This Kutchi Dabeli recipe, an Indian version of a mini slider or sloppy joes is packed with a gamut of flavors and textures. Learn how to make this popular Indian street food at home from scratch with this detailed recipe.
Dabeli is a popular street food that originated in Kutch, Gujarat in India. Hence it is also known as Kutchi or Kacchi Dabeli! It is a common and popular street food in Mumbai too. It is easy to spot tiny carts selling this yummy snack, doting the cities busy streets.
Table of Contents
SO WHAT IS DABELI AND WHO INVENTED IT?
You might wonder what this strange sounding food dish is if you have never had it before. It means ‘pressed’ in Gujarati and consists of a dinner roll slathered with date-tamarind chutney, spicy red chilli garlic chutney, stuffed with a spicy, sweet and tangy potato filling that is topped with various other goodies like masala peanuts, pomegranate, sev, chopped onions, and cilantro leaves!
It is said to be invented by Keshavji Gabha Chudasama alias Kesha Malam, resident of Mandvi, and Mohan Bavaji in the 1960s. His legacy is now carried forward by his next generations. (Source-Wiki)
Back home in Mumbai, these were a regular affair post-work hours. Basically, any kind of Mumbai chaat dish was! Be it pani puri, sev puri, ragda patties, bhel puri, Bombay sandwiches, omelette pav, frankies (wraps) or Kacchi Dabeli to name a few.
I really missed having these here in the US. So like many of the street foodstuff that is unavailable in my part of the world here, I make it at home. Let me tell you it is a very satisfying experience. If you love to cook then you wouldn’t see it as a Herculean task.
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS REQUIRED TO MAKE KUTCHI DABELI?
- Pav or dinner rolls
- Dabeli Masala Powder
- Masala peanuts
- Dabeli filling which is nothing but a zesty potato mixture
- Date-tamarind chutney aka sweet chutney
- Red chilli garlic chutney
LET’S TALK ABOUT THESE COMPONENTS IN DETAIL
PAV: I made the pav a day before. If you haven’t tried my recipe to make homemade pavs, then you should definitely give it a go. Or else, if it is too much work for you, then you can opt-in for store-bought dinner rolls.
DABELI MASALA: The ingredients for dabeli masala are pretty basic Indian pantry spices. One can easily make Kutchi dabeli masala powder at home. All you have to do is dry roast and grind the following spices – dried red chillies, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and coriander seeds. You can make a large batch and store it in an air-tight container. Homemade dabeli masala powder is much better than store-bought, but again you can always find it online on in any Indian grocery store easily.
MASALA PEANUTS (MASALA SING) FOR DABELI: Roast the peanuts in oil along with red chilli, turmeric powders, and salt. That’s about it!
DABELI FILLING: This consists of a spiced, slightly sweet and tangy potato mixture. It hardly takes about 10 minutes to make this filling, provided you have boiled potatoes ready.
DABELI CHUTNEY: You need two chutneys to slather on the dinner rolls, date-tamarind chutney, and garlic chutney. I always have a jar of date-tamarind chutney in my refrigerator. The red chilli garlic chutney cannot be stored for long, however, it is quick and easy to whip that up!
Now that we have all our elements ready, all that is left to do is assemble it.
Slice a dinner roll in half. Apply some date-tamarind chutney on one side, spicy garlic chutney on the other side, stuff some potato filling and top it with masala peanuts, finely chopped onions, and nylon sev. Crisp it slightly on a skillet with some butter. Devour yummy dabeli!
MAKE-AHEAD TIPS AND IDEAS TO USE LEFTOVER POTATO FILLING
Prepare the pav, masala peanuts and chutneys the night before. So putting this together is super easy and quick without any hassles. It is great for potlucks, parties or also nice to enjoy on those days when you need a break from your regular food 🙂
If you happen to have some leftover dabeli masala i.e the potato filling, you can use it in so many ways.
Some thought starters;
- Use it as a filling in samosa,
- Or use it in dosa
- Make a grilled sandwich using the stuffing
- Or use it in wraps
Simply replace the regular potato filling in these recipes with the leftover potato filling. A delicious variation!
