Dabeli

Dabeli

Dabeli

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:

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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.

Assembling:

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!

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Ragda Pattice

Ragda Pattice

Ragda Pattice

Yet another Mumbai chaat. Fast food. Street Food. Junk Food. His Food. Everybody loves kinda food 🙂
Since I am not a fan of chaat especially this one, I hardly ever make it. You know how it is, when we cook things that usually we like and somehow forget to make that we don’t? Does it happen to you?

Unconsciously I was doing that. I cook what I crave to eat. And chaat, a medley of deep fried crackers and vegetables and lots of Indian fried junk, all infused with sweet, spice and sour – is not on my list. Yea, I know I’m insane. Almost everyone I know love it! I don’t know how I missed the bus.
I once had a 60 year old friend visiting us from San Fran and he asked for pani puris. I was like.. will you be able to take the heat?!! He enjoyed every morsel while I skeptically held a bottle of bisleri ready for him.

Potato Pattice roasted nice and golden

Potato Pattice roasted nice and golden

This so called snack requires so many little things that most people I know eat it for a meal rather than a refreshment. It takes hardly any effort to put it together.. that is, once you have all the stuff with you. A bit of planning, a bit of prepping and you can make this in no time! Yet, I thought of this yummy tangy sweet plate of chaat after ages… I simply forgot about it.

Well, this one is his favourite, he really likes any chaat. Especially Mumbai street food. So he was in for a surprise when the answer to his mundane whats-for-dinner was Ragda Pattice. The name’s intriguing.
Essentially, deep fried potato cutlets(-the pattice bit) are dunked in a yellow dried peas gravy(the ragda), topped with tamarind chutney, green mint chutney, chopped vegetables and garnished with lots of thin fine sev and coriander leaves.
Instead of deep frying the cutlets, I chose to add a bit of cornflour and sauté them with a tsp of oil on a non stick pan. It works just fine.

She had it for the first time. Yes, no kidding!

She had it for the first time. Yes, no kidding!

The Recipe-

Ingredient

Potato Patties or Cutlets

  • 1 kg boiled potatoes
  • 4 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp red chill powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
  • a bit of oil to roast them in a non stick pan.

Ragda or Yellow Peas Curry

  • 1 cup dried yellow peas, soaked overnight or for 7-8 hours.
  • 1/2 tsp chopped ginger garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

To assemble: one plate of ragda pattice:

  • 2 potato cutlets
  • 4 tbsp ragda
  • 1 tsp green chutney
  • 1 tsp tamarind chutney
  • 1/2 tsp each of chopped onions, tomato and grated carrot
  • 1/2 tsp thinly sliced ginger and green chilies – optional
  • 1 tbsp of fine sev
  • sprinkle of chaat masala
  • a dash of lime
  • coriander leaves to garnish
The whole deal

The whole deal

Method

For the Pattice – mash the boiled potatoes, add salt, red chill powder, cornflour and coriander leaves. Mix and mash well. Then grab small handfuls of the mixture and make flat balls out of them. Preferable refrigerate for at least an hour. This makes the batter firm and the end result crisp.

When ready to use, heat a pan, add a tsp of oil. Roast these cutlets till golden brown and crisp.

Note: Cornflour is the magical ingredient! It binds and prevents from splitting the patty. the crunch in the cutlet is enhanced by refrigeration and the cornflour.

Note: You can deep fry them if desired, in which case, to prevent splitting, add a slice or two of crushed bread and definitely refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Note: You can bake them too!

Love this Carb!

Love this Carb!

For the Ragda – Boil the yellow pea with 3 cups of water, salt, turmeric and crushed ginger garlic. I pressure cook the peas. Its faster. If you do not have a cooker, boil them in a covered pot till mushy. Since dried peas/beans are major defaulters in hindering digestion, I would suggest soak and then boil it well. Usually not-properly cooked beans or pulses cause a lot of gas and discomfort.

