Monday, December 21, 2009

Kacchi Dabeli

Living in the US, street food is something that I really miss. Especially during summer when we go for long walks or may be sometimes when we are sitting in the park, I always say to myself "Ah...I wish there was a chaat vendor or a dabeli vendor". The cravings are so strong that within the next two days some chaat dish is in the making in my kitchen. Two days back while cleaning the freezer I noticed a bottle of dabeli masala. Last time I remember making dabeli was probably 2 years back. I was thinking... has it really been two years? Wow...that's a really long time. So I had to make this now. Of course I bought a new packet of masala :)

Kacchi dabeli is one of the popular street foods in Maharashtra. In Pune, there is practically one dabeli vendor at the corner of every main street or in every residential area. Dabeli is made by stuffing potato mixture inside bread (such as dinner rolls or hamburger buns) and lightly toasting both sides in butter. Here is how to make it.

(Serves 4-6)

3 medium potatoes (boiled and mashed)
1 medium chopped onion
1.5 tsp dabeli masala (more or less as needed)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Handful of pomegranate arils
2-3 tbsp tutti-frutti(optional)
12 Dinner rolls or hamburger buns
Handful of salted/ masala peanuts (optional)
Tamarind-date chutney (sweet)
Thin shev (optional)
1 small onion - finely chopped
3-4 tbsp Butter/ vegetable spread
For tempering:
2 tsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
A pinch of asafoetida and turmeric
1. First step in the making of dabeli is to make potato stuffing. Make the tempering and add to it chopped onion. Saute until tender.
2. Add mashed potato, salt, red chilli powder and dabeli masala; and mix well.

3. Take a dinner roll and split it open. Slather the inside with sweet tamarind-date chutney.
4. Add some potato stuffing, peanuts, pomegranate arils, tutti frutti and finely chopped onion.
5. Heat the pan, add some butter and lightly toast the bread (both sides).
6. Sprinke some thin shev if you like and serve hot.

Sweet Tamarind-Date Chutney:
Take tamarind and dates (I use pitted dates) in the ratio of 1/2:2. Add some water to it and microwave for about a minute (this will make both tamarind and dates soft and easy to squish). Squish it and strain the pulp. Add some jaggery (taste for sweetness) and a pinch of salt. Also add cumin powder if you like. Sweet chutney is ready.

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