Pav Bhaji Recipe (Mumbai Street Style)

Updated: May 9, 2023, By Swasthi

Pav Bhaji is a flavorsome and hearty meal that has a delicious blend of spicy mixed vegetables, served alongside soft butter toasted dinner rolls, crunchy onions and lemon wedges. This homemade Mumbai street style snack meal tastes absolutely phenomenal and is a total crowd-pleaser with bold flavors. It’s the easiest and a great dinner option you can make on busy weeknights. Make the BEST Pav Bhaji at home with my simple recipe instructions to make it in a regular pan or stovetop pressure cooker or Instant pot.

Pav Bhaji made in Mumbai Style

Recipe Comments

It’s no secret that there a lot of delicious Indian street foods like Aloo tikki, Dahi vada, Bhel puri, vada pav and Batata vada, but this dish is particularly unique for its intoxicating aroma. Probably, it’s hard for a lot of Indians to cross a eatery without surrendering to the temptation. Undeniably, this is the most loved street foods from Mumbai, India!!

What is Pav Bhaji?

Pav Bhaji is an Indian fast food consisting of a thick spicy vegetable gravy served with soft dinner rolls. In Hindi and Marathi, the word ‘Pav’ means ‘Bread roll or dinner roll’ and ‘Bhaji’ means ‘a vegetable dish’. It gets the name since these are served together as a meal.

Originated in Mumbai as a light and quick meal option for the textile workers, this Mumbai’s most iconic street food became hugely popular across India. You will find this everywhere right from upscale restaurants to school/ college canteens & street side push carts in India. Even more you find it in every Indian restaurant abroad. But it is said that you get the BEST Pav Bhaji in Mumbai.

My Recipe

My homemade version is easier than you think & it tastes incredibly delicious! Except for the preparation, you won’t need to put much effort. Though an all-time favorite, this isn’t the perfect starter instead it is ideal for a meal. Because no one wants to stop with 1 to 2 servings of this.

Bhaji has a mélange of vegetables cooked with butter and pav bhaji masala, a special spice blend which creates a magic. The piping hot bhaji is topped with a generous amount of butter and garnished with coriander leaves. It is then served alongside butter toasted pav, chopped onions and lemon wedges. Then you are ready to dip the pav in the bhaji and relish it.

In this post I show 2 ways to make it. The first method is to boil the veggies first and then simmer with the onion tomato and pav bhaji masala. The second method is a one pot recipe where you make the masala first and then add the raw veggies. This is pressure cooked with the ground spices. Follow this if you have a pressure cooker, either the stovetop Indian cooker or the instant pot.

Ingredients You Need

  • Pav (dinner rolls/ bread rolls): Indian pav is made with refined white flour, milk and yeast. They are eggless & are easily available in the Indian stores. If you live outside India & don’t find pav, you may serve them with unsweetened buns, sourdough or artisan breads. Whole grain crusty breads also go well with this bhaji.
  • Mixed vegetables: I use fresh veggies like carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, beans potatoes & frozen peas. You may opt to use pre cut veggies from the stores if you want.
  • Butter is the key ingredient that adds flavor to the dish. You may use cultured butter if you have for extra flavor.
  • Pav Bhaji Masala is a spice blend used to cook the bhaji. You either make your own following my recipe below or buy from an Indian Store.

Make Pav Bhaji Masala

You can buy a store bought bhaji masala from any Indian grocery stores. There are numerous brands selling it and each differs in the flavor and taste. I prefer making my own spice blends because they smell much better and fresher than the store bought versions. If you prefer to try out my home made version, simply dry roast the spices listed below, cool down and grind in a spice grinder.

  • 2 tbsps coriander seeds
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 tbsp cumin or jeera
  • 1 tsp pepper corn
  • ½ tbsp fennel seeds
  • 3 dried red chilies
  • 1 inch cinnamon piece
  • 3 to 4 cloves
  • ½ tbsp amchur (dried mango powder)

For more street foods check
Sandwich recipes
Pakora recipes
Papdi chaat
Gobi manchurian

Photo Guide

How to make Pav Bhaji (Stepwise Photos)


Rinse, peel and cube 3 medium or 2 larger potatoes (about 300 grams). Mine were about 1½ to 2 cups when measured. Clean 1 cup cauliflower florets (optional). Rinse ½ to ¾ cups green peas. If you want you can also use 1 medium carrot (Half cup chopped).

