I love spicy food that has a mouth watering tangy, savour flavour and there are many Indian fast foods which comes under such category. The best way to describe dabeli is it’s a kind of Indian style vegetarian burger made with potatoes. It is an Indian street food mostly eaten in the state of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
I have good memories of when I was living in India – sneaking out to eat them with my cousin and then being told off by the elders because they said we should never eat from street vendors – you’ll get ill. The way I see it street food is much more fresher than what you may get in a top hotel or restaurants as the vendors do not have anywhere to store extras so what ever they make has to be eaten on the same day, hence no need to worry – just enjoy 🙂
Even though a lot of street food is normally fried – my version of dabeli is different because it is healthier, no frying just dry roasting. The long list of items will make it look like a recipe which requires a lot of effort, but it is worth it for the taste explosion, and the various textures.
Dabeli (Potato Burger)
You can get shop bought chutneys which makes life easy, or batch freeze home made chutney which is what I do then you can have it ready to go with any other Indian snack ie. samosa, onion bhaji etc. This recipe is also good to use leftover mash potatoes – giving them an Indian twist, or you can use instant mash potatoes.
Preparation time: 30 mins Cooking time: 30 mins Serves: 2
4 Burger buns (white is better then brown purely taste factor)
3 large potatoes
4 tbsp dabeli masala (either get shop bought or see below to make your own)
5 tbsp finely chopped coriander
3 tbsp salted peanuts
3 tbsp sev (thin gram noodles – you can omit this or use fried rice noodles)
4 tbsp tamarind paste or brown sauce
4 tbsp green coriander chutney
For the green chutney
1 bunch coriander chopped
4 to 5 green chillies (change according to taste)
2 tbsp ground peanuts
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 lemon juice
pinch of turmeric ( this helps to retain the wonderful colour)
* mix the above in a blender with a little water, it should be a little coarse in consistency. *
For the dabeli masala
2 dried red chillies or 1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black pepper corns
1 inch stick of cinnamon
1 star anise
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp each salt and sugar
* Dry roast all the spices, minus the turmeric powder, salt and sugar, in a sauce pan for a few minutes. Mix them as this will help in roasting the spices and releasing the aromas. Cool slightly and grind to a fine powder and mix with the remaining ingredients. Use as required, you can store any extra in an air tight container for use later on. *
1) Peel and boil the potatoes in salted water until cooked. Drain and mash the potatoes. Add the dabeli masala and chopped coriander.
2) Roast the peanuts for a few minutes until they brown slightly and keep aside.
3) On a medium heat lightly toast the inside of the cut burger buns on a non-stick sauce pan and keep aside. The reason for using a non-stick pan is you do not require any oil to roast / cook the buns.
4) To assemble, on one half of the buns spread the mashed potato mixture and place this on sauce pan potato side down for 1 min. Remove from heat, turn upright and top with the roasted peanuts, chopped onion, sev and pomegranate. On the other half of the bun spread the green chutney and tamarind chutney, put the two halves together and press slightly.
5) Place the complete dabeli on to the sauce pan once again to heat the top and bottom of the bun. You will only need to do this for a quick second or so, on either side. All of the roasting adds to the flavour of the dish. Now you are ready to serve enjoy them slightly warm.