IS DABELI HEALTHY?
As per this fitness site, a single serving of dabeli has 197 calories, 26 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein. To burn these calories, you would either need to walk for 30 minutes or cycle for 20 minutes.
I wouldn’t consider any sort of Indian street food healthy. If you follow a very strict diet, you are better off skipping this. I believe it is good to enjoy everything in moderation, so I definitely make and enjoy some when the cravings strike 😀
HOW TO MAKE KACCHI DABELI AT HOME- STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
FOR THE DABELI MASALA POWDER
Dry roast the ingredients in a skillet over low heat until fragrant. Transfer to a blender, let it cool completely, then blend to a fine powder.
FOR THE MASALA PEANUTS
1.Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add in roasted peanuts, toss it in the oil for a minute.
2.Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and salt to taste. Toss to coat the spices with the peanuts. Cook for another 2 minutes on medium heat. Switch off the heat, transfer to a plate.
FOR THE DABELI FILLING
1.Heat oil + butter in a pan. Add mashed potatoes, along with salt, sugar, dabeli masala & 2-3 tablespoons of water. Mix well, and saute until the spices are fragrant and cooked well.
2.Now add date-tamarind chutney and lime juice. Mix well, and cook till the mixture becomes dry and leaves the sides of the pan.
3.Transfer the mixture to a serving platter and spread it evenly, top with masala peanuts, finely chopped cilantro, chopped onions, pomegranate arils & nylon sev.
MAKING THE DABELI
2.Place a layer of the potato stuffing, top it with finely chopped onions and masala peanuts. Prepare the remaining 3 pav’s in the same way.
3.Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, toast the dabeli on both sides, pressing it slightly, till done.
4.Roll the sides of the dabeli in nylon sev, so that the sev sticks to the mixture on all 3 sides. Serve with more masala peanuts & chopped onions on the side.
★ If you try this recipe, I would love to hear from you! I’d appreciate it if you could rate and leave a review below in the comments. Your reviews help others know the recipe better too. Feel free to share your feedback and suggestions at [email protected] Thanks so much 🙂
Dabeli | Kutchi Dabeli | Kacchi Dabeli Recipe
Measuring cup used, 1 Cup = 250 ml, 1 tsp = 5 ml
For the Dabeli Masala Powder
- 3 dried red chillies
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 6-7 cloves
- 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
For the masala peanuts
- 1 cup roasted peanuts
- 2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- salt, to taste
- 1 tbsp oil
For the filling
- 3 boiled & mashed/grated potatoes, about 2 cups
- 3 tbsp date & tamarind chutney
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp dabeli masala
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- Salt to taste
For the dabeli masala powder
- Dry roast the ingredients in a skillet over low heat until fragrant. Transfer to a blender, let it cool completely, then blend to a fine powder.
- For the masala peanuts
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add in roasted peanuts, toss it in the oil for a minute.
- Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Toss to coat the spices with the peanuts. Cook for another 2 minutes on medium heat. Switch off the heat, transfer to a plate.
For the filling
- Heat oil + butter in a pan. Add mashed potatoes, along with salt, sugar, dabeli masala & 2-3 tablespoons of water. Mix well, and saute until the spices are fragrant and cooked well.
- Now add date-tamarind chutney and lime juice. Mix well, and cook till the mixture becomes dry and leaves the sides of the pan.
- Transfer the mixture to a serving platter and spread it evenly, top with masala peanuts, finely chopped cilantro, chopped onions, pomegranate arils & nylon sev.
To assemble the dabeli
- Slit the pav horizontally without cutting all the way through. Spread red chilli garlic chutney on one side and date-tamarind chutney on the other side of the pav.
- Place a layer of the potato stuffing, top it with finely chopped onions and masala peanuts. Prepare the remaining 3 pav's in the same way.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, toast the dabeli on both sides, pressing it slightly, till done.
- Roll the sides of the dabeli in nylon sev, so that the sev sticks to the mixture on all 3 sides. Serve with more masala peanuts & chopped onions on the side.