An easy one-pot 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.
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)
Start the pressure cooker in sauté mode (high flame for stovetop pressure cooker) 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.
Instant Pot Method
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.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method
Close 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.
Mash and Garnish Bhaji
Open the pressure cooker 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.
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.
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 and make sure to deglaze the pot well.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.