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Pav bhaji on a plate served with onions and lemon and coriander garnish

Pav Bhaji Recipe

Pav Bhaji, a quintessential Mumbai street food, is a hearty curry made with mashed potatoes, cauliflower, bell peppers and peas, served with a dollop of butter and a side of bread.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Diet Hindu, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 5 people
Calories 127kcal
Author Shinta



  • 1.5 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 1 onion fined diced (red or yellow onion will do)
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste see notes
  • 3 medium sized potatoes peeled and chopped into cubes
  • ¾ head of cauliflower chopped into florets
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder see notes
  • 2 tablespoons pav bhaji masala
  • ½ cup peas I use frozen peas
  • ½ can diced tomatoes 14 oz can
  • ¾ cup water
  • Salt to season
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp butter

For serving the pav bhaji

  • 2 Pav bread homemade or store-bought
  • 1 tsp chopped cilantro
  • ½ red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Butter


  • Set the Instant Pot to 'Saute' mode. Add the ghee or butter and the chopped onions.
  • Saute for 2-3 minutes, until the onions turn translucent.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute more. Hit 'Cancel' and turn off the Instant Pot.
  • Important: If there is any residue from sauteeing the ginger-garlic paste or onions, then add a little water and deglaze the bottom of the Instant Pot. And residue will trigger the 'Burn' notice for newer models of the Instant Pot.
  • Now add all the veggies, followed by all the spice powders - pav bhaji masala, coriander powder, Kashmiri red chili powder.
  • Add the canned tomatoes and ¾ cup of water. Mix well.
  • Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set it to Pressure Cook mode for 7 minutes.
  • Once the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure valve come down on its own. Open the lid, and using a potato masher, mash all the cooked vegetables well. Add salt, lemon juice to season, a little butter and mix well.

Serving Suggestions

  • To serve the pav bhaji, heat butter in a saucepan. Slit the dinner rolls or pav bread and toast them in the saucepan until the sides are golden brown. Serve the toasted bread, with chopped up red onions, a few wedges of lemon. Serve the bhaji garnished with chopped coriander leaves and more butter.



  • To make pav bhaji that tastes authentic, don't skip the butter. Ghee is a good substitute. For a vegan option, use vegan butter.
  • Use Kashmiri Chili Powder – it imparts a deep red color to any dish but gives the dish very little heat. A close substitute is paprika powder - although paprika is sweeter in taste.
  • While pressure cooking the veggies in the Instant Pot, add just enough water as specified in the recipe. Too much water will make this a stew. You want the bhaji to be the consistency of a mash, not a stew.
  • To balance out all that richness, use lemon juice to finish the dish. Mix it in with the mashed veggies before serving.


Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 121mg | Potassium: 465mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 402IU | Vitamin C: 73mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg