Shital's-Kitchen: Kutchi Dabeli

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kutchi Dabeli

I remember as kids when we used to go to our native place Kutch (district in Gujarat, India), there were venders and booths of freshly made Dabeli everywhere! Since this was not available in Mumbai at that time, we used to go crazy and hog on it. Dabeli was also called double roti since it had the potato filling in between round bun that was slit. Dabeli in Kutchi or Gujarati also means 'to press' assuming this dish got its name from it. First the stuffing is pressed into the bun then the bun is pressed while roasting on the griddle :) Get it??

During a lunch break at a CA independent school conference I was talking to my colleagues, Nina and Sejal and we were discussing yummy Indian food. We started talking about dabeli and how easy it is to make and take to a picnic. Sejal said her son would always prefer it made in long hot dog buns. How fun!! And, to me it was like WOW! Usually Dabeli is so tiny and delicious that we would like to have 2 of it to be able to get a good taste of it and to enjoy it. In this hot dog bun, you just need to eat one! :) I thought of sharing this great tip and recipe with you.

This recipe is to make around 16-20 dabelis. When I make this, I just share with lot of people. :)

Boil, peel, and mash 8-9 large potatoes.

Heat a large pan. Heat 4 tbsp. oil.

Saute dabeli masala (blend of spices). My mom bought this fresh masala from Kutch.
Basically it is a blend of 2 tbsp. garam masala/curry powder, 2 tsp. salt, 2 tbsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. citric acid, and 2 tbsp. red chilli powder. Mix the ingredients well in a bowl before frying them.
You could also use lime juice instead of citric acid. To give you an idea of what this should taste like: spicy, sweet, and sour. You could adjust the spice level as per your taste. Also remember the potato mixture is the filling for the bun. Together it will mild down the flavors.

This is the one my mom bought from Kutch.
It is easily available in store in Mumbai and in California. Patel Brothers in Santa Clara sell this product.
ચંદુભાઈ ભાનુશાલી
દાબેલી મસાલો

Fry the spices mixture for 2-3 minutes. Add mashed potatoes and 1 cup water and mix them well. Give it a taste test and add salt or lime juice or red chilli powder if needed.

The mashed potato mixture is ready.

When well mixed, pour the potato mixture in a flat bottom plate or thali and spread out the mixture evenly. Let the mixture cool completely.

Garnish with lots of freshly chopped cilantro, shredded coconut, spiced and roasted peanuts, grapes and pomegranate. (I could not find pomegranates anywhere. Maybe they are not in the season here:( )
Peanuts and onions give a crunch to mashed potatoes, while pomegranate and grapes bring sweetness to the spiced mixture.

Set all other things to start preparing dabeli.
Blend 1/2 cup garlic with 1 cup dried red chillies, salt, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water till it forms a smooth paste. Add more water to thin it down.

Here is the freshly made garlic chutney. You will just need little of this, but you can save it for future use for bhel. pav bhaji, sev puri or for gravies.

And, my cute red chilli shaped chutney bowl :)

Finely chopped onions.

Sweet Date and Tamarind chutney, Spicy Garlic chutney and some spiced peanuts.

Hot dog buns that are slit and ready to use.
These buns are less dense and very much like dabeli buns in India. I do not suggest using store bought Pav Buns for this recipe.

Spread sweet chutney and garlic chutney on both sides of the bun.

Keep all other toppings handy!

Spread a spoonful of potato filling on the base of the bun. Put some chopped onions and peanuts. Spread another layer of spoonful of potato mixture. Press it lightly and close the bun.

On a hot griddle, heat some butter and roast the buns on both sides while pressing the top till it gets nicely brown and crisp.

A great party, picnic, sport, game food!

Wrap it in parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Enjoy with IPL T20!!
Go Mumbai Indians


  1. Hi shital...what is the proportion of the dabeli masala...i mean curry powder is how many tbsp, sugar is how many tbsp,

    1. Sorry about that....I have edited the recipe and added the quantities.

  2. Hi Shital, i dont citric acid much of difference will it make without citric acid ?