Getting back to my love for Indian street food, I present to all another spicy and delicious snack – Dabeli. Dabeli comes from the Western region (Kutch to be exact) of India, precisely from the Kutch region in the state of Gujarat. I however tasted this delicacy in Maharashtra for the 1st time. My husband also recalls that he and his friends did use to enjoy Dabeli during his college days in Pune. The key ingredient in Dabeli is the specific masala, which I have prepared myself at home. Though it is readily available in Indian grocery stores, I tried it at home so that I could experiment with the taste. I can easily and confidently say that once you make it at home, you would not want to buy the readymade one ever again 😉
For all my global friends – Dabeli essentially is a spicy, tangy potato filling inside a bun spread on the bed of spicy coriander chutney and the sweet-tangy tamarind chutney, and garnished with pomegranate seeds, roasted peanuts and sev (fried gram flour vermicelli).
For preparing Dabeli we have to make many thing; hence for simplification I have divided the recipe into different parts. So let’s start the preparations…
The ingredients required for Dabeli are :
1. Bun (Pav/Bread) : 12-15
2. Pomegranate seeds (Anaar) : 1/2 cup
3. Tamarind Chutney : 1/2 cup
4. Coriander Chutney : 1/2 cup
5. Peanut (dry roasted) : 1/2 cup
6. Nylon sev : 1/2 cup
7. Butter : as needed
The ingredients for making the Dabeli Masala are :
1. Whole Coriander Seeds : 2 tsp
2. Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
3. Clove (laung) : 2
4. Black Peppercorns : 4
5. Cinnamon : 1/2″ inch
6. Whole Dried Red Chilli : 2
Dry roast all the ingredients (except whole red chilli) in a pan / skillet till they become light brown and then grind to make powder. Your homemade Dabeli Masala is ready!
The ingredients for making Dabeli Filling/Stuffing are :
1. Potato : 4
2. Tomato : 2 (finely chopped)
3. Green Chilli : 2
4. Ginger : 1/4 tsp
5. Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp (optional)
6. Salt : to taste
7. Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
8. Asafoetida (hing) : a pinch
9. Lemon juice : 1 tsp
10. Butter : 1 Tbsp
11. Oil : 1 Tbsp
Steam or boil the potatoes; peel and mash them and, keep them aside.
Heat a pan with butter and oil; temper with asafoetida and cumin seeds. Then add ginger, green chilli, turmeric powder and sauté for a minute. Add finely chopped tomatoes and again sauté till they get soft and cooked.
Now add the mashed potatoes, salt, dabeli masala and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
Your Dabeli filling / stuffing is ready !
Serving Dabeli :
Cut the bun/pav with knife from 3 sides so that it stays intact from only one side.
Heat a skillet (tawa), spread butter on the both side of the bun and toast it on the skillet from both the sides. Then remove the bun and put it on a plate.
For quick assembling, I suggest you to put tamarind chutney, coriander chutney, Dabeli stuffing, roasted peanuts, pomegranate seeds, and nylon sev in separate bowls on the table.
Take the toasted bun in your hands, open it and spread 1 tsp tamarind chutney in one inner side of bun. On the other side first spread 1 tsp coriander chutney; then spread 1 tsp of Dabeli stuffing, 1 tsp roasted peanuts, some pomegranate seeds, and finally add 1 tsp of nylon sev. Press the bun slightly and your Dabeli is ready to be enjoyed !
Enjoy Dabeli on its own, or in the typical Indian way with a cup of tea/coffee.
Insider Tips / Finer Points :
If you want, you can add finely chopped onions for garnishing.
Please feel free to use the readymade Dabeli masala in case you want to skip making it at home.