Resident Recipe: Quick Instant Pot Pav Bhaji (Indian Street Food)

Posted on January 27, 2021 by Anita Mehta, M.D.
Anita Mehta, M.D.

Pot Pav Bhaji (Indian Street Food) data-lightbox='featured'


  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 5 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons pav bhaji masala (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Potato buns
  • Chopped fresh cilantro 
  • Chopped red onion (optional)
  • Lime wedges (optional)


  • Set Instant Pot to high sauté setting and heat 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • Add yellow onion, ginger, garlic, bell peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  • Add cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, and 2 teaspoons of salt.
  • Pour in water.
  • Seal the pressure lid and pressure cook for 6 minutes at high pressure.
  • Quick-release the vent pressure before opening the pot.
  • Switch back to sauté setting and mash the veggies with a potato masher.
  • Stir in tomato paste, 1 to 2 tablespoons pav bhaji masala (see below), red chili powder and turmeric.
  • Allow to cook all together for 5 to 7 minutes until heated through.
  • Sprinkle vegetable mixture with cilantro on top.
  • Toast potato buns on each side in a heated pan.
  • Spoon the vegetable mixture onto potato buns. (I like to eat it as a sandwich.) Serve on a dish along with chopped red onion and a lime wedge.

Pav bhaji masala

  • Combine 4 tablespoons ground coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon cumin powder, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, 3 to 4 red chilies, a pinch of ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns.

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