For making masala, chop 1 medium onion (¾ to 1 cup chopped) , 2 medium tomatoes (¾ to 1 cup chopped), half bell pepper (½ cup chopped) and 1 green chilli. Also make 1 tablespoon 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.

boiling veggies for pav bhaji recipe

2. Pressure cook for 1 to 2 whistles on a medium flame. I pressure cook for only 1 whistle.

pressure cooking veggies for pav bhaji

3. When the pressure releases open the lid. Veggies should be soft cooked. Mash them well.

mash cooked veggies

Prepare Onion Tomato Masala

4. Heat 1 tablespoon butter & 1 tablespoon oil in a pan.

melt butter in pan to make pav bhaji recipe

5. Add ¾ to 1 cup chopped onions. Saute till they turn translucent.

adding onions to fry for pav bhaji

6. Add 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste and 1 green chilli. Fry until it smells good. Take care not to burn.

frying ginger garlic paste to make pav bhaji

7. Add half cup chopped bell pepper. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

frying bell pepper

8. Add ¾ to 1 cup chopped tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt. Fry till tomatoes turn mushy, soft and pulpy.

frying tomatoes with masala

9. Add 1 teaspoon chilli powder and 1 to 1½ tablespoon paav bhaji masala powder. If making for kids, skip the chilli powder but it will affect the color.

adding masala powder to make pav bhaji recipe

10. Mix well and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

frying masala until it leaves the pan

Make Bhaji

11. Add the boiled & mashed veggies. Add ½ to ¾ cups more water to bring it to a consistency.

adding water to adjust consistency

12. Mix well and simmer for a while to bring out the flavor of masala. Taste test and add more salt if you want. You can also add more chili powder at this stage for brighter color. Also for more flavor you may add more pav bhaji masala if you want.

13. Add ¾ tablespoon kasuri methi. When it reaches the desired consistency, add chopped coriander leaves. switch off. Slightly cool down and add some lemon juice before serving.

cook bhaji until it thickens

Toast Pav

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.

heating butter on tawa to toast pav

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.

toasting buns for pav bhaji recipe

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.

pav bhaji recipe

Photo Guide

How to make Instant Pot Pav Bhaji

This recipe has been tried and tested in a 6 qts Instant pot. It works 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
¾ cup onions fine chopped – 125 grams – 1 medium or 2 small
¾ cup tomatoes fine chopped – 125 grams – 2 medium
1½ cups potatoes – 300 grams – 3 medium or 2 large
½ cup green peas – 75 grams
½ cup carrots (1 medium, 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)
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 to 1½ tbsp pav bhaji masala
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (can add more for heat)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon kasuri methi
2 to 3 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped

For serving
6 to 8 pavs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons chopped onions
2 tablespoons coriander leaves fine chopped


1. Press SAUTE button on the instant pot. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil to the steel insert. I also added half teaspoon cumin seeds here which I have not mentioned in the recipe. These are optional and can be skipped.

melt butter in Instant pot

2. Add onions and green chilli. Saute until transparent.

onions and green chilies

3. Spread them in a single layer so they fry quickly.

sauteed onions

4. Then stir in ginger garlic and fry for 30 seconds.

ginger garlic added to onions

5. Add the tomatoes, capsicum and sprinkle salt.

tomatoes bell peppers and salt in IP

6. Saute until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy. Then add in pav bhaji masala, chilli powder and turmeric.

adding masala to make pav bhaji

7. Mix well and add all the veggies – potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and peas.

vegetables for instant pot pav bhaji

8. Pour 2 cups water and deglaze the pot by scrubbing the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula.

deglaze the instant pot

9. 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.

10. With a spatula or masher, mash all the veggies well.

mashing veggies

11. Press SAUTE button. Taste test. If needed add more salt, red chilli powder and pav bhaji masala. I set aside my kids’ portion and then added more spice powders. Also add kasuri methi.

spice powders being added to pav bhaji

12. Let the bhaji simmer for 3 to 4 mins. It will thicken.

thick veggie mash in Instant pot

13. Transfer to serving bowls. Top with butter & coriander leaves.

butter and coriander leaves garnished over bhaji

Slit each bun to 2 horizontally. Heat a pan. Smear some butter and sprinkle pav bhaji masala over the butter. (check images above) Toast the pavs until lightly crisp. Alternately you may toast them in a preheated oven. I preheat the oven to 240 C or 460F. Place the butter smeared slit pavs on the baking tray, with the butter side up. Bake them for 2 to 3 mins. Keep watching so they don’t burn & become like biscuit.

