Pav Bhaji recipe is the most popular Indian street food that never fails to impress. It is a fragrant, hearty, and smooth dish made with a medley of mashed vegetables and aromatic spices. Almost every other eatery in India sells Pav bhaji topped with a dollop of butter, chopped onions, cilantro, lemon wedges, alongside butter-laden pavs.
Ah, I’m drooling just writing about this utterly delicious pav bhaji!
Now, who could possibly resist this comfort meal? I mean the look at this platter, it’s self inviting and completely drool-worthy!
What is Pav Bhaji?
In this title Pav Bhaji, Bhaji is a term used to define a mish-mash of a variety of vegetables cooked in a tomato-based gravy. And Pav refers to soft, feather-light, delicious buttery rolls.
Collectively it means, a spicy blend of vegetable curry served with buttery bread.
Super easy-to-make, all cooked in one pot, and packs tons of flavor! Best of all, people of all ages relish it!
Making Mumbai style Ladi pavs at him is quite simple. In case you missed it, here is the link to the most delicious homemade ladi pavs that I have shared earlier on the blog.
Pav Bhaji is a total classic, an Indian comfort meal that is native to Mumbai, Maharashtra!
If you are from India or have been to Mumbai, you can easily associate with this dish.
In Mumbai, you will find street vendors cooking and assembling bhaji on a large iron griddle. It is a crowd-pleaser recipe, and once you taste it, it’s guaranteed to disappear in ten minutes or less – It’s that good!
Today, I am showing you two versions of Pav bhaji –
- One that is cooked the traditional way, on a large skillet
- The other version – cooked in the Instant Pot.
Why cook Pav Bhaji Recipe in the Instant Pot?
Predominantly, Instant Pot Pav Bhaji comes together in half the time compared to the stovetop method and is –
- Relatively hands-freePav Bhaji Recipe
- No constant stirring is required.
- No boiling the vegetables – all gets done in one pot.
- And is perfectly creamy and delicious.
In my house, we have this recipe on a weekly rotation.
I mean, why not, Pav Bhaji is a complete food group packed with starch, dietary fiber, several minerals, and vitamins especially, Vitamin A, B6, C, potassium, manganese, iron, folate, and many more.
What makes up Mumbai Pav Bhaji Recipe?
Friends, have you ever tried cleaning out the fridge with leftover vegetables? This Pav bhaji is precisely that kind of recipe. Besides the veggies, you will need –
» Vegetables – I have used a blend of fresh vegetables for pav bhaji, and they are – green bell pepper, cauliflower florets, green peas, potatoes, tomatoes, and baby carrots.
» Beetroot – optional but lends a beautiful deep-red color to pav bhaji.
» Butter – a must-have. Butter lends a rich buttery taste to pav bhaji; therefore, do not compromise on butter.
» Onion and ginger paste – the basics that you always have on hand.
» Tomato purée – adds a tangy touch. av Bhaji Recipe
» Water – I have used the leftover water from boiled veggies. You can use regular water as it is needed to dilute the bhaji.
» Kasoori Methi – made from dried fenugreek leaves adds a beautiful flavor to Indian dishes.
How to make Pav Bhaji recipe – Stovetop version!
Pre-preparations – The stovetop version requires boiling vegetables in a pressure cooker. To do that – add carrots, peas, cauliflower, and beets along with 1.5 cups of water. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
Allow the pressure to release naturally. Drain the boiled veggies and set aside. Save the water.
In the same cooker, boil the potatoes separately. Once done, peel the potatoes and set aside.
1. Heat butter in a heavy-bottomed pan.
2. Add bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium flame, stirring constantly. av Bhaji Recipe
3. Add boiled peas to the pan.
4. Stir in boiled carrots. av Bhaji Recipe
5. Mash the veggies using a masher.
6. Pour in 3 tablespoons of water and mash the vegetables.
7. Add the tomato puree. av Bhaji Recipe
8. Cook until the oil starts to separate. Keep mashing the vegetables all along.
9. Pour in another 1/4 cup of water. av Bhaji Recipe
10. Add beets, cauliflower, and boiled potatoes to the tomato mixture.
11. Keep crushing the vegetables with a masher. Add 1/4 of water.
12. Mash the vegetables to desired consistency. Cook for another 3-4 minutes and then take it off the heat.
Assembling pav bhaji
13. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add ginger paste and cook for a minute.
14. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent.
15. Stir in chopped tomatoes. av Bhaji Recipe
16. Pour in 2-3 tablespoons of water.
17. Cover the tomatoes with a lid and cook until they become soft.
18. Mash the tomatoes with a masher. av Bhaji Recipe
19. Add the Pav Bhaji Masala along with another 2-3 tablespoons of water.
20. Mix until everything is combined.
21. Mash and cook until the oil starts to separate.
22. Stir in salt and Kashmiri red chili powder. av Bhaji Recipe
23. Finally, add the mashed vegetables to the skillet. Add kasoori methi and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the oil separates.
24. Top with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.
How to make Mumbai Pav Bhaji in Instant Pot?
In the Instant Pot method, everything gets cooked in one pot. No boiling of vegetables required. The best part, the cleanup is really easy – only one pot to clean!
