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Paneer Pav Bhaji – Instant Pot Pav Bhaji with Paneer

This homemade Paneer Pav Bhaji – Instant Pot Pav Bhaji with Paneer recipe is easy to prepare, inexpensive, ready in just 40 minutes and the perfect sweet and tangy weeknight meal recipe idea! Paneer adds so much flavor to the bhaji.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appertizer, 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
  • 2 tsp chaat masala 
  • 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 cup paneer (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)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)  (optional but recommended)

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 paneer.


  • 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, grated paneer, 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. Additionally, you can add some butter (about 2 to 3 tablespoons). Serve pav bhaji with chopped onions and chopped serrano peppers on the side.
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