Serve pav with hot bhaji, chopped onions and lemon wedges on the side.

Pav bhaji served in a white plate


How to get red color in pav bhaji?

Street side vendors sometimes add artificial red color. But you can almost get the same color by simply soaking 10 deseeded Kashmiri red chilies in ¼ cup hot water until soft. Then blend them until smooth. Add this along with the bhaji masala while cooking. This gives a brighter color to the dish.

What can I use instead of pav bhaji masala?

In a pinch you can use garam masala, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Though the flavor won’t be the same it will still taste good.

What is pav bhaji masala made of?

It is made with various spices like coriander seeds, black cardamom, green cardamoms, cumin, black pepper, fennel seeds, red chilies, cinnamon, cloves and amchur (Mango powder).

How to make this without onion and garlic?

Simply skip the onions and garlic to make a no onion no garlic version. You don’t need to substitute them with any other ingredient.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

Pav bhaji

Pav Bhaji Recipe (Mumbai Street Style)

4.99 from 722 votes
A detailed recipe to make quick & delicious Mumbai pav bhaji at home. Bhaji is a thick buttery mixed vegetable curry served with Indian buns – pav. Instructions included for stovetop & Instant pot
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1½ to 2 cups (300 grams) potatoes diced (3 medium or 2 large)
  • ½ to ¾ cup (75 grams) green peas (matar)
  • 1 cup (100 grams) cauliflower (florets, optional)
  • ½ cup (75 grams) carrot (optional, 1 small)
  • cups water (to pressure cook, 2 cups for IP, more to cook in pot)
  • ¾ to 1 cup (125 grams) onions (finely chopped, 1 medium)
  • 1 green chili (slit or chopped, leave out for kids, optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste or chopped
  • ½ cup capsicum (bell pepper) chopped
  • ¾ to 1 cup (125 grams) tomatoes (finely chopped, 2 medium )
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder (or red chili paste from 10 dried red chilies)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 to 1½ tablespoon pavbhaji masala powder (use more if needed)
  • ¾ tablespoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

To toast pav

  • 8 Pav (buns) (dinner rolls)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (to toast pav)
  • ½ teaspoon pav bhaji masala powder

To garnish

  • 1 Lemon (sliced)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoon onions Chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoon coriander leaves
  • 2 tablespoon butter (divided between servings)



  • Add cauliflower florets, cubed potatoes, carrots and peas to a pot or pressure cooker. Pour water and cook until soft or tender. If you cook in a pot you will need more water.
  • If cooking in pressure cooker, cook on a medium heat until you hear 2 whistles. When the pressure drops open the lid and mash them well.

Make Bhaji

  • Add butter and oil to a pan and heat up on a medium flame. Add onions and saute till they turn translucent.
  • Stir in ginger garlic paste and green chili. Saute until fragrant.
  • Next capsicums & saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomato and salt. Saute until the tomatoes soften and become mushy.
  • Stir in chili powder, turmeric and pav bhaji masala powder. Saute the masala 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. If you want it more spicy, add another half tsp chilli powder and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add kasuri methi and cook until it reaches a desired consistency thick yet of pouring consistency.

How to Make Pav Bhaji

  • Slit the pav buns horizontally leaving one edge intact. 
  • On a low to medium flame, heat butter on a pan/ griddle. Open the pav and sprinkle some pav bhaji masala on the butter. Place the pav, inner side on the butter & toast them for a min or two.
  • Scoop out portions of bhaji to serving bowls. Garnish it with onions, butter and coriander leaves. Squeeze some lemon juice. Serve pav bhaji hot or warm. Dip your pav into the bhaji and enjoy.

Instant Pot Pav Bhaji

  • Press SAUTE button on the instant pot. Add oil and butter to the steel insert.
  • Saute onions and green chili until the onions become transparent. Stir in ginger garlic and fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add tomatoes, capsicum and sprinkle salt. Saute until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
  • Stir in pav bhaji masala, chilli powder and turmeric. Add all the veggies – potatoes, cauliflower florets, carrots and green peas. Pour 2 cups water (1x) and mix well at the bottom to deglaze the pot.
  • Press CANCEL button and press PRESSURE COOK button with high pressure setting. Set the timer to 5 mins and position the steam release vent to sealing.
  • When the IP completes, it beeps, wait for 5 mins for natural pressure release. Gently release the rest of the pressure manually and open the lid.
  • There is plenty of liquid at this stage. With a masher, mash all the veggies well, they will soak up the excess liquid.
  • Press SAUTE button. If needed add more salt, pav bhaji masala and more red chilli for a brighter color. I usually add ½ teaspoon more red chilli powder at this stage.
  • Let the bhaji simmer for 3 to 4 mins, until thick. Then add add crushed kasuri methi and mix. Press cancel. Sprinkle coriander leaves and 1 tablespoon butter.
  • Slit each bun to 2, horizontally, keeping one edge intact. Heat a pan. Smear some butter and sprinkle pav bhaji masala over the butter. (check images above) Toast the pavs until lightly crisp.
  • Transfer bhaji to serving bowls. Top with butter & coriander leaves. Squeeze some lemon juice.
  • Serve alongside toasted buns and freshly cut onions.


  1. To get a deep red color, soak 10 red chilies in half cup hot water until soft. Then blend them to a thick paste with very little water in a small blender.
  2. The street style dish is mostly made without cauliflower.
  3. If you do not have pavbhaji masala, then you can make it by using the ingredients I mentioned in the intro of this post.
  4. You can also replace pav bhaji masala with garam masala and more red chili powder. But the flavor will be different.


NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Pav Bhaji Recipe (Mumbai Street Style)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 321 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 30mg10%
Sodium 666mg29%
Potassium 568mg16%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 1285IU26%
Vitamin C 70.1mg85%
Calcium 129mg13%
Iron 4.4mg24%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
best recipe

5 stars
Tried this out with the masala made by your recipe too. So easy and fool proof and above all tasty!

5 stars
Made in a very large batch to serve at my local temple. Everyone loved it!

5 stars
Best Recipe

5 stars
It was sooo good this was my first time preparing pav bhaji really I love all ur recipes its so going and too simple u have explained the recipes thank u

5 stars
So good, this was my first time having Pav Bhaji. The flavor from all the vegetables is amazing and the spice mix is so flavorful.

5 stars
Very good recipe easy to follow n very tasty better than hotels pan bhaji thank u

5 stars
Great recipe. Thank you

Hi Swasthi, I love all your recipies. I do have one question- what is the per serving size in the nutritional info?

How would you make this without a pressure cooker or instant pot? I was just in Mumbai and discovered pav bhaji and need it in my life!

5 stars
Amazing Recipe so so tasty <3

5 stars
Perfect recipe.. my family loved it.. thank you so much!!

5 stars
Best recipe on the net. Came out very well. Wife and daughter loved it . Absolutely delicious thank you so much.

5 stars
I love your recipes. I make this pav frequently using your instruction. I really appreciate how easy it is to type in the serving size and the adjustment of ingredients. I’m making your rajma recipe tomorrow. Thank you!

5 stars
Superb!! I made it and took it to a party… I made mung dal wraps to serve with it…thankyou and looking forward to trying more of your recipes

5 stars
Growing up our favorite food was pav bhaji and pani puri. All 3 of us siblings grew up in Mumbai and my mom & dad would take us to the best places around the Mumbai city to treat us with the delicious pav bhaji. Fast forward after 40 years of leaving Mumbai for the good, we all still love it. Tried your recipe for a family gathering and this was the best we ate. We don’t get pav locally so used burger buns. Thank you for sharing this great recipe.

5 stars
Came out too good, thank you for the lovely recipe with minutely explained details 🙂

5 stars
It’s been a few months my husband has been making this for weekend dinner. Every time it’s his turn he loves to make this in the Ip. Just wondering if it can be served with any healthy breads. Thank you

5 stars
Thank you. This was amazing.

5 stars
This is our favorite Pav Bhaji. My husband is from Mumbai and he loves this. Says it tastes like Mumbai Pav Bhaji. It is so easy to make in the IP. Thank you for the amazing recipes.

5 stars
Thank you! Made this and loving it so much. Please share a recipe to make pav. I have a hard time finding them in the place I live.