This has been the longest that I have gone without a post. And it makes me uncomfortable.
More so because I wasn’t sick or busy. Perfectly hale, hearty and enjoying all the interesting posts and doing things that I usually do. And yet, I couldn’t write.

Every now and then I need some motivation. He calls it kick, but I know he means literally 🙂 Well, with no inspiration, I tend to do what I did. Procastinate. Hope dully, that maybe tomorrow I would be stimulated enough to publish. Ah! But things take their own time to happen. Even a post.
This bug is quite common with bloggers I hear. Every now and then I have blogger friends who disappear and then magically re-emerge. It’s a consolation. I am not the only one – I hear myself say. So, I put my feet up and bask in this self-imposed sabbatical. Waiting for things to happen on their own.

peanuts and the masala make this dish what it is!

peanuts and the masala make this dish what it is!

Dabeli. Spicy sweet crisp fun snack sold on the streets of Mumbai and Gujarat, this little guy has more fans than I could ever imagine. When you borrow the paav from the vada pav and steal some bhaaji from paav bhaji, decorate it with pomegranates, spicy peanuts and chutneys of various kinds, and finally sprinkle the highly aromatic dabeli masala, what you get is this crisp yet soft mushy paav meal which would satisfy those tiny hunger cravings.

Magic Masala

Magic Masala

Making the masala at home is a breeze, but still if you don’t have the time or resources to do so, it is easily available in any Indian store.
Now, like with any chaat/Indian street side junk, prepping this dish is elaborate, but assembling is fun and gets done in minutes.

A scroll view of all that you need to make one fresh crunchy Dabeli –

Take one dinner roll or paav, slice it into two neat halves –

dinner rolls or paav

dinner rolls or paav

Smear some prepared potato mixture –

Mashed Potato masala

Mashed Potato masala

Top with assorted paraphernalia according to taste –

The paraphernalia

The paraphernalia

This is how it looks from the insides –

thats what you see when you open one

that’s what you see when you open one

Slide the cap on –

Slide on the cap

Slide on the cap

Roast on a flat griddle till crisp and crunchy –

There, its complete now :)

There, its complete now 🙂

Enjoy with a glass of chilled lemonade –

Cool it off!

Cool it off!

The recipe –

Serves 4-5 people:


  • 6 dinner rolls or paav or buns
  • 12 heaped tablespoons of potato masala(recipe below)
  • 6 teaspoon of dabeli masala(recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup roasted spicy peanuts
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate
  • 1/2 cup sev
  • garlic chutney(recipe below) as per taste – optional
  • tamarind chutney as per taste
  • coriander leaves to garnish
  • Bit of butter to roast the rolls

For the potato Mixture: 4 boiled potatoes-peeled and mashed, 1 onion-minced, 2 tsp dabeli masala, 1 tsp of oil, a pinch of hing or asafoetida, 1/2 tsp cumin/jeera, 2 tsp tamarind dates chutney, 2 tbsp coconut-grated, 2 tsp pomegranate. Water as required.

For the Dabeli masala: 3-4 whole dry red chilies, 2 cloves, 1/2 inch stick of cinnamon, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 10-12 peppercorns, 1 tsp coriander seeds

For the garlic chutney:  2 dry red whole chilies, 7-8 pods of garlic, salt to taste and juice of 1/2 a lemon


For the dabeli masala: Dry roast all the ingredients on a flat griddle or a pan for 3-5 minutes or until aromatic. Cool the spices. Grind to a fine powder. Store in an air-tight glass bottle and use as required.
Note: I live in a very humid hot place so I usually refrigerate all my freshly ground masalas. So do as you deem fit.

For the garlic chutney: soak red chilies in water for about 15 minutes or so. Grind the soaked red chiles along with garlic pods, salt and lime to a smooth paste. Use as less water as possible for grinding.

