Mumbai Pav Bhaji is a popular street food that offers a flavorful comfort food perfect for days you need a bit of a pick me up. This popular Indian fast food features a hearty blend of veggies and warm flavor from a blend of aromatic spice. You and your family will love this cozy dish and you’ll feel good about cooking it. It’s the perfect way to get more veggies into your diet or into your kids’ mouths!
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This recipe has been updated with new content, Instant Pot plus stove top recipe, step by step pictures and video in October 2018.
What is Pav Bhaji?
This mouthwatering dish is a delicious, flavorful Indian fast food. It is one of our family’s favorite Mumbai street foods. We eat it just about every other week because it is packed full of flavors and is a great way to sneak in some extra veggies for the kids.
Pav Bhaji Ingredients
This recipe is packed full of flavor. You’ll need the following ingredients:
- melted butter or oil - use oil if you want to make it vegan
- garlic cloves - crushed. Use a garlic press to make it easier
- fresh ginger - grated. Use a microplane grater for best results.
- onion - diced
- tomato paste
- tomatoes - chopped
- Pav Bhaji Masala
- potatoes - diced
- bell pepper - diced
- cauliflower - grated
- beets - diced (how to cook beets)
- peas - fresh, frozen, or canned works
- chilis - optional to add some heat to the curry
- water - prevents the Instant Pot from burning and allows the pot to come up to pressure
- salt to taste - you can omit it if you are trying to reduce the amount of sodium you eat
Cilantro, lemon wedges, and onions add extra flavor as a garnish. Plus you’ll also want pav or dinner rolls to serve with it.
What is Pav Bhaji Masala
Pav bhaji masala is an Indian spice blend. It often contains red chilis, coriander seeds, cloves, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cumin seeds, mango powder, and cardamom. You should be able to find pav bhaji masala online or at a local Indian grocery stores. Check out our complete guide to Indian spices here.
How to make Pav Bhaji
Though using an Instant Pot makes it easier, you can make this without it.
- Start by peeling and chopping the potatoes and cauliflower into small pieces. Add the cauliflower, potatoes, and peas to a pot of water and add just enough to cover the veggies. Cook on high heat until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender.
- Drain the water and set the veggies aside. In another large pot, melt the butter or heat up the oil over medium high heat. Once it is hot, add in the ginger and crush the garlic into it. Allow the garlic and ginger to cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until they start to become fragrant.
- When the garlic and ginger are ready, add in the onions and saute them until they start to turn golden brown. Once they are brown, add in the tomato paste and fresh tomatoes and cook until the butter or oil begin to separate from the rest of the mixture. This takes about 10 minutes.
- Next add in the spices and cook for a 1 to 2 minutes or until it becomes fragrant. Add in the cooked veggies and add a small amount of water (1/2 to 3/4 cup) to the pot. Use a potato masher to crush the veggies up and cook for 2 to 5 minutes or until the bhaji has thickened. Add salt to taste.
- Garnish with lemon, cilantro, and onions. Serve with pav, dinner rolls, or other bread.
How to make Pav Bhaji in an Instant Pot
It is easy to make this recipe using your Instant Pot or pressure cooker for a one-pot meal.
- To start, peel and chop the potatoes and then dice the onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and beets. Next, grate the cauliflower and ginger. Finally, peel the garlic cloves.
- Set the Instant Pot to Saute and melt the butter or heat up the oil. Once it is hot, add in the ginger and crush the garlic into the butter or oil. Allow the garlic and ginger to cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until they start to become fragrant.
- Add in the onions and cook them until they are golden brown and fragrant.When the onions are browned, mix in the tomato paste and fresh tomatoes. Cook the mixture until the butter or oil starts to separate.
- Cancel saute mode. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot. Make sure to get rid of any stuck on food to help avoid getting the burn notice from the Instant Pot.
- Dump in the rest of the ingredients. Stir all the ingredients and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot again to remove any lingering stuck on food.
- Close the lid on the Instant Pot. Set the vent to sealing and pressure cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove the lid when the pressure is released. Use a potato masher to mash up the bhaji or you could leave as is. Serve the bhaji in bowls and garnish with cilantro, onions, and lemon.
Is Pav Bhaji healthy?
It uses a lot of butter. It is a comfort food. You could make it a bit healthier by reducing the amount of butter you use. It does have lots of wholesome vegetables that provide nutrients you need. So it is not as bad for you as eating some kinds of fast food.
Can I make it vegan?
Yes! You can make it vegan very easily. Instead of using butter, use oil instead. The rest of the ingredients are vegan friendly.
How to serve Pav Bhaji?
Pav bhaji is best when you serve with homemade dinner rolls or pav. Bread is a great way to soak up all the curry and makes the meal more filling.
What kind of breads can I serve with bhaji?
You can use several different breads. We often use dinner rolls, pav, or buns. You could use nearly any soft bread that is not sliced to serve with the bhaji if you don’t have pav on hand.
