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Mumbai Pav Bhaji (California Style!)

Pav Bhaji originated in the 1850s as a fast lunchtime dish for mill workers who traveled daily from Surat, a city now known as the diamond-polishing capital of the world, to Mumbai, then thriving with textile mills. Pav means soft bread and bhaji means vegetables in Mumbai's local language Marathi. Enjoy this veggie-loaded version of the popular Indian fast food!

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 cup cauliflower florets

  • 1/2 cup cabbage

  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 1 green bell pepper

  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet peas

  • 1/2 cup french/green beans

  • 1 medium potato

  • 1 carrot

  • 2 medium onions

  • 10 cloves garlic

  • 2-inch ginger piece

  • 2 large tomatoes

  • 4 tbsp Pav Bhaji masala (We like MDH!)

  • 1 tbsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp red chili powder

  • 1 lemon (4 tbsp lime/lemon juice)

  • 2 tbsp butter or oil

  • salt to taste


  1. Finely chop cabbage, red and green bell peppers, carrots, and potato. We like to use the chopper if we have a quick turn around time!

  2. Cut green beans into 1-inch pieces. Chop onions, mince garlic and ginger. Finely chop tomatoes.

  3. Take 1/4th cup of the chopped onions and sprinkle them with salt and lemon juice. Keep them aside and let them marinate for serving. Chop cilantro and add a few springs on the onions for serving.

  4. Heat a 4 quart or larger pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Melt the butter or oil and add the remaining onions. Stir until golden brown. Add minced ginger and garlic and stir.

  5. Add all the vegetables, peas, salt, turmeric, and chili powder. Stir, cover, and cook on high pressure for 3 to 4 mins. Let it cool before opening.

  6. Add tomatoes and pav bhaji masala to the pot and stir. Sizzle for five minutes, then add cilantro before serving.

Serve with lemon-marinated onions, lemon slices, and sourdough or whole wheat bread of your choice!

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