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4.37 from 30 votes

Mumbai Pav Bhaji

Make authentic tasting Indian street food Mumbai Pav Bhaji at home with easiest possible method by pressure cooking it in Instant Pot. Hands free recipe that tastes exactly like the one at the restaurant without all the hard work.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Cooling20 mins
Total Time47 mins
Course: lunch/ dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 10 cups
Calories: 170kcal
Author: Khushboo


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 6 tablespoon butter divided (see notes)
  • 1.5 tablespoon Indian red chili powder preferably kashmiri or bydagi chilies
  • 2.5 tablespoons Pav Bhaji masala divided
  • 8 medium size ripe roma tomatoes chopped roughly
  • 1 ¼ cup tomato puree see notes
  • 195 grams / 1.5 cups finely chopped onions
  • 12 cloves of garlic minced or grated approx. 2.5 tablespoon
  • 500 grams / 3 medium sized potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 130 grams/ 1 cup green bell pepper / capsicum chopped
  • 130 grams / 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • ¾ cup grated beetroot 1 medium size ,see notes
  • 1 ½ cup cooked dried green peas OR use fresh / frozen peas, see notes
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste

For topping / side

  • Fistful of cilantro finely chopped
  • Lemon wedges
  • Finely chopped onions
  • Dollops of extra butter

For preparing pav for serving

  • butter for spreading both sides
  • pav / diner rolls


  • Switch on the Instant Pot on Saute mode.
  • Add in 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter .
  • Once warm add in the onions and stir until translucent , approx. 2 minutes
  • Add in minced garlic , 1 tablespoon red chili powder and the 2 tablespoon pav bhaji masala. Stir for 10 seconds .
  • Add in 1 cup of water and deglaze the pot .
  • Add in everything else and give it a quick stir .
  • Secure the IP lid . Cancel Sautee mode and press manual HIGH 12 minutes .
  • The black knob on the lid should be on SEALING position.
  • Once the IP beeps let the pressure come down naturally .
  • When the silver pin drops , turn the knob to venting and carefully open the lid.
  • Smash the bhaji with a potato masher or immersion blender.
  • Give it a taste test and adjust seasoning to your preference .
  • Add in 4 tablespoon butter , 1/2 tablespoon reserved pav bhaji masala  and give it a quick mix.
  • Add in cilantro and reserve extra for garnish .
  • Turn on the IP to Sautee mode and let the bhaji cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • You will have to constantly stir or the bhaji will splatter a lot.
  • Cover the IP with an external lid as Bhaji to avoid splatter.

For preparing pav for serving

  • Warm up the tawa/ skillet. Slit the Pav. Spread butter on both sides. Heat up Pav on each side until warm .
  • Serve besides bhaji , chopped onions and lemon.



This recipe fits 6qt and 8 qt Instant Pot. Cut the recipe into half if making in a Mini Instant Pot.
Check out this Mumbai Tava Pulao recipe that goes well alongside Pav Bhaji.
This post will mostly answer all your queries so please go through it from the beginning.
You may use equal amount of frozen ( fresh) green peas in place of the cooked dry peas. I do that most of the times when bhaji is unplanned.
( Authentic Pav Bhaji is made with green dry peas )
How I cook dried green peas -
Rinse dried peas 2-3 times under cold water . Soak ¾ cups dried peas in 1.5 cup water overnight or for 8 hours. Discard water. Put the soaked peas in inner pot of IP pressure cooker . Pour in 1.5 cups water. Secure the IP lid , knob on SEALING position. Cook in Instant Pot Manual HIGH 18 minutes followed by natural pressure release (NPR).
I know that making Pav Bhaji with dried green peas requires some planning ahead but guarantees restaurant taste with it.
Using frozen green peas is always an option when I do not plan ahead and works well too.
Helpful  Tips -
  • Use a food processor to prepare vegetables for the bhaji in less time.
  • You can cook a big batch of dried green peas and freeze in one time use portion size for whenever you want to make Bhaji.
  • Store bought tomato puree is used for restaurant like tasting bhaji.
  • You may use homemade ripe tomato puree too. It won't make much of difference.
Beetroot is used for bright red color of Pav bhaji without adding any food color. Skip if color isn’t an issue for you. Beetroot isn’t used by restaurants but won’t alter the taste of Bhaji .
The spice level of this Pav Bhaji is 4 on 5 , 5 being hot . Adjust the masala to your preference.
Adding some reserved masala towards the end brings out the flavor even more.
If you have time on hand make pav bhaji 6-8 hours or more ahead of time for flavor of masala to deepen .
If making for kids and adults at the same time here is what I do –
Make bhaji with minimum spice. After cooking smash it. Take desired portion out for kids and then add masala plus butter. Stir the Bhaji to coat with the masala. Put on a glass or any other lid that covers the bhaji and cook on Sautee mode for 2-3 minutes. Covering is important because Bhaji will splatter a bit after you smash it. Stir few times in between if possible.
How to store Pav Bhaji –
The flavor of bhaji intensifies after few hours. So if you have time on hand make bhaji 4-5 hours before serving , though not necessary. It tastes even better the next day .
Bhaji stays well in the fridge upto 2 days and freezes well up to 3 months. Freeze in one time use portion size. Once thawed use it within 2 days .Do not refreeze .
Using Butter -
Authentic Mumbai Pav Bhaji uses a lot of butter as you can see in the recipe. If you are weary about it then use as desired.
Savory recipes do not have to be followed exactly to the T as the baking ones. You can take the measures as guideline and follow approximately. Results will be delicious either ways.


Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 852mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 15.4mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 4mg