Dabeli or Dhabeli is the Gujarati cousin of Mumbai’s vada pav. If you visit the Gujarati dominant areas in Mumbai like Vile Parle you will come across more dabeli street vendors than vada pav. When we lived in Mumbai, I used to frequently go to Alfa (the one stop shop for ‘almost’ everything imported in Mumbai during the early 2000s) for shopping and on those days dabeli was my main meal.
Unlike vada-pav, dabeli is sweet and spicy and crunchy which makes it my personal favourite between the two. The pomegranate pearls, chutneys, onions and peanuts all come together to add flavour and a unique texture to the potato mix.
Sometime ago, when I was peeling a pomegranate, Sikander said ‘why don’t you try making dabeli?’. I found this recipe on Tarla Dalal’s website, which I more or less followed with minor variations for ingredients.
Dabeli (Dhabeli) Recipe
Prep time: 15 mins| Cooking time: 15 mins| Serves: 2
For the dabeli masala (To save time, you can also use garam masala instead of making your own dabeli masala)
1 dried red chilli
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2″ cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
For the filling
1 cup boiled and grated potatoes
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
a pinch of hing
2 tsp dabeli masala, recipe above (Or use garam masala)
2 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
6 pav (burger buns)
Butter for cooking
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 cup fresh pomogranate
For the dabeli masala
- Roast all the ingredients in a pan for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Grind to a fine powder in a blender. Use as required.
For the filling
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the asafoetida, dabeli masala, potato, salt and ½ cup of water and mix well.
- Remove from the fire, add the 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste and mix well. Divide into 6 portions. Keep aside.
- Slice the burger buns into halves horizontally and cook the buns in a pan using a little butter.
- Place a portion of the filling on the lower half of each bun.
- Top with the chopped onion, peanuts and pomegranate
- Sandwich it with the top halves of the burger buns.