1. Turn the Instant Pot on and press the sauté button. Add 3 tablespoons of butter.
2. When the butter melts, add chopped onions and ginger paste to the insert.
3. Sauté the onions for a minute until soft and translucent.
4. Now add carrots. Carrots take a long time to get tender; therefore, it is added along with the onions.
5. Stir in chopped tomatoes.
6. Tomato puree.
7. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
8. Now add Pav Bhaji Masala to the tomato mix.
9. Add salt and Kashmiri red chili powder.
10. Time to add the vegetables. Add chopped bell peppers and peas.
11. Add cauliflower florets and sliced beets.
12. Finally, add diced potatoes.
13. Mix everything until all the ingredients are well combined.
14. Pour in 1 cup of water. Mix it again. av Bhaji Recipe
15. Close the Instant Pot. Turn the venting knob to the sealing position. Cancel the sauté button and press the ‘Manual’ button—cook on HIGH for 11 minutes.
16. Once the time has elapsed, allow the pressure to release naturally. Once the silver pin is down, carefully open the Instant Pot lid.
17. Mash the vegetables using a masher or immersion blender.
18. Crush until the desired consistency is reached.
19. Turn the sauté mode on and add kasoori methi and the remaining butter to the insert. Allow it to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring the bhaji to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the insert.
20. You can adjust the consistency of bhaji by adding a little extra water. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves, extra butter, and serve hot.
How to fry the pav or buns for Bhaji?
Slice the pavs into two halves. Heat a tawa or skillet. Add butter to the heated skillet. Pav Bhaji Recipe
Sprinkle half a teaspoon of pav bhaji masala and kasoori methi on top. Add pavs to the heated skillet. Pav Bhaji Recipe
Toast the pavs on both sides until evenly brown. Remove from pan and serve hot with bhaji.
Faqs And Substitutes!
What other vegetables you can use in bhaji?
I have used the best possible combinations of mixed vegetables that go in the bhaji – cauliflower, potatoes, peas, and bell peppers. Beetroot was added for its deep red color. However, you can omit it if you don’t have a liking for beets. av Bhaji Recipe
Other veggies that would taste great are bottle gourd, green beans, sweet potato, and plantains. av Bhaji Recipe
Can I add paneer to bhaji?
Of course, you can! Grate the paneer and add to the bhaji along with the cooked vegetables. It will lend a rich taste.
The best Pav bhaji masala for Pav Bhaji
Can you make Pav bhaji ahead of time?
Most certainly! Bhaji can be made a whole day in advance to deepen the flavors. Once cooked and cooled, store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. av Bhaji Recipe
Bhaji stays well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and, if stored well, will remain for 2-3 months in the freezer.
Can you double up on the recipe?
You sure can! Pav Bhaji is a perfect dish to be served at potlucks and large gatherings. This recipe serves 10 people, so you need to scale the recipe up or down to suit your preferences.
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe. Feel free to contact me with any questions or inquiries, and I would be happy to answer them.
CRAVING FOR MORE, TRY SOME OTHER delicious Street food recipes –
|This recipe post has been updated from the archives, first published on August 10, 2015|
Pav Bhaji Recipe
VEGETABLES FOR BHAJI
- 1 large Green bell pepper finely chopped
- 1½ cup Cauliflower florets
- 1¼ cup Green Peas
- 3 medium Potatoes
- 1 small Beetroot peeled and sliced
- 2 cups Tomatoes finely chopped
- ¾ cup Baby carrots
GARNISHES AND SERVE ITH
- – – Cilantro leaves
- – – Lemon wedges
- – – Onion chopped
- – – Butter
- – – Homemade Ladi Pav
- In a pressure cooker add carrots, peas, cauliflower, and beets along with 1.5 cups of water. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally. Drain the boiled veggies and set aside. Save the water.
- In the same cooker, boil the potatoes separately. Once done, peel the potatoes and set aside.
- Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a heavy-bottomed pan.
- Add bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium flame, stirring constantly.
- Add boiled peas and carrots to the pan.
- Mash the veggies using a masher.
- Pour in 3 tablespoons of water and mash the vegetables.
- Add tomato puree..
- Cook until the oil starts to separate. Keep mashing the vegetables all along.
- Pour in another 1/4 cup of water.
- Add beets, cauliflower, and boiled potatoes to the tomato mixture.
- Keep crushing the vegetables with a masher. Add 1/4 of water.
- Mash the vegetables to desired consistency. Cook for another 3-4 minutes and then take it off the heat.
ASSEMBLING PAV BHAJI
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter along with ginger paste and cook for a minute.
- Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent.
- Stir in chopped tomatoes.
- Pour in 2-3 tablespoons of water.
- Cover the tomatoes with a lid and cook until they become soft.
- Mash the tomatoes with a masher.
- Add the Pav Bhaji Masala along with another 2-3 tablespoons of water.
- Mix until everything is combined.
- Mash and cook until the oil starts to separate.
- Stir in salt and Kashmiri red chili powder.
- Saute and mix until well blended.
- Finally, add the mashed vegetables to the skillet. Add kasoori methi and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the oil separates.
- Top with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.