This popular Indian street food is so easy to make in an instant pot! And thanks to my pre-made onion masala, this one-pot dish is literally a dump and cook type of recipe!
What is Pav Bhaji?
Pav bhaji is a popular Indian street food dish originally from Mumbai. If you’ve never heard of this dish – “pav” just means buttered bread and “bhaji” is a thick mashed vegetable curry/sauce.
Think of pav bhaji as an Indian vegetarian sloppy joe! It doesn’t actually taste anything like a Sloppy Joe, but it’s messy and fun to eat! You can put it on a bun and top it with chopped onions, cilantro, and green chilies! A perfect and fun warm veggie sandwich. Comfort food at its best!
“Best Pav Bhaji I’ve ever made and at 1/10 the effort. Thank God for your innovative recipes Ashley.”Neesha
An Easy Pour and Cook Recipe
The great thing about this dish is that it’s SO simple to make, especially if you have my pre-made onion masala handy. You literally put ALL of the ingredients in a pot and cook. That’s it!
Click on the image below to find out how to make onion masala, how to store it, and find other recipes that call for it!
Let’s talk about Pav
You can use any buttered roll to go along with this bhaji. Just be sure to melt some butter in a pan and toast the bread a bit – the texture of the soft yet toasty bread with its crispy edges is such a nice contrast to the veggie curry.
Roby (my hubby) loves eating pav bhaji with sweet Hawaiian rolls (I get them for him from Trader Joes’s or Costco). I like them with either gluten-free hamburger buns (also from TJs) or with Schar gluten-free buns (I get those from Giant Eagle).
I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe! You’re going to love how it tastes and how easy it is to make with the onion masala!
Can I use pre-made or store-bought pav bhaji masala instead of individual spices?
Yes! If you’d like to use your own blend or store-bought pav bhaji masala then just leave out my spices and add the masala to taste!
I list individual spices for this recipe because this way I can offer you guys consistent results. Not all spice mixes are created the same and so if you use a pre-made mix, there’s a chance you may not like the outcome whereas I have tested my recipe using the exact amount of spices listed.
Totally up to you though!
WATCH HOW EASY IT IS TO MAKE PAV BHAJI!
(for the full recipe, see the recipe card below 😋)
Add a bunch of ingredients into the pot and pressure cook!
Veggies are done! Mash. Mash. Stir. Stir.
Serve with buttered rolls and add all the toppings!
- ½ cup water
- 2 russet potatoes approx. 1 pound total, peeled and chopped into large pieces
- ½ head cauliflower roughly chopped
- ½ bell pepper chopped (I prefer to use red bell pepper for color and flavor)
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1 small green chili or ½ serrano pepper optional and adjust to taste
- 1 cup frozen or thawed onion masala
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 2 teaspoons kasoori methi leaves dried fenugreek leaves, crushed
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon amchur powder dried mango powder
- ½ teaspoon fennel powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kala namak (black salt)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon cayenne or red chilli powder optional and adjust to taste
- 3 teaspoons paprika for color
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Cilantro garnish
- Red onion garnish
- Green chilis chopped, optional garnish
- Serve with Pav buttered rolls
- Add all of the ingredients except for those listed under “add later” to the pot.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes.
- Quick release pressure.
- Use a potato masher or a wooden spoon to mash the vegetables. You can add some water at this point if needed to adjust the bhaji to desired consistency.
- Stir the butter and lemon juice into the pot.
- Serve with Pav (buttered rolls) and garnish with chopped cilantro, red onion and green chilis (optional). You can also top the bhaji with extra butter!
- This is a popular dish with kiddos – however, if you are making this for kids you will likely want to omit the green chilies AND the cayenne (unless your child is older and/or can tolerate spicy foods)
- You can use a pre-made pav bhaji spice blend if you prefer – I just like to list spices out to ensure consistent results as spice blends can vary and can sometimes include unnecessary/odd ingredients.
- Sometimes veggies can be different sizes and so if you feel the bhaji needs more onion masala you can always stir it in at the end if needed. Since the onion masala is already cooked, you can always add more!