Dabeli is a famous street food, originating in the Kutch region of Gujarat. It’s also known as Kutchi Dabeli for obvious reasons and sometimes as Double Roti. The term ‘Dabeli’ literally means pressed in Gujarati. The delicious filling is pressed between the two sides of the pav and is toasted in (Amul) butter to give that wonderful taste.
I first got introduced to this dish in Mumbai. We had a dabeliwala who dished out delicious dabelis in our locality. The sweet and sour potato filling, highlighting the yummy flavour of the masala and chutneys bring on a craving for this dish. His dabelis were such a hit with us, that we gorged on it at least twice a week. Even now, whenever I visit my parents, eating his dabeli is a sacrosanct ritual for me 😀
Pav buns – 6
For the filling:
Potatoes, boiled and mashed – 4 to 5 medium sized (Approx, 2 medium potatoes can fill 3 dabeli pavs)
Dabeli masala – 2 teaspoons or slightly more to your liking.
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt- to taste
Dabeli masala (for around 4-6 portions of dabeli):
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Nutmeg – a pinch
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch stick
Cloves – 2 in number
Sesame seeds – 1/3 tsp
Black pepper powder- 1/4 tsp
Dry roast all the above ingredients for 2-3 minutes. Grind to a fine powder and store in an air-tight container.
1)Green coriander chutney
-> Take a handful of coriander leaves, 2-3 garlic pods, 1 inch ginger, 2-3 green chillies, 1 tsp peanuts (for consistency), a tsp of lemon juice and salt to taste. Grind it to a smooth paste using little water. Adjust the consistency and condiments to your liking.
2)Red Garlic-chilli chutney
-> 8-10 peeled garlic pods and a big handful of red Kashmiri chillies. Soak the chillies in warm water for around 30 minutes and then grind the chillies with the garlic and some salt to a fine paste. Adjust water as per the consistency desired. Note: do not deseed the chillies.
3)Sweet and sour tamarind and date chutney
-> Take a cup of soaked and deseeded dates; to it add 2-3 tblsp of thick tamarind pulp, 1 tsp cumin powder, and rock salt to taste. Grind it to a smooth paste using water. Add more tamarind or dates/jaggery as per your liking.
Essential add-ons 🙂
Onions, finely chopped
Pomegranate pearls/Chopped grapes
Sev, the fine or barik variety
Masala peanuts (peanuts toasted with chilli powder and salt in some oil)
Amul butter – to toast the pav
Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds to it. To it add the mashed potato, dabeli masala, 2 teaspoonful of tamarind-date chutney and salt as per taste. Mix well and the filling is ready! Do adjust the additions of masala, or chutney as per your liking.
To assemble the dabeli:
Slit the pavs and keep them ready. Next, apply the date-tamarind chutney to one side of the pav and the green coriander chutney to the other side. Press a big spoonful of the potato mixture on one pav. On it, add some chilli-garlic chutney and spread. Add pomegranate pearls, chopped onions, masala peanuts on the potato mixture and press it a bit.
Add sev on it and cover it with the other side of the pav. Again, press it firmly and toast it on a griddle on both sides with oodles of butter!