Pav Recipe | Goan Pao Recipe and an Ode to the humble Pao [Video]

Pav or Pao Recipe with step by step video instructions. Pav or Pao are leavened bread rolls from India. Pao is a soft, fluffy and chewy white bread roll. Pao is usually served with a bhaji or curry on the side. This recipe of pav is vegan.

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goan pao, vegan pav, ladi pav

Pav or Pao.. to the tiny state on the Konkan coast where I am from, it is not just bread, it is almost a way of life.

Every time I post a photo of Pao on Instagram, I always write about how special the Goan Pao is. It is a sentiment that my fellow Goans agree to.

The Portuguese brought the leavened bread, the Pao to Goa. During the Portuguese rule, the pao was leavened using toddy, the local coconut alcohol.  But since independence, the toddy has been replaced with yeast which is now easily available all across the country.

When you are in Goa, you are bound to see the Poder, the guy who delivers the pao to your door step. He is usually riding the cycle with a blue tarpaulin covered cane basket behind him on the cycle and honking away to let the people know that he is present. Just holler at him to stop him and buy your fresh from the bakery pao.

goan pao, vegan pav, ladi pav

My earliest memory is my grandma giving me Rs.0.5, yes, 50 paise, and sending me off to buy pao at 4pm, when the poder made his second round of the day. Today the humble pao costa a little more, but is still subsidized by the government so that it is affordable to all.

The Goan pao is like no other and although I attempt to recreate it in my kitchen with this recipe, I will never accept it can reach the texture of the Goan pao. The Goan pao has the chewiest and lightest crumb that can soak up any curry and still hold its shape. The crust can be soft or "kadak", buy the variety you like, it is always a nice even brown with so much texture. The pav is so aptly salted that it can still be enjoyed just plain and it won't taste bland and use it to mop up a curry, it won't taste too salty. Perfect, just like Goldilocks liked it. And yes, it isn't even a tad bit sweet and the crust doesn't crumble, like it does for store bough pao in Bangalore.

I have spent several years trying to find the perfect pao in Bangalore and almost given up. There are a few ones that come close to the Goan pao, but aren't always available. So in the meantime I have been attempting to make it at home. And after several several tries, I can say that this Pao recipe satisfies me.

The pao is soft and has a decent crumb that does not rip apart and crumble when dipped into a gravy. The crust is nice and soft with a gentle resistance of the gluten. It isn't always an even texture, but I attribute it to my shaping skills. While I attempt to keep most of my recipes vegan friendly, this is one place where I tend to replace the sugar with honey just because it gives me an amazing rise and color. The recipe below calls for sugar, but feel free to replace it with honey, maple syrup or any other sweetner. The addition of steam helps the pao rise and also gives it better texture as in the case of a sourdough or other artisanal breads.

goan pao, vegan pav, ladi pav

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Video Recipe


Pav Recipe | Goan Pao Recipe

goan pao, vegan pav, ladi pavPav or Pao are leavened bread rolls from India. Pao is a soft, fluffy and chewy white bread roll. Pao is usually served with a bhaji or curry on the side. This recipe of pav is vegan.

Recipe Type:  Bread
Cuisine:            Goan / Indian
Prep Time:     2.5 minutes
Cook time:     20 minutes
Total time:     3 minutes
Yield:                Makes 9 small pavs


3 cups all-purpose flour or maida
3 tsp instant yeast or 2 tsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp Honey or Sugar
2 Tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
Water as required
Oil for greasing
Flour for dusting


1. Add the sugar or honey to 0.5 cups of warm water and mix well.
2. Add in the yeast and mix well. If using active dry yeast, allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast blooms.
3. Pour the yeast to a large bowl and add in the 2 Tbsp of oil and salt.
4. Add the flour and knead to a smooth dough. Use water as required while kneading.
5. Once you have a smooth dough, rub some oil on it to prevent it from drying and cover and keep the dough in a warm place for 1 hour or until it doubles.
6. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down and move it to a floured surface.
7. Gently knead the dough again and form a log.
8. Divide it into equal pieces. I divided into 9 pieces because I was using an 8 inch square pan.
9. Take each piece of dough and roll it into a ball. Fold the sides in and place it on a greased baking pan.
10. Keep 1-2 cm gap between the dough balls. The dough will rise and the pav rolls are meant to stick together on the sides to give you the classic shape and feel of pav.
11. Cover loosely with a cloth and allow the pav to rise for a second time in a warm place. The second rise may be shorter than the first as the yeast is already activated.
12. Preheat the oven to 220 degree Celsius and boil water in a kettle until it reaches a rolling boil.
13. Place the pav in the oven and in a tray below the pav add the boiled water to create steam in the oven.
14. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pav bread is cooked. Timing may vary according to the oven.
15. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
16. Allow to cool before serving.


  1. Using honey instead of sugar gave me a better rise and color. Feel free to substitute the sweetner to your liking. Don't eliminate the sweetner, it is required for the color and rise.
  2. You can brush the top of the pav with milk before baking, it helps in getting a browner color on the top.
  3. You can replace water with milk in the recipe, it will give you softer and less chewy pav.
  4. Steam helps the pav get a better rise and texture. You can skip this, although it is recommended.

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  1. U didnt mentionthe time of preheating as well as baking temperature

    1. Step 12 has the details. Please check.

    2. 220 deg i read preheat ryt? but time isnt 10 mins..20 mins.
      N baking wat temp is t be kept.

    3. Please refer to your oven instructions to arrive at how long you need to preheat so it reaches the required temperature. Most ovens will provide a beep or a message when preheat completes. If you don't have that option available, you will need an oven thermometer to ensure it reached the correct temperature. An oven is preheated to the temperature at which the item is to be baked. So in this case, you will preheat to 220 deg C, because we want to bake at that temperature.