Pav bhaji recipe with video & step by step photos – A delicious blend of mix veggies cooked in butter & spices, served with soft butter tasted buns. Pav is an Indian bread and bhaji is mashed vegetables cooked with spice powder. This post will guide you to make the easiest & best pav bhaji that tastes delicious and flavorful. I have shared Stovetop & Instant pot instructions for the same.
If you are new to this dish, here is more info
What is pav bhaji?
Pav bhaji is a popular Indian street food that consists of a spicy mix vegetable mash & soft buns. Usually pav bhaji is served with a generous amount of butter topped along with some fresh chopped onions & lemon juice. The butter toasted pav are eaten along with the veggie mash or bhaji.
Usually the street side bhaji is made with more potatoes & onions. Veggies like cauliflower, capsicum & peas are used in little quantities or even skipped.
Street stalls selling mumbai pav bhaji often avoid cauliflower as it turns out to be expensive for them. But while making it at home, it is good to use it as the flavor of bhaji turns out excellent. You can adjust the amount of veggies to suit your taste and liking.
There are many pav bhaji masala powders available in the market which can be used instantly. Each one differs in the flavor and taste. But the basic ingredients almost remain the same. Only the quantity of ingredients change. So you can chose the one you like.
I like my homemade masala powders so I make my own pav bhaji masala powder at home. You can find the link in the recipe card below. I have shared it here in brief.
Make pav bhaji masala
You can also make pav bhaji masala powder by dry roasting the following ingredients. Powder them in a spice jar and use as needed in this recipe.
2 tbsps coriander seeds
1 black cardamom
1 tbsp cumin or jeera
1 tsp pepper corn
1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
3 red chilies
1 inch cinnamon
3 to 4 cloves
1/2 tbsp amchur
Instant pot instructions towards the end of this post.
Preparation for pav bhaji
Rinse, peel and cube 3 medium or 2 larger potatoes (about 300 grams). Mine were 1½ cups when measured. Clean half to 1 cup cauliflower florets (optional). Rinse ½ to ¾ cups green peas. You can also chop a small carrot if you like.
For making masala, chop 1 medium onion (¾ cup chopped) , 2 medium tomatoes (¾ cup chopped), half bell pepper (½ cup chopped) and 1 green chilli. Also make 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste. Keep all of these aside.
1. Add potatoes, cauliflower, peas & carrots (optional) to a pressure cooker or a pot. Pour 1½ cups water, it should be just enough to cover them partially.
2. Pressure cook for 1 to 2 whistles on a medium flame. I pressure cook for only 1 whistle.
3. When the pressure releases open the lid. Veggies should be soft cooked. Mash them well.
How to make pav bhaji recipe at home
4. Heat 1 tablespoon butter & 1 tablespoon oil in a pan.
5. Add ¾ cup chopped onions. Saute till they turn translucent.
6. Add 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste and 1 green chilli. Fry until it smells good. Take care not to burn.
7. Add half cup chopped bell pepper. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
8. Add ¾ cup chopped tomatoes and ¾ teaspoon salt. Fry till tomatoes turn mushy, soft and pulpy.
9. Add ¾ to 1 teaspoon chilli powder and 1 tablespoon paav bhaji masala powder. If making for kids, skip the chilli powder but it will affect the color.
10. Mix well and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
11. Add the boiled & mashed veggies. Add ½ to ¾ cups more water to bring it to a consistency.
12. Mix well and simmer for a while to bring out the flavor of masala. Add ¾ tablespoon kasuri methi.
13. When it reaches the desired consistency, add chopped coriander leaves. switch off. Slightly cool down and add some lemon juice before serving.
14. Slit the pav horizontally leaving one edge intact. On a low flame, heat 1 teaspoon butter on a tawa. Add little masala powder over it.
15. Place the pav on the butter and toast for 1 to 2 mins until slightly crisp. Do not over do it as the spice powder will burn. You can do the same on the other side as well by adding more butter on the pan.
