Pav bhaji is a favorite Indian street food extremely popular in Mumbai. This Keto Pav Bhaji recipe takes out the carb heavy ingredients like potato for the pav bhaji and replaces the pav bread with a keto friendly version. The keto pav bread is yeast risen so it is much more fluffy and light compared to most keto friendly breads. It is not quite as light and fluffy as the traditional pav bread, but for a keto version it is really tasty and goes well with the pav bhaji masala. This is a must try recipe if you are craving a keto pav bhaji. If you want an easy keto pav bread, combine the pav bhaji masala with my 90 second keto mug bread.
This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission.
WHAT IS VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN?
Vital wheat gluten is the main ingredient that helps make this keto yeast risen pav bread have the texture of bread closer to the traditional pav bread. It is derived from the protein in wheat. Wait a second, wheat & keto? Yes, vital wheat gluten is low carb flour that adds texture and structure to baked goods. It is a must have flour in your pantry if you are doing keto. Being on a keto diet does not mean you have to be gluten free and the important thing for the keto diet is to make sure your net carb intake is below the recommended 20-50g per day. This flour is not for you if you have gluten intolerance. I have seen vital wheat gluten available in grocery stores where they keep flours in the baking section.
WHAT IS OAT FIBER?
Oat fiber is an insoluble fiber and is from the husks of oats. Oat fiber has zero calories and zero net carbs as 1 tbsp has 3g carbohydrates and 3g fiber. This ingredient helps with the taste to resemble what we were used to in pre-keto lifestyle baked goods. Be careful not to mistake this for Oat flour which has significant carbs.
WHAT IS INULIN?
Inulin is chicory root fiber when extracted gives a nice sweet fiber powder. Inulin only has 35% of the sweetness of sugar. It can improve the flavor when mixed with other sweeteners and can caramelize like sugar and does not typically have the aftertaste or cooling effect. A 2/4 tsp serving has 5 calories with 3 g carbs and 3 g fiber resulting in 0 g net carbs. Inulin activates the yeast in this recipe. If you do not have inulin you can substitute with sugar. Do not worry as the sugar consumed by the yeast and does not add unnecessary carbs.
Keto Pav Bhaji Instructions
ACTIVATE YEAST WITH INULIN AND WARM WATER
The first step in this keto yeast risen bread roll recipe is to activate the yeast. This is accomplished with warm water and inulin powder. The water needs to be warm to activate the yeast. Make sure the water is not too hot or too cold or the yeast will not activate. I use tap water with the hot water running a minute or so. Inulin acts in place of sugar to activate the yeast. If you do not have inulin, you can use a tsp of sugar in its place. Do not worry, the sugar gets consumed by the yeast so no net carbs. Inulin has high fiber content of 9g per tablespoon and no net carbs.
I activate the yeast even if it is instant yeast with hot water and inulin to make sure the yeast is viable before mixing in with expensive keto flours. After about 10 to 20 minutes you should notice bubbling on the top layer. This confirms the yeast is viable and active. I usually give it 30 minutes, but 10 minutes should be sufficient.
I use the stand mixer bowl and put in a cup of hot water, 2 tsp of inulin and 2 tsp of active yeast. Then I cover with saran wrap and place in a nice warm spot in the kitchen. I generally wait 30 minutes, but many say 5-10 minutes is adequate.
MAKING THE KETO YEAST RISEN PAV BREAD
In the stand mixer bowl, I confirm the yeast is active by noting a bubbling of the top layer. I remove the saran wrap cover and start adding the ingredients to make the dough. I start with adding two eggs. Then I add 7 tbsp of flax seed powder, 1/3 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup oat fiber, 1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten, 4 tbsp butter (unsalted), 1/4 tsp xanthan gum, 1 tbsp garlic salt and 1/2 tsp of monk fruit sweetener.
I use the flat beater paddle attachment first at low speed to mix the ingredients. Then I gradually speed it up as the dough forms. I use this for 2 to 3 minutes before switching over to the dough hook attachment. After switching the attachment, the dough is kneaded for 5 minutes with the dough hook.
GETTING THE DOUGH READY FOR BAKING
I place a silpat on the countertop and take the dough and knead it for a minute. Then I seperate the dough into equal sized pieces. For keto pav bhaji bread I split it up into nine equal pieces. Once I split it up, I take each individual piece and roll it into a ball shape.
I place the pav bread on a baking pan. Then I cover it with saran wrap or silpat and place a towel over it. I put the baking pan in a warm spot for the dough to rise. I keep mine in a food warmer that I turn on low heat for 15 minutes and switch off 5 minutes before putting the baking pan in. Other suggestions are to place in a microwave after heating a cup of water for a minute. Others have turned oven on low heat and switch it off before place baking pan with bread that needs to rise. This will take an hour and the bread rolls should increase in size 1.5x – 2x their original size.
BAKING THE KETO YEAST RISEN PAV BREAD
When the dough has expanded after 40 minutes to an hour, it is time to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the bread for about 25 minutes. Then immediately when done, brush 1 tbsp of butter on the top.
Keto Pav Bhaji Masala
Steam cauliflower florets in microwave steamer or pasta boat with steamer attachment for 7 minutes. If you do not have a microwave steamer, use a bowl with 1/4 cup of water and cover with a plate and cook in microwave for 7 minutes. If using bowl, then drain water with a strainer. Set aside.
