Junior Chef: Pav Bhaji Recipe - A Classic Indian Street Food

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Junior Chef sisters Nyah and Kaya make traditional Indian dishes Junior Chef sisters Nyah and Kaya make traditional Indian dishes

Sisters Nyah and Kaya love to cook traditional dishes from India with their whole family. Today these junior chefs are sharing one of their favorite recipes with us, Pav Bhaji.

Pav Bhaji consists of "bhaji" (a mixture of vegetables including potatoes, eggplant and/or zucchini, peas, onions, etc.) seasoned with flavorful Indian spices, served with "pav" (toasted bread). 

Cuisine Chaat (Street Food)

Servings: 6-8 people  Prep Time: 15 minutes  

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes 



  • 1 head cauliflower (rinsed and broken into large florets)
  • 1 large zucchini (coarsely chopped)
  • 4 medium potatoes (peeled and coarsely chopped)
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables


  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 2 whole dried red chili peppers
  • A pinch of hing
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 1  large roma tomato (finely chopped)
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 2  cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp ginger (minced)
  • Pinch of salt (to taste)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1-2 tsp laal marchu (red chili powder) (optional to add heat)
  • 1/4 tspn hardar (turmeric)
  • 2  tspn pav bhaji masalo
  • 1/4 tspn garam masala (optional to add heat)


1. Choose "Saute" feature on Instant Pot. 

2. Heat avocado oil and add bay leaves, dried red chili peppers and hing.

3. Add onions and tomatoes and saute until onions are translucent.

4. Add garlic, ginger, crushed tomatoes, salt, paprika, laal marchu, hardar, pav bhaji masalo, garam masalo. Mix well. Let gravy cook for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent gravy from burning.

5. Add all the vegetables and mix well with gravy.

6. Add approximately 2 cups of water and mix well. Water level should be about 3/4 to the top of the veggies.

7. Close lid of Instant Pot and change setting to "Steam". 

8. Open the lid once Instant Pot has completed the Steam cycle and it is safe to do so. 

9. Using a potato masher, mash all the cooked veggies and mix well to incorporate with the gravy.

10. Serve with buttered and toasted bread. Garnish with chopped cilantro, lemon and finely chopped onions.

Recipe Notes

1. If using pressure cooker, follow the exact directions as above, only in a pressure cooker.  When sauteeing, use low to med heat to prevent gravy from sticking to bottom of pressure cooker.

2. Alternatively, if you do not have access to an Instant Pot or a pressure cooker, make the gravy in a large pot.  Pre-steam/pre-boil all the veggies.  Once gravy is cooked and pre-boiled/pre-steamed veggies are added, mix well and mash up with a potato masher.


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