Garnish with coriander leaves, lemon wedges and chopped onions. Top with more butter on hot bhaji. Serve pav bhaji with some butter topped and onion.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 1½ cup potatoes diced (3 medium or 2 large) (300 grams)
- ½ to ¾ cup green peas (matar)
- ½ to 1 cup cauliflower (gobi florets)
- ½ cup capsicum (bell pepper) chopped
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion (¾ cup finely chopped )
- 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste or chopped
- 1 green chili (optional)
- 2 medium tomatoes (¾ cup finely chopped )
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder (less spicy kind or red chili paste as needed)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon pavbhaji masala powder (use more if needed)
- ¾ tablespoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, optional)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
To toast pav
- 4 to 6 Pav (buns) (dinner rolls)
- 1 tablespoon butter for toasting pav
- ½ teaspoon pav bhaji masala powder
To garnish pav bhaji
- 1 Lemon wedges
- 2 tablespoon onions Chopped
- 2 tablespoon Coriander leaves
- 1 tablespoon butter
How to make the recipe
Preparation for pav bhaji
- Add ½ to 1 cup cauliflower florets, 1½ cup cubed potatoes and ½ to ¾ cup peas to a pot or pressure cooker.
- Pour 1½ cups water and cook until soft or tender.
- If cooking in cooker, let it whistle twice. When the pressure releases open the lid and mash them well.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil to a pan and heat up.
- Next add ¾ cup finely chopped onions and fry till they turn translucent.
- Then add 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste and 1 chopped green chili.
- Fry till it becomes fragrant.
- Next add ½ cup capsicums & saute for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add ¾ cup chopped tomato and ¾ tsp salt.
- Fry till tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
- Next add ¾ teaspoon chili powder and 1 tablespoon pav bhaji masala powder.
- Mix and fry for another 2 minutes or until the raw smell of the mixture goes away.
- Add boiled & mashed veggies.
- Pour more water (½ to ¾ cup) just enough to bring to a thick consistency.
- Cook for 3 to 5 mins until the bhaji thickens. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Add ¾ tbsp kasuri methi if using and cook until it reaches a desired consistency.
How to make pav bhaji
- Slit the pav buns horizontally leaving one edge intact.
- Heat butter on a pan. Open the buns and sprinkle some pav bhaji masala on the butter.
- Place the pav & toast them for a min or two.
- Garnish with onions, butter and lemon wedges. Serve pav bhaji hot or warm.
Video of pav bhaji recipe
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
Instant pot Pav bhaji
This recipe has been tried and tested in a 6 qts Instant pot. It worked very well even with homemade pavbhaji masala which I shared in the Intro of this post.
For Bhaji you will need
1 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 ½ cups potatoes – 300 grams – 3 medium or 2 large
¾ cup onions fine chopped – 125 grams – 1 medium or 2 small
¾ cup tomatoes fine chopped – 125 grams – 2 medium
½ cup green peas – 75 grams
1 cup cauliflower florets (or substitute with half cup potatoes)
½ cup bell pepper chopped – 65 grams – 1 small capsicum
1 tablespoon ginger garlic fine chopped or paste
1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 to 1½ tbsp pav bhaji masala
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (can add more for heat)
¼ teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water
1 tablespoon kasuri methi
2 to 3 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped
6 to 8 pavs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons chopped onions
2 tablespoons coriander leaves fine chopped
How to make in Instant pot
- Press SAUTE button on the instant pot. Add butter and oil to the steel insert.
- Add onions and green chilli. Saute until transparent.
- Then stir in ginger garlic and fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes, capsicum and sprinkle salt.
- Saute until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
- Then add in pav bhaji masala, chilli powder and salt.
- Mix well and add all the veggies – potatoes, cauliflower and peas.
- Pour 2 cups water and deglaze the pot by scrubbing the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula.
- Press CANCEL button and press PRESSURE COOK button with high pressure setting. Set the timer to 5 mins and position the steam release handle to sealing.
- When the IP beeps, wait for 5 mins for natural pressure release. Gently release the rest of the pressure manually.
- With a spatula or masher, mash all the veggies well.
- Press SAUTE button and add kasuri methi. If needed add more salt.
- Let the bhaji simmer for 3 to 4 mins. It will thicken. Then add coriander leaves.
- Transfer to serving bowls. Top with butter, fresh chopped onions & coriander leaves.
- Slit each bun to 2 horizontally. Heat a pan. Smear some butter and sprinkle pav bhaji masala over the butter. (check images below) Toast the pavs until lightly crisp. Serve pav with hot bhaji.