Dabeli is a very popular street food recipe that hails from Gujarati cuisine particularly from Kutch district and that is the reason why it is also known as Kutchi Dabeli. You can call Dabeli the Indian style Burger or cousin of the famous Mumbai Pav Bhaji - though apart from the main ingredients like pav, butter, potatoes…the remaining ones are quite different and the assembling too.
During my recent trip to Ahemdabad I was more tempted to taste this wonderful snack as Khaman Dhokala, Khakhra, Khichu, Muthiya are nothing new and I make them often. So when the first time I tried Dabeli on a roadside stall, I was literally mesmerized by the taste and texture - it was a wonderful mix of flavors savory, spicy, sweet, tangy, garlicy all in one.
So many elements put together on a plate and in complete harmony! Yes…that’s the uniqueness of this dish!!
So, let us talk about the Elements of Dabeli -
Buttered Pav or Buns - Make sure that they are fresh, soft and airy.
Filling - Spicy filling made of boiled potatoes and assorted spices are the soul of Dabeli. A ‘Not So Good Filling’ means that the dish is completely ruined. There should be a perfect ratio of sweet, savory, spicy and tangy notes.
Chutneys - If Filling is the soul of Dabeli, then Chutneys are the oxygen. Basically 2 types of chutneys are used for making Dabeli - Sweet Tamarind Chutney and Spicy Garlic Chutney. Now one thing is very important that these chutneys should have a perfect consistency I.e. neither too ‘Thick’ as it doesn’t spreads well on the bread, not too ‘Runny’ either, since it makes the pav soggy.
Dabeli Masala - No Dabeli is complete without a generous sprinkle of this masala that adds an extra punch to the flavors. I strongly recommend making this ‘Dabeli Masala’ at home so that you can have a freshly made aromatic blend of spices that is impossible to achieve in case you are buying it from the market.
Toppings - These assorted toppings of fried peanuts, sev, farsaan, coriander, pomegranate seeds, ginger, green chilli take your dish to the next level not only in terms of ‘Taste’, but also in ‘Presentation’. So never compromise on this side.
Now, as you see that all these elements except sev or farsaan are homemade. Though for the first timers this might seem like a whole lot of work, but trust me after good results you are going to pat on your back :)
Over to the recipe now …!