Wickedly Delicious Indian Vegetarian Sloppy Joes with a delectable Potato, Pomegranate and Peanuts filling, packed with flavor from a special spice blend! Serve this fabulous Street Food at your next soiree!
When it comes to Street Food, Mumbai’s game is strong, formidably so! As the city never sleeps, the street vendors and their fares change throughout the day and you can find something to satiate your hunger at any time, whether it is breakfast, lunch, dinner or all the in-between times.
It starts at the crack of dawn with the Idli, Medu Vada and Dosa vendors, with the glorious coconut chutney and piping hot sambar to dunk it all in. For those with a hankering for northern food, there is chhole puri, paratha, jalebi and even meaty paya (trotters soup) to be found, to start the day off right.
For lunch and dinner, there are a plethora of stalls and handcarts selling burgers, biryanis and everything in between. You will find comforting, homemade thalis with flatbreads and vegetable curries; you will also find Indianized Chinese food cajoling you with the aroma of smoky garlic and chillis!
And then there is the food for snack-time: for times when you may not be hungry, but you could eat something. This is where the Mumbai street food culture outdoes itself and really shines!
Out come the Vada Pav, the Samosa, the Bhajiya, the Kothimbir vadi, all exotic forms of deep-fried love! And one can’t, one mustn’t, forget the marvellous chaat family: Pani Puri, Bhel Puri, Sev Puri, Samosa Chaat…the list is as long as it is mouthwatering.
These were all street food that I had grown up with, snacking on them, sometimes with family, sometimes with friends and I thought I knew all the street food that Mumbai had to offer.
And then when I was 15 or so, I discovered the Dabeli and fell deeply, irrevocably in love! I had no intention of liking this innocuous-looking snack. In fact, its name made me laugh! ‘Dabeli’ literally means pressed. Ain’t that a fun name for a snack?
And it is not much to look at, is it? A pressed bun with a strange filling inside, mainly potatoes, pomegranate arils and peanuts. Doesn’t sound like much, but then you need to take a closer look…
And then you notice, the bun has been toasted in butter and is wonderfully crisp. You can see bits of Sev, the deep-fried super thin noodles sticking to the sides of the bun… and by now you are close enough…the aroma of that filling draws you in…
You lean in and take a bite, and you find this glorious balance of sweet, sour, spicy. And the textures, oh the textures! The crisp bun, the fragrant potato filling, the juicy pomegranate, the crunchy peanuts, the spices and chutneys…it is bliss in every bite.
Dabeli originates from the Kutch region of western India and was created sometime in the 1960s. The distinctive flavor of the Dabeli comes from the special Dabeli masala, a special blend with a bunch of spices packed in.
This spice mix is readily available in India, but there is nothing better than the aroma of home ground spices, is there? Plus it is one of those spice mixes, where you don’t need to roast anything. Simply powder in a coffee grinder and you are good to go!
Once the masala and chutneys are prepared, the Dabeli is extremely simple to put together and it is a great option for parties! Filling, delicious and ready in minutes. Do give this Indian version of vegetarian Sloppy Joes a go!
If you liked this post, please do share with your family and friends using the Social Share buttons underneath this post or down the side of the page! And sign up to receive posts right into your Inbox (there’s a box on the right)! For free!
You can also follow me on:
- 4-5 Cloves
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Seeds
- ½ teaspoon Fennel Seeds
- 1-2 Dried Bay Leaves
- Seeds from 1 Black Cardamom Pod
- Seeds from 3 Green Cardamom Pods
- ½ teaspoon Black Peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- ½ teaspoon Coriander Seeds
- 4 dried Red Chilis
- 2 blades of Mace
- ½ teaspoon dried ground Ginger
- 2 Star Anise
- 8 Burger Buns or Indian Pavs (Here in Denmark, I used Hvede Knopper)
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 2 teaspoons Dabeli Masala
- ¼ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- A pinch of Asafoetida
- 2 teaspoons Oil
- 1 cup boiled and mashed Potatoes
- 2 tablespoons Date & Tamarind Chutney (link below)
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup roasted salted Peanuts
- 1 small Red Onion , chopped
- ½ cup fresh Pomegranate arils
- 2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro
- ½ cup Sev
- 3 tablespoons Mint Coriander Chutney (link below)
- 6 tablespoons Date & Tamarind Chutney (link below)
- Take all the ingredients for the Dabeli Masala in a coffee grinder or food processor and grind to a fine powder. This spice mix can be stored in the refrigerator for about a month.
- Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds.
- When they crackle, add the asafoetida and dabeli masala and mix well.
- Add the mashed potatoes and the date and tamarind chutney.
- Mix well.
- Slice the buns into halves.
- Apply the date and tamarind chutney on one half and the mint coriander chutney on the other half.
- Put about 2-3 tablespoons of the potato filling on the bottom half of the bun.
- Top with chopped onions, pomegranate arils, roasted peanuts, sev and cilantro.
- Place the top half of the bun over the filling. Press slightly.
- Repeat with all the buns.
- Heat the butter in a skillet and toast both sides of the buns till slightly browned and crisp.
- Serve hot!
You can find the recipes for the 2 Chutneys in my Bhel Puri post.
Pin this Recipe:
Sharing this deliciousness at Angie’s Fiesta Friday with this week’s co-hosts Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau and Scarlett @ Unwed Housewife and at Saucy Saturdays with Dini, Jennifer, Swayam and Christine.