Monday, January 3, 2011


Another tasty Indian snack food. Dabeli comes from the Gujarat region and can easily be termed as another version of an Indian burger. It is a Spiced Potatoes and Pomegranate Sandwich in Raghavan Iyer's words.

This spicy potato mixture enclosed between a burger bun, smeared with a sweet and tart tamarind chutney and a spicy hot garlic chutney and garnished with pomegranate arils and spicy peanuts is a combination of different flavors and textures to form an extremely delicious and addictive snack. The crunchiness of the spicy peanuts, the unexpected burst of sweet and tart pomegranate juice and the heat from the chutneys will leave you wanting for more. I have adapted this recipe from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer.

This is another weekend dish that does not take long to prepare at all. As they were showing a marathon of House Hunters International on HGTV, one of my favorite shows ever. I quickly assembled these and the sat in front of the TV to see all the people buying beautiful homes across the world. It feels wonderful to live vicariously through the buyers pretending that I am buying a pied-a-terre in Paris, or a countryside home near the Alps or a cottage in the English countryside or maybe even a vacation home in the Caribbean. I love this show.

Makes 6 dabelis


4 large white potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 cup arils from a pomegranate
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup spicy honey roasted peanuts
6 white hamburger buns
6 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
salt, to taste
thin sev for garnishing ( available at your local Indian grocer )

For the potato tikki

4 large white potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
1 tbsp dabeli masala ( see below for recipe )
1- 1 1/2 tsp salt ( or as per your taste )
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup spicy honey roasted peanuts
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

For assembling

6 hamburger buns / pav
1 tbsp butter
Sweet-Tart Tamarind sauce / Imli Ki Chutney ( available at any Indian grocery store ) ( I have not tested this recipe, I usually buy my chutneys )
Garlic and Chilli Chutney ( also available at any Indian grocery store ) ( I have not tested this chutney recipe )
some chopped red onions
some pomegranate arils
spicy honey roasted peanuts
chopped cilantro
thin sev ( available at any Indian grocery store)


For the potato tikki
  • In a medium mixing bowl add the mashed potatoes, salt, dabeli masala, sugar, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, pomegranate arils and spicy peanuts. Mix it all together and divide this into 6 balls. Form round balls and flatten them a little with your palms. Set aside.

For assembling
  • Lightly toast the insides of the hamburger buns with a little butter on a non-stick saucepan.
  • When done, smear one side with about 1 tbsp of imli chutney and the other side with anywhere from 1-2 tsp of red chili garlic chutney, depending on how hot you like it.
  • Place one potato tikki on the bottom half of the bun, sprinkle some pomegranate arils, some spicy peanuts, onions, sev and cilantro on it.
  • Top it with the other half of the bun. Now open your mouth wide and take a bite !
  • Assemble the other dabelis in a similar manner.

Dabeli Masala : recipe from  660 Curries
Makes 1 tbsp of masala

1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
1/4 tsp coriander seeds
2 dried red Thai or cayenne chiles, remove the stems
2 blades of mace. or 1/8 tsp ground mace
1-2 whole star anise
1 dried bay leaf
seeds from 1 black cardamom pod
1/4 tsp ground ginger
a pinch of ground turmeric

Place the fennel, cloves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, red chiles, bay leaf, anise, mace and cardamom seeds in a coffee grinder or spice grinder and grind until the texture is that of finely ground black pepper.

Remove from the grinder and add in the ginger powder and turmeric. Store in an air tight container in a cool dark place. Do not store in the refridgerator as it will adversely affect the taste of the masala.

( Note : I did not add the mace and anise as I did not have these on hand )



  1. Hmmm I too made Dabeli for New year...but I used pav bhaji Masala instead of Dabeli Masala as I didnt find it in my local grocery store...will try ur dabeli masala next time....Thanks for the recipe....

  2. Wow Renuka, there are so many things that I want to try. I love your choice of recipes. Happy to follow you!