For the potato mixture: Mash the boiled peeled potatoes roughly. Heat oil in a skillet. Splutter the cumin, fry onions till they turn pink. Sprinkle hing. Now mix dabeli masala powder that you made in the tamarind chutney. keep aside. Throw in the mashed potatoes, Now add the tamarind dabeli masala mix. Season with salt. Get all the pan ingredients together. Mix it well. Spread this mixture in a shallow bowl of plate. Decorate with grated coconut, pomegranate and coriander leaves. Use when you are ready to assemble the dabeli.


Spread all your prepared ingredients on the counter top. Put a flat griddle on fire. Slice each pav into two equal halves.
Apply garlic chutney on one side of the half, and tamarind chutney on the other side.
Spread 1-2 tbsp of potato mixture on one side.
Top with chopped onion, coriander leaves, roasted peanuts, sev and pomegranate.
I even added some more grated coconut!
Close the entire assembly with the other bun. Roast lightly on a flat griddle using a bit of butter.
Serve crisp!

Note: Its chaat! So you can tweak change substitute what you like and what you don’t accordingly! There is no hard and fast rule. Those who don’t like garlic, you can replace it with mint coriander chutney. It works just as fine.

peanuts, pomegranate, lime and something to sip on

peanuts, pomegranate, lime and something to sip on

Contributing to Angie’s Fabulous Fiestas is always a pleasure! Am taking this Indian yummiliocus chaat to her 41st!! Come, take a peek. You are gonna love all that you see!

39 thoughts on “Dabeli

  1. Wow love the pics and love Dabeli too, consumed dabeli more or less on a daily basis during pregnancy.Welcome back and your post I can relate to, it’s been a while since I have posted a recipe, made loads but no time to type up. The ks for sharing this wonderful recipe xxx

    • Dabeli was new to me when I moved to mumbai. With husband it was a different story, he has had it since his little days. Its a huge family fav (not much of mine though).

  2. Nice post Namrata!!! Personally, not a big fan of dabeli but i loved the photography and the writeup.. Guess we all go through the writers block sometime or the other… Welcome back nonetheless. 🙂

  3. I missed your posts Nams!! I have been waiting for this recipe ever since you put the pictures on FB. Wow, beautiful post and beautiful pictures.
    Congratulations for the awards, abhi toy party banti hai!

  4. Congratulations on winning some awesome awards at the IFBA Namrata :). You totally deserved it! These pictures confirm n seal the reason behind :). Beautiful post with yummy food. I have never made Dabeli! Might try soon.

  5. I love that name, Dabeli. I want Dabeli in da belly! Seriously, I just rolled off the bed (yah, at 10!) and already you got me hungry for rolls and all kinds of crunchy stuff. Never had this before! Shows how little I know about Indian cuisine. Among my friends, I pretend I’m an expert :D.

    Welcome back, Namrata! Wonderful to have you posting again! And what’s this about an award you won? Looks like congratulations are in order. Maybe another post in the making? Share, please! 😃

    • Dabeli in the da belly? haha. You come up with such fun things. Indian cuisine is so expansive and vast, I come across something new every other day! I had no clue about dabeli till a few years back. So, its really ok if you didn’t know about it. And I officially declare you the expert after those awesome phulkas that you made!!
      And the awards, was as much as a shock to me as to others. Indian food Bloggers Association nominated my blog for 3 categories, Food Photo, Recipe and Vegetarian Blog. And I was runner-ups in the FoodPhoto and Vegetarian Catergory. Yea even more shocking. But … yea,.. all that happened. And yes, I might make a post or something. Nothing decided yet 🙂

  6. Fabulous post to mark your short absence from blogging, Namrata! I love when something “new to me” confronts me through blogging. This sandwich looks and sounds delectable. 😛 Thanks for sharing your fabulous recipe at this weeks Fiesta Friday!

  7. Welcome Namrata to Fiesta Friday! Thanks for bringing these lovely rolls (pau) filled with rich goodness. I can actually taste it. Street food is so popular in Bombay isn’t it? It looks real yummy! Thanks again for your contribution, love your presentation and photos. 🙂

    • Yes, street food is big in almost all of India, but especially more in places like Mumbai and Delhi and Kolkatta. I really wish there was some medium or some meet where we could all taste and share new things like this. Don’t you? 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s