Saturday, November 12, 2011

Decoding the Dabeli.

I love Indian street food. I think it is one of the healthier options out there compared to going to malls and hogging on Pizzas and Burgers. The best part about it is that it is mostly made fresh so you’re eating nothing frozen. Give me a roadside toast sandwich made with slices of Onions, Potatoes, Beetroot,Cucumber and Tomato and I am set. Ofcourse with the mandatory schmear of the spicy green chutney on top and also a knob of butter, which is omitted in my case. I already did a Dahi Papdi Chaat recipe and it is just not enough to have just one street food recipe on my blog :D So here is the Dabeli!

Dabeli is basically a spicy potato filling stuffed inside a bun which has been layered with a hot chili garlic chutney and a sweet date- tamarind chutney. Other goodies make it even more of an eating experience such as the fresh Pomegranate seeds and also slices of Grapes, which I did not manage to find. It originates from Kutch in Gujarat, the western part of India and the mother of many other awesome street food dishes, and is one of the most popular things sold here in Mumbai. It’s Vegetarian too! So I had to decode all the elements and then put them back together and may I safely say, mission successful!

Recipe : Various (Sanjeev Kapoor, Indobase and Mom)
Serves 4

 2 large Potatoes, boiled and mashed.
2 tablespoons Dabeli Masala (If you don’t have this just grind together an inch of Cinnamon, couple of cloves, 1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds, 1 red Chili large, and a teaspoon of Coriander Seeds into a powder)
1 large/2 medium Onions, Finely chopped.
½ cup Masala Peanuts.  (You could just use normal peanuts and then saute them with some salt and spices as per your taste)
Juice of one Lemon
1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds
A pinch of Asafoetida Powder/Hing
1 tablespoon Oil
Seeds of 1 small Pomegranate
½ cup Nylon Sev
½ cup chopped coriander leaves
½ cup Teekhi Chutney : Grind together 6 cloves of Garlic and 4 dried red chilies with a little bit of water and salt to form a super spicy chutney.
1 cup Meethi/Sweet Chutney. Recipe here4 Paav/Buns
1 tablespoon Butter.
Salt and Sugar to taste.


Get all your Ingredients ready!

In a pan, heat up 1 tablespoon Oil, add in the Cumin seeds, Asafoetida powder and mix it for 30 seconds. Then throw in half of the chopped Onions.

Saute them till translucent and add in the Potatoes, The Dabeli Masala, Salt, a teaspoon of Sugar, Lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons of Sweet Chutney, and mix well on a low flame. Once it is all incorporated, you can add some water to adjust the consistency to a thick spreadable paste. Your filling is now ready. Put it on a flat bottomed plate, and spread it all around. Then layer it with some chopped Onions, Pomegranate seeds,  some of the Peanuts, some of the Sev and some Coriander Leaves.

Now to assemble the Dabeli, start by heating up a flat tawa on medium low heat. Make a Cavity in your Paav and on one side smear with very little Teekhi Chutney. On the other side smear the double amount of Meethi Chutney.  Repeat with all 4 buns.

Stuff the filling inside, generously.  Also add some chopped Onions and Peanuts inside. Add a pat of Butter on your pan and swirl around, and place the Paav on it. Let them cook for a couple of minutes andthen top them with another pat of butter and turn, cook for 2 more minutes. The top of the Bun should have a crisp layer.

Gosh I am one messy cook!

Decorate them with more Pomegranate seeds, rest of the Masala Peanuts, Sev and Coriander Leaves!

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