Instant Pot Pavbhaji | Pav Bhaji Bread Bowl

How to Make Pav Bhaji Bread Bowl

Hello Foodies,

          Pav Bahji in new Avatar! A spicy, and flavorsome piping hot mashed potatoes and vegetables served in a Bread Bowl with a dollop of butter, diced red onions, coriander, and a slice of lime. It's also a remarkably easy dish to make, and it comes together in minutes. You can make it gluten-free by using gluten-free bread bowls/rolls. A vegan, soy-free, and nut-free recipe.

If you're looking for classic or fusion recipes or something totally new for your upcoming get-together, Thanksgiving Dinner, or Christmas menu, then I am sure you will definitely love this Pav Bhaji Bread Bowls recipe. Served with buttery, toasted rolls, it’s hearty enough to stand in for a full meal. A pav bhaji has two elements, the bhaji, or the vegetable mash, and the pav, the dinner roll.

Video Recipe:

If you still have space for one more dish on your Thanksgiving menu, make this instant pot pav bhaji and serve in homemade crusty Bread Bowls!

We love this Indian Street Food Pav Bhaji, because,

  • It is easy to make and ready in less than 30 minutes.
  • One-pot recipe.
  • It is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free.
  • Infused with flavors of Indian spices and veggies.
  • It is the perfect, and classic Indian street food recipe.
  • Full of vegetable and healthy meal on the table in no time
  • Made in the instant pot with minimal clean up for later.

What is Pav Bhaji?

        Here ‘Pav’ means ‘Dinner rolls/buns’. Sometimes we also pair this bhaji with toasted sliced bread/hamburger rolls/hot dog rolls too. And ‘Bhaji’ is made from potatoes and vegetables cooked in a tomato base and flavored with Pav Bhaji’s special Spice Blend. Try it, and no matter where in the world you are, I am so sure that you will love it. 

What is Pav Bhaji Masala Pawder?

            There is just one specialty ingredient you will need for your Pav Bhaji that is a Pav Bhaji masala powder. This is easily found at Indian groceries, my preferred pav bhaji masala brand is Everest. I'll add an Amazon affiliate link. If you can’t find it then make a blend at home using cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, amchur powder(dried mango powder), and turmeric 1 Tsp each. 

I gave it a new twist and served this delicious, fiery red vegetable mash in a crusty bread bowl. You can find the Bread Bowl recipe Here.

Why I have used Instant Pot to make Pavbhaji?

           Making Pavbhaji in the Instant Pot is so easy and simple! Boiling potatoes and making pav bhaji on the stovetop have never been quicker than making it in the Instant Pot. It is ready in 20 minutes! It’s best and even a step easier than the stovetop version.  So if you own Instant Pot, I highly recommend giving Instant Pot Pavbhaji a try!

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes; Cooking Time: 20 Minutes
Each Serving of Pav Bhaji Contains 144 Cal


  • Potato 3, peeled and cubed
  • Onion 1 medium, finely chopped
  • Tomato 2 medium, finely chopped
  • Ginger-garlic paste 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder 1 tbsp
  • Pav Bhaji Masala 1 tbsp
  • Cumin Powder 1 Tsp
  • Coriander Powder 1 Tsp
  • Turmeric powder ½ Tsp
  • Salt 1 Tsp
  • Lemon juice 1 tbsp
  • Oil 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves 2 Tbsp, chopped
  • Water 1 ½ Cups
  • Vegan Butter for serving(Optional)


To Prepare Pavbhaji in the Instant Pot:

  • Turn on the saute mode of the instant pot and heat oil.
  • Add onions and saute and cook for 2-3 minutes or until onions become translucent.
  • Now, add red and orange pepper, and saute and cook for a minute or two.
  • Add tomatoes, and ginger-garlic paste and cook until tomatoes become soft and mushy.
  • Add red chili powder, turmeric, Pav Bhaji Masala, and salt and mix well.
  • Add peeled and cubed potatoes and 1 ½ cups of water.
  • Close the lid and place the vent in the sealing position.
  • Cook on manual mode(Hi) for 3 minutes.
  • NPR for 5 minutes and then release the remaining pressure manually.
  • Open the lid and mash cooked potatoes and mix well.
  • Turn on saute mode and add the water needed.
  • Squeeze lime juice and add coriander leaves and mix well.
  • Cook on saute mode for 2-3 minutes and stir in between.
  • Flavorsome, Pav Bhaji is ready to serve. 
  • Serve Pav Bhaji in a Crusty Homemade Bread Bowl. 

To Serve the Pav Bhaji in a Bread Bowl:

  • Cut a ½ inch thick slice from the top of each loaf to create a bowl. 
  • Scoop out the insides to create a deeper well, leaving ¾ inch thick shells(you can use scraped bread to make bread crumbs). 
  • Fill the bread bowl with prepared Pav Bhaji and garnish with onion, coriander leaves, and vegan butter. Enjoy!!!

To Prepare Butter-Masala Pav:

  • Heat ½ Tsp vegan butter in a pan, add some Pav Bhaji masala and coriander leaves, and stir.
  • Roast/Toast pav/dinner rolls and they are ready to serve.

If I want to double the quantity, does the cooking time change?

  • The cooking time will remain the same even if you double the recipe. The instant pot will just take longer to come to pressure.

Tips to Make Pav Bhaji:

  • Don't skip the green bell peppers, bell peppers which have a unique, savory flavor that goes beautifully with Indian spices.
  • I have used fresh tomatoes here, but you can use canned tomatoes, just puree them before adding them to the pot.
  • Along with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, you can use green peas and cauliflower.
  • Be sure to peel the potatoes before adding them to the pot.
  • Another special ingredient I use in this recipe is Kashmiri red chili.  It helps to add a bright reddish color to the bhaji.
  • I have used vegan butter, but you can use ghee or butter too.

Some more Instant Pot Recipes to Try:

Dietary Comment:

  • The calorie count is based on a 2000 calorie.
  • Per serving contains 144 calories, along with 24 g carbohydrates, 3.1 g dietary fiber, 4.1 g fats, and 3 g protein.
  • Portion size can always be increased or decreased depending on your health goals and activity level.

Good Time To Eat:

           It is good to eat Pav Bahji Bread Bowl for lunch or for dinner.

  • If you make this recipe, share your food picture with hashtag #aaichisavali on Instagram and Facebook so that everyone can enjoy it too! 
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Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy!!!

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