Note: I use the boiled ragda as it is. But some people add a tempering of oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Note: Ragda can be eaten as it is, top with the chutneys and chopped onions, tomatoes and finish off with a bit of lime and chaat masala. Its like a thick tangy sweet spicy stew! In Mumbai some enjoy it with a piece of pav or dinner roll.

The Ragda, whole yellow dried peas curry

Ragda, whole yellow dried peas curry

Now for the final Plating:

Place 2 cutlets on a plate, pour 3/4 tbsp of ragda over it. Drop a tsp of green mint and tamarind chutney each. Dot with chopped onions, tomatoes and grated carrot. If using julienne ginger, add now. Sprinkle chaat masala and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and sev.

Serve immediately!

Note: Potatoes and dried peas are highly gaseous and not so easy to digest. So I usually add a lot of raw julienne pickled ginger.

Thats what a ragda lattice plate looks like

Thats what a ragda pattice plate looks like

I am taking this to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #26. Do take a peek to see other awesome entries all in one post.

Mumbai Special – Pav Bhaaji

Mumbai Special - Paav Bhaji

Mumbai Special – Paav Bhaji

She never ate what the school served her. Hardly ever. Parent Teacher Meets were usually about how she would not even acknowledge the food but simply found peeling her crayons more interesting than the snack served. But this rule had one exception. Colors and crayons forgotten, hands washed, mat placed she dug her little hands into a delightful plate of paav bhaaji. Teachers heaved a sigh of relief on such days. They saved an extra paav, just in case she came back for more.. which on most such days she did!

Milee is a true blue Mumbai-ite! Sandwiches, pav bhaji, sev puri, vada paav and Gola are on her list of comfort food. Surprisingly I never cared too much for bread. My eyes never sparkle when paav bhaaji is mentioned. I always thought it is a dish made up of leftovers! And do you know the origin of Mumbai’s signature dish(sorry, Mumbai’s one of the ) was actually made from leftovers.. So I was really not that wrong. But as is the case with many things in my life, I have learnt to like things which I previously ran away from.

This immensely popular dish has its origins as lunch eaten by the Mumbai’s textile mill workers, for whom it was affordable and easy to eat during a very short lunch break. Small roadside eateries started making this using leftover vegetables and some easily available spices. And paav? Paav was always there. It is to Mumbai what the Arabian sea or the Gateway is. 🙂

Laadi Pav

Laadi Pav

“What! You’re making paav? why?” , what they really meant was – Why would you or anyone bake them at home?!! You get the bestest, softest cheapest paav here, in Mumbai, the only place in the world.
My friends doubted my mental balance – hugely. Still they came trickling in once the heavenly aroma from freshly baked rolls started drifting.

Bhaaji

Bhaaji

Bhaaji is no rocket science really. Just throw in any type of veggie, over cook it, spice it, mash it, lime it, top with spoonfuls of butter, and viola!
Lap it with your rolls and you will be smacking your lips, wiping a runny nose, licking your fingers and more… No I don’t eat like that, but I’ve seen lot of people who do. 😉

Laadi Paav

Laadi means slab and paav is nothing but delicious soft white bread rolls, so here I am posting the formula for a slab of soft dinner rolls!

Now, when ever I try something new, I drastically reduce the quantity of the said measurements. This time I reduced it so much that I made only 9 mini rolls. What you see in the pictures is all that I baked. Maybe sufficient only for an adult and a child.
The quantity here is for 15 whole regular sized paavs, so feel free to adapt and change.

Mini paavs

Mini paavs

Ingredients

  • 3 and 1/2 cups to 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey or sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 to 2 tbsp melted butter for brushing on the pav

Method

In a small bowl, proof the yeast – by adding luke warm water, 1/2 tsp sugar and yeast. Mix well. cover and keep aside for 10-12 minutes until frothy.

Put 3 1/2 cups of flour, proofed yeast, salt, sugar (not honey, if you are using it) in a big bowl.
Put milk and butter in a small pan, heat it, while whisking a couple of times, till the milk is just lukewarm. Take it off the heat. If you are using honey instead of sugar, add this to the milk.

