Go Back

Instant Pot Pav Bhaji – Easy Mumbai Cheese Pav Bhaji

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8


For the Bhaji

  • 1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
  • 2 tsp  cumin seeds  (jeera)
  • 1 onion medium ( 1 and 1/2 cup finely chopped)
  • 1 inch ginger, fresh (grated) (1/2 tbsp grated)
  • 8 cloves garlic, fresh (minced) (1 tbsp minced)
  • 1 tbsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 4 tbsp pav bhaji masala (MDH or Everest)
  • 1/2 tbsp ground coriander     (dhaniya powder)
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water (divided)
  • 5 tomatoes large (pureed) (4 cups pureed)
  • 5 yukon gold potatoes (2 and 1/2 cups chopped)
  • 1/4 cauliflower head (2 and 1/4 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 cup green beans (chopped)
  • 1/2 bellpepper (capsicum)
  • 1 and 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/2 cup carrots (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup beet root (grated)
  • 1 whole lemon (1 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (dhaniya ke patte)

For Serving

  • 3 serrano peppers (optional) (hari mirch diced finely)
  • 1/2 onion (optional but recommended) (diced finely)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 2 tbsp butter (melted and unsalted) (optional)

For Pav

  • 20 dinner rolls
  • 6 tbsp butter (unsalted)



  • Rinse, peel and chop the potatoes to 4 inch cubes.
  • Rinse and chop the cauliflower head to small florets of about 2 inches.
  • Rinse and chop the green beans, bell pepper, and carrots.
  • Rinse and dice the onions and cilantro finely. Puree the tomatoes.
  • Grate and mince the ginger and garlic. Grate the cheese block.

Cook the Bhaji

  • Select sauté on the instant pot. Further, add in butter to the pot.
  • Throw in cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds splutter add in diced onions and fresh minced ginger and garlic.
  • Cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes until golden in color. Add the Kashmiri chili powder, pav bhaji masala, ground coriander powder, salt, and ¼ cup water. Stir well and let it sauté for a minute.
  • Add in pureed tomatoes and let them sauté for 5 to 6 minutes until the raw tomato odor is eliminated.
  • Add in all the chopped vegetables (cauliflower, green beans, bellpepper, green peas, carrots, beet root) and potatoes and let them sauté for a minute.
  • Finally add in ¾ cup water. Mix well and make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot. Press cancel. At this time secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve. Select manual and cook at high pressure for 8 minutes. When cooking is complete, use quick pressure release to depressurize.
  • Open the lid and add using an immersion blender coarsely blend the bhaji for a few seconds. Don’t blend it super fine. It needs to have some texture. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can use a potato masher or the back of a ladle.
  • Add in lemon juice and ½ cup cheese and mix well. Garnish with cilantro.

For the Pav

  • Toast the pavs with tons of butter on a pan on medium heat until crisp or golden brown and serve them hot.

For Serving

  • Serve the bhaji hot. Top the bhaji with ¼ cup cheese before serving. The heat of the bhaji will melt the cheese. Additionally, you can add some butter (about 2 to 3 tablespoons). Serve pav bhaji with chopped onions and chopped serrano peppers on the side.
Keyword Cheese Pav Bhaji, Instant Pot Cheese Pav Bhaji, Instant Pot Easy Pav Bhaji, Instant Pot Mumbai Pav Bhaji, Instant Pot Pav Bhaji, Instant Pot Quick Pav Bhaji, Instant Pot Spicy Cheese Pav Bhaji, Instant Pot Spicy Pav Bhaji, Mumbai Pav Bhaji, Pressure cooker Pav Bhaji