Pav Bhaji served in a plate with onions and lime on the side
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4.69 from 112 votes

Mumbai Pav Bhaji Recipe - Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

A one-pot easy recipe for the most popular Indian street food, Pav Bhaji in Instant Pot. It is a spiced mashed vegetable curry topped with chopped onions, cilantro, lemon and enjoyed with dinner rolls. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: easy pav bhaji recipe, Mumbai Street food, pav bhaji instant pot
Diet: Gluten-free, Nut-free, Vegetarian
Method: Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Servings: 6
Calories: 418kcal
Author: Meeta Arora

Ingredients

For Pav

To garnish

  • 1/2 Onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro to garnish

Instructions

  • Soak red whole chili in 1/2 cup water for 15 mins. Grind chili, ginger and garlic along with the water to a paste. (Note: if you skip grinding chilies with water, then do add 1/2 cup water before pressure cooking and add the ginger/garlic along with the onions)

Instant Pot Method

  • Start instant pot in sauté mode and heat 2 tbsp butter/oil in it. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add bell pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, pav bhaji masala and salt. Add the ground chili paste. If anything is stuck to the bottom of the pot, scrape it with a spatula. (See notes if you have had a Burn issue in your instant pot or using 8qt instant pot)
  • Add cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and green peas. Mix well. Press cancel and close lid with vent in sealing position. 
  • Change the setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 8 minutes.
  • When the instant pot beeps, release the pressure naturally. Open and use an immersion blender to coarsely grind the ingredients. You can also use a potato masher to mash the bhaji to the desired consistency. 
  • Change to sauté mode and let the bhaji boil for a minute. Mix in the lemon juice. Bhaji is ready to be served.

Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method

  • Heat butter/oil in the pressure cooker on medium-high flame. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add bell pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, pav bhaji masala and salt. Add the ground chili paste. If anything is stuck to the bottom of the pot, scrape it with a spatula.
  • Add cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and green peas. Mix well. Press cancel and close lid with vent in sealing position. 
  • Cover the lid, turn the heat on high flame and pressure cook it until your hear two whistles. Now reduce the flame to medium and pressure cook it for another 6 minutes. Turn off heat. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Open and use an immersion blender to coarsely grind the ingredients. You can also use a potato masher to mash the bhaji to the desired consistency. 
  • Put on medium flame and let the bhaji boil for a minute. Mix in the lemon juice. Bhaji is ready to be served.

Preparing Pav

  • Slice each pav or dinner rolls in two halves.
  • Heat butter on a pan and place the sliced pav on it. Lightly toast on one side and then turn to toast on the other side. 
  • Pav are ready to be served with bhaji.

Serving Pav Bhaji

  • Take 1-2 ladles of bhaji in a plate. Add a dollop of butter. Sprinkle some chopped onions and cilantro on the top. Sprinkle some lemon juice on the top if you like a tangier taste. Serve with two buttered pav's on the side. 

Notes

Pro-tips:
  • The real Mumbai pav bhaji is always made with butter.  However you can prepare it will oil too.
  • I recommend using Kashmiri chili, as that enhances the color of the bhaji.  You can also use Kashmiri Red Chili powder, about 1-2 teaspoons based on your taste. 
Pav Bhaji Masala: My preferred pav bhaji masala brand is Everest. If you want to make a quick homemade pav bhaji masala powder, here is the recipe - 1 tsp coriander powder + 1 tsp garam masala + 1 tsp dry mango powder (or lemon juice) + 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
Burn Issue or 8qt Instant Pot (Important): In newer versions of Instant Pot, many readers are facing a Burn message. If you have ever seen a Burn in your instant pot or are using an 8qt instant pot, add additional 1/2 cup water when cooking in step 3.
Vegan Variation: Use vegan butter or oil to make the bhaji and toast the pav. 
Created: This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Programmable Pressure Cooker.

Nutrition

Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 867mg | Potassium: 1072mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3571IU | Vitamin C: 107mg | Calcium: 204mg | Iron: 7mg