Add the lukewarm liquid to the dry ingredients and knead till a soft and elastic dough forms. You will have to add a bit more of flour (a tbsp at a time) while kneading, to achieve this. Do not be tempted to add more flour, or your rolls will become tough.

Your dough must be soft and elastic, just short of sticky. Shape the dough into a ball.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, rolling the ball of dough till it is coated with oil. Cover with a towel and allow it to double in volume (mine took two hours).

Lightly knead the dough and divide equally into about 15 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place on a greased rectangular baking tin. Place the balls of dough about 1/4” apart in 3 rows of five each.

Cover them with a towel and allow them to rise for 30 minutes. Bake them at 220C (425F) for 10 minutes till they rolls have risen and started browning. Take them out of the oven and quickly brush them with melted butter and bake them for another 5 minutes till the tops have browned well. Take the rolls out and let them cool on a rack.

To serve: Melt a tbsp of salted butter in a pan. Slice 2 pieces of the pav sideways and place both, cut sides down, on the melted butter and allow the pav to absorb the butter and brown slightly. I like to saute a little on the other side as well. Some serve the paavs as it is, without sauteing.

Rise and shine

Rise and shine

Bhaaji

Bhaaji is a mix of sauteed onions-tomatoes, potatoes and vegetables like peas, carrots, beans etc. It is essentially very spicy, flavorful and served with loads of lime and minced raw onions. Usually a bit red color is added to give that scarlet dead look to the bhaji. I have skipped the pav bhaji masala, color and reduced the chilies as per as our taste.
The following recipe is by a very dear aunt who makes the best pav bhaji ever. The color of her bhaaji was naturally so bright and red, that I begged her to share her trick.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of mixed vegetables (carrot, cauliflower, beans, peas)
  • 3 big potatoes
  • 1 big onion, minced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 6-7 whole dried kashmiri red chilies, soaked
  • 1-2 whole dried normal red chilies – the spicy variety
  • 7-8 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp oil or butter
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp pav bhaji masala – optional
  • To serve: lemon wedges, 3 to 4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, 4-5 tbsp minced raw onions, 2 to 3 tbsp salted butter

Method

Steam cook the mixed vegetables and the potatoes till well done. Mash them very well and keep aside.
Grind the soaked kashmiri and regular chilies, along with garlic and ginger to a fine paste.

Heat the oil/butter in a large kadai/wok. Saute onions till soft and translucent. To this add, the grounded paste. Fry well for a minute or two. Add the chopped tomatoes and using a wooden spoon mash the onion-tomato mixture further. Cook until the oil appears on the edge.

Add the turmeric, coriander powder and pav bhaji masala if using. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring often, until the raw smell of the spices disappears. Add the mashed vegetables, salt and about half a cup of water. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until everything blends into a homogenous thick gravy-like consistency, adding a little more water, if necessary. Lastly, switch the flame off, stir in garam masala and chopped coriander leaves. Mix. Serve hot.

Serving Suggestions:
My aunt borrowed this neat trick from the street side vendors and it works like magic when she serves her world famous Paav bhaaji:
On a hot flat thick bottomed iron griddle/tawa. Place a small spoon of butter. Pour as much bhaaji as can go on it without the gravy spilling over. Keep the flame high. Using a potato masher mash and sizzle the veggie mix till it simmers like a sizzler. Then serve immediately topped with small cubes of refrigerated cold butter and lime wedges, along with lightly sauted paavs and raw minced onions.

Mixed Vegetable Curry

Mixed Vegetable Curry

Owing to my classic measurement skills, I had 9 tiny rolls, a wok full of bhaaji, 6 adults and a very hungry child. Of course we ran out of paavs. But our trusted age old bread wala who comes delivering freshly baked bread and Mumbai special laadi paav every evening at our door step saved our day. Lucky Me.

This recipe is my entry to Vardhini’s Bake Fest#25.