Saute Vegetables and add Spices
Then heat pan on stove on medium heat. Next, add 2 tbsp olive oil. Then add 1 tsp cumin seeds and 1 cup finely chopped onions. Stir and cook until onions are soft. Then add 1 tsp ginger paste and 1 tsp garlic paste. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes until ginger and garlic paste is well incorporated. Then add 1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes. Saute until soft and cooked. Then add 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell peppers, Saute until soft and cooked.
Now it is time to add the spices. Add 1 tsp turmeric, 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder, 1 1/2 tbsp pav bhaji masala, 1/2 tsp salt (adjust to taste), 1/2 tsp monk fruit sweetener and 1/2 tsp lime juice. Then add 2 1/2 cups of finely chopped cauliflower that was steamed in earlier step. Stir well. Then add 1 cup of water. Use masher to mash the cauliflower. Then add 1/2 tsp lime juice and mix well.
Finish Cooking the Keto Pav Bhaji Masala
Cover and cook until cauliflower is cooked to very soft consistency. About 2-3 minutes. Keeps stirring intermittently during this time. Then add 1/2 tbsp cilantro and 1/2 tbsp butter for garnishing and mix well. Then slice keto pav bread in half and toast with butter on medium heat on pan on stove top. Enjoy you keto pav bhaji!
Keto Pav Bread
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tsp inulin
- 1 1/2 tsp yeast
- 2 eggs
- 7 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup oat fiber
- 1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
- 4 tbsp butter - unsalted, cubed
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp monk fruit sweetener
- 2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tbsp butter - unsalted, for toasting
Keto Pav Bhaji Masala
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 cup onions - finely chopped
- 1/2 cup tomotoes - finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1/2 cup green bell peppers - finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp pav bhaji masala powder - – see notes to make your own
- 1/2 tsp salt - adjust to taste
- 1/2 tsp monk fruit sweetener
- 2 1/2 cup cauliflower - finely chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp cilantro - chopped
- 1/2 tbsp butter - unsalted
Keto Pav Bread
- Activate yeast with hot water, inulin and yeast in stand mixer bowl. Give it at least 10 minutes (I wait 30 minutes) for the yeast to activate. It will have a bubbly upper layer.
- Add all ingredients in the following order to stand mixer bowl. If activated yeast done outside of stand mixer bowl, add it in first. Then add eggs, flax seed powder, almond flour, oat fiber, vital wheat gluten, butter, xanthan gum, monk fruit sweetener and garlic salt.
- Start with flat beater paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes as dough is formed.
- Then use dough hook attachment and knead dough for 5 minutes on a slow speed.
- Transfer to counter top and knead for one minute until dough comes together on top of silpat (optional).
- Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces
- Roll each piece of dough into a sphere shaped roll.
- Place each roll on a large baking tray lined with silpat or parchment paper. Ensure there is plenty of space allowed for the bun to rise without touching others.
- Cover buns with silicone mat/saran wrap and clean towel. Leave in warm place for approximately 1 hour until buns have increased in size. They should get to 1.5x to 2x the original size.
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Bake 25 minutes
- When done baking – brush butter on top of keto pav bread
Keto Pav Bhaji Masala
- Steam cauliflower florets in microwave steamer or pasta boat with steamer attachment for 7 minutes. If you do not have a microwave steamer, use a bowl with 1/4 cup of water and cover with a plate and cook in microwave for 7 minutes. If using bowl, then drain water with a strainer.
- Finely chop the cauliflower – 1 head of cauliflower is about 2 1/2 to 3 cups finely chopped
- Heat pan on stove on medium heat.
- Add 2 tbsp olive oil
- Then add 1 tsp cumin seeds and 1 cup finely chopped onions. Stir and cook until onions are soft.
- Add 1 tsp ginger paste and 1 tsp garlic paste. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes until ginger and garlic paste is well incorporated.
- Then add 1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes. Saute until soft and cooked.
- Then add 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell peppers, Saute until soft and cooked.
- Add 1 tsp turmeric, 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder, 1 1/2 tbsp pav bhaji masala, 1/2 tsp salt (adjust to taste), 1/2 tsp monk fruit sweetener and 1/2 tsp lime juice.
- Add 2 1/2 cups of finely chopped cauliflower that was steamed in earlier step. Stir well.
- Add 1 cup of water. Use masher to mash the cauliflower.
- Add 1/2 tsp lime juice and mix well.
- Cover and cook until cauliflower is cooked to very soft consistency. About 2-3 minutes. Keeps stirring intermittently during this time.
- Add 1/2 tbsp cilantro and 1/2 tbsp butter for garnishing and mix well.
- Slice pav bread in half and toast with butter on medium heat on pan on stove top.
- For Pav Bhaji Masala powder ingredient, I used the Shan brand. MDH or Everest also make the pav bhaji masala powder. These can be found in an Indian grocery store. If you need to make your own.
Homemade Pav Bhaji Masala – Grind the following:
- 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 6 Kashmiri red chilies, less if using spicier variety
- 2 inch cinnamon stick
- 6 cloves
- 4 green cardamom
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
If you just want the bread recipe and video, check out our keto yeast risen dinner rolls. If you want a burger sized option, check out our keto yeast risen burger. Let us know how the keto pav bhaji came out for you in the comments below.