds the dry power for the bhaji. The cooking method was different for this one. As mentioned on the pack, we used 1 cup of boiling water with 1 cup of the material. We covered it and kept it for 3 minutes. The material and water do not combine together nicely.
Sadly, nothing worked for this pav bhaji. It doesn’t look appetising, tastes extremely average and the consistency is off as well. While the salt and spice levels are in balance and we could taste mild hints of butter, the elements seem very disjointed. They do not provide a good overall experience.
- A 75 gm pack of M.O.M Pav Bhaji is priced at Rs 40/-.
- Shelf life – 1 year
- Ingredients – Edible vegetable oil, Butter, Potato, Onion, Garlic, Tomato, Salt, Red chilies, Carrot, Thickener, Coriander, Cumin seeds, Pepper, Cardamom, Fennel seeds, Cinnamon, Bay leaves, Asafoetida, Cloves, Dry mango powder.
- Contains natural and nature identical flavoring substances.
- The taste of the bhaji is very average.
- The bhaji does not ‘cook’ well. The consistency is off. The water and bhaji look very separated from each other.
Our Top Picks & Recommendations
Why did we choose ITC Kitchens Of India Pav Bhaji as our Top Pick? Why do we Also Recommend Haldiram’s Pao Bhaji?
Pav bhaji or Pao bhaji is a hearty, wholesome meal which is synonymous with buttery pavs and a tangy, veggie loaded bhaji. This is when it’s made fresh. Packaged or ready-to-eat meals can have a very sour, artificial, and industrial flavor. We were looking for the freshest tasting bhaji that comes closest to the one we get from local vendors.
We chose Kitchens Of India Pav Bhaji as our Top Pick because it tastes fresh and has a wonderful balance of buttery flavors and tomato tang. The spices are perfect as well. Another plus point is that this does not have any added preservatives.
We Also Recommend Haldiram’s Pao Bhaji as it is equally fresh and buttery. Both the brands come very close to street-style pao bhajis.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs on instant pav bhaji mix brands.
1. Are ready to eat pav bhaji brands 100% vegetarian?
Yes. The above mentioned brands are 100% vegetarian.
2. Do ready to eat pav bhaji brands contain preservatives and artificial flavours?
No. None of the above mentioned brands contain preservatives. Some brands may have added flavors. Please check the individual reviews of the brands to know which ones contain added flavors.
3. How to use pav bhaji instant mix?
These are ready-to-eat meals. All you need to do is open and heat these. Broadly, these can be heated using three methods. In a microwave, on a gas top or by immersing the sealed pouch in a hot water bath.
Only the pav bhaji mix by M.O.M needs a different cooking method, as it’s a powder form.
4. Is the pav bhaji made from instant mix better than home made pav bhaji?
From a nutrition point of view, nothing can replace a fresh homemade meal. Ready-to-eat meals are meant for occasional consumption for when you want a quick dinner fix at home or are looking for convenient travel-friendly options.
Kitchens Of India’s Ready-To-Eat Pav Bhaji won our review for its fresh, tangy, and buttery flavor. This brand came the closest to a plateful of street-style bhaji. We Also Recommend Haldiram’s Ready-To-Eat Pao Bhaji.
Have you tried ready-to-eat pav bhajis before? Which brand did you try and how was your experience? Let us know in the comment section below.
More Reviews From The Ready-To-Eat Section
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