Can I make this Instant Pot Pav Bhaji recipe ahead of time?
Yes! You can make the bhaji ahead of time. You can make it a day ahead or can make it over the weekend and serve it for a midweek lunch or dinner for the family. It is best served fresh with warm pav or dinner rolls fresh from the oven.
How do I store and reheat pav bhaji?
Once you have finished cooking the bhaji, allow it to cool complete. Once it is cool, spoon it into a sealable container and place in the refrigerator. You can store it for about 4 to 5 days.
If you want to freeze it, you can follow the same steps as above but be sure to use a freezer safe container. Or you could use a sealable freezer bag. You can store it in the freezer for about 6 months.
When you are ready to serve, you can reheat in a microwave or on the stove top. Before reheating frozen bhaji, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Made this Pav Bhaji recipe?
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More street food recipes
- butter / oil 8 tbsp
- fresh garlic cloves 14, crushed
- fresh ginger 1 tbsp , grated
- onion 1 large , diced
- canned tomato paste 4 oz.
- tomatoes 3, chopped
- 2 tablespoon Pav Bhaji Masala
- potatoes 4, diced
- bell pepper 1, diced
- cauliflower 1/2 cup, cut or grated
- beets, 1/8 cup diced
- green peas 1/2 cup
- water, 3 cups (approx. 700 ml)
- chilies 2-3 optional
- Salt to taste
- onion 1/4 cup , diced
- cilantro 1/2 cup , chopped
- lemons 3, wedged
- 2 dinner rolls or pav
Instant Pot Pav Bhaji Recipe
- Prepare the ingredients - Peel and chop the potatoes. Dice the onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and beets. Cut or grate the cauliflower and ginger. Peel the garlic. Gather the butter or oil, salt, tomato paste, chilies, water and Pav Bhaji Masala.
- Saute - Using the Saute function, melt the butter or heat the oil. Once hot, add ginger & garlic and cook for a couple minutes. Throw in the onions and cook until golden brown. This would take approximately 7 minutes. Then add tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes and cook until the butter / oil separates. This will take another 10 minutes. Scrape of any food stuck at the bottom of the pot.
- Dump remaining ingredients - Now add the Pav Bhaji Masala, and whatever veggies you are using like potatoes, bell peppers, beets, cauliflower, peas along with salt and water. Stir and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot once again so no food is stuck or else you could get a burn notice.
- Pressure Cook - Cover the lid, seal the vent and pressure on high for 10 minutes, followed by quickly releasing the pressure once the time goes off.
- Mash it up & Serve - Using a hand masher, mash up the cooked bhaji or enjoy it as is. Garnish with cilantro, onions and lemon and serve with Pav.
Stove Top Pressure Cooker Pav Bhaji Recipe
- Follow step 1 and 2 from Instant Pot Recipe.
- While you are sauteing the vegetables on the other hand pressure cook remaining veggies along with salt and water.
- Now add Pav Bhaji masala to the sauteed onion and tomato sauce and cook for a couple minutes.
- Then add the pressure cooked ingredients to the sauteed mixture of onions and tomatoes. Mix thoroughly and bring it to bubble.
- Garnish and serve.
Stove Top Pan Pav Bhaji Recipe
- Start by peeling and chopping the potatoes and cauliflower into small pieces.
- Add the cauliflower, potatoes, and peas to a pot of water and add just enough to cover the veggies. Cook on high heat until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender.
- Drain the water and set the veggies aside. In another large pot, melt the butter or heat up the oil over medium high heat.
- Once it is hot, add in the ginger and crush the garlic into it. Allow the garlic and ginger to cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until they start to become fragrant.
- When the garlic and ginger are ready, add in the onions and saute them until they start to turn golden brown.
- Once they are brown, add in the tomato paste and fresh tomatoes and cook until the butter or oil begin to separate from the rest of the mixture. This takes about 10 minutes.
- Next add in the Pav Bhaji Masala and cook for a 1 to 2 minutes or until it becomes fragrant. A
- dd in the cooked veggies and add a small amount of water (1/2 to 3/4 cup) to the pot.
- Use a potato masher to crush the veggies up and cook for 2 to 5 minutes or until the bhaji has thickened. Add salt to taste.
- Garnish with lemon, cilantro, and onions. Serve with pav, dinner rolls, or other bread.
- I typically make a large batch and freeze half of it. Comes handy when time is crunched.
- Reduce proportions by half if making it for 4 people.
- Some like their Bhaji runny while other like it thick. Water proportion here is for in between consistency.
- You can completely skip canned tomato paste if you like, however this will affect the taste and colorof the Bhaji. If doing so make sure to substitute Tomato paste with fresh juicy tomatoes.
- For Vegan alternatives, add vegan butter or oil.
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Mealthy MultiPot 9-in-1 Programmable Slow and Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1
Everest Pav Bhaji Masala 100g
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer
Prepara Stainless Steel Potato Masher
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