Kachhi Dabeli – Popular Indian Street Food

Kachhi Dabeli is an extremely drool-worthy, highly popular snack. It is very commonly found on the streets of Mumbai. Kachhi Dabeli consists of a potato filling that is stuffed inside a bun, garnished with spicy peanuts, onion and pomegranate seeds. It is spicy, tangy, sweet, crunchy, buttery; each bite is an explosion of flavour!

This recipe does not feature high on any health food meter, infact, it is indulgent. But with the holidays upon us, let’s pamper our taste buds and burn it off in the new year 😀

It has several components which need to be assembled and eaten. I have shared a how-to video on my Facebook page.

 

Kachhi Dabeli
Kachhi Dabeli

Most important in making the potato stuffing is the unique masala for the Kachhi Dabeli. It is available in Indian stores, but not readily. I prefer to make my own, this way it is on hand whenever I need it and the magic of freshly ground spices is beyond words. Of course I will be sharing the recipe with you 🙂

In Melbourne, pomegranate is not easy to find in the markets, or it is not always of a great quality. So when I do find the sweet ones, they are certainly precious like rubies, and Dabeli is always on the menu. If you cannot find it though, replace with grapes, cherries or raisins.

Kachhi Dabeli
A drool-worthy plate!

 

Ingredients

  1. For the stuffing :
  • 2 potatoes – boiled, peeled, and mashed
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • Date and tamarind chutney (found in Indian stores)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Dabeli masala * (recipe given below)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tsp red chili powder or to taste
  • 2 tsp chat masala/ dry mango powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Chopped coriander for garnish
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Dabeli masala (makes about a cup)
  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 10-12 cloves
  • 10-12 dry red chillies
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder
  1. Spicy peanuts
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts, with their skins removed
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1-2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chat masala or dry mango powder (optional)
  1. For garnish:
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped coriander
  • Sev or bhujia (these are made of chickpea flour and very commonly used in Indian snacks. They resemble sprinkles but yellow in colour. Find them in the Indian aisle of your supermarket or in the Indian stores.)
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Date and tamarind chutney

Other ingredients:

  • Bun or pao
  • Butter for roasting
Kachhi Dabeli
Layers of garnish

Method

  • First let’s prepare the Dabeli masala. I found the recipe for masala on the internet, sadly I do not remember the source.

In a pan, dry roast all the spices one after the other. Cool them and grind together to a coarse powder. Store in an airtight container. It stays put for over a year.

  • For the spicy peanuts, heat oil in the same pan. Add the peanuts and all the spices. Coat them well.
  • In another pan, heat oil to prepare the stuffing.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and saute well.
  • Then add the Dabeli masala, and immediately add the onions. Add a little bit of the chopped coriander as well.
  • Add salt, date-tamarind chutney, and rest of the spices. Mix well.
  • Mash or grate the boiled potatoes and add. Mix well. Add half cup water and stir everything together.
  • Check the seasoning and adjust as per your liking.
  • Lastly, garnish with the remaining coriander and lemon juice.
Kachhi Dabeli
Who wouldn’t want to dive into this?

Assembling the Kachhi Dabeli

  • In a deep dish, add the potato stuffing and smoothen it. Now garnish with the peanuts, pomegranate, onion, coriander and sev.
  • Put a skillet on medium heat.
  • Take a bun and make a slit, cutting it three quarters such that there is a pocket.
  • Smear the date and tamarind chutney on both sides.
  • Now add the stuffing, be generous with it but not so much that it spills out.
  • Again, top with some onion, coriander, pomegranate seeds and peanuts.
  • Put some butter on the skillet and roast the bun on both sides, while pressing it down.
  • Now just coat the filling that is oozing out, with more sev!

You can view the video for assembling the Dabeli on my Facebook page.

All packed and ready
All packed and ready

 

Don’t forget to save for later

Kachhi Dabeli - Popular Indian Street Food
Kachhi Dabeli – Popular Indian Street Food

 

Make this recipe ASAP and share your experience in the comments section below.

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Chicken Malai Kebab / Creamy Grilled Chicken

Kebab is one of the most well-known meat dishes that the Middle-East has given to the world. But India has its own set of kebabs and Chicken Malai Kebab ranks quite high in popularity.

A kebab consists of pieces of marinated meat, on a skewer, that is grilled or barbecued. The Indian array of kebabs feature different spice and herb combos. Then they are grilled in a tandoor or on open fire on coal embers giving it the classic smoky flavour that is to die for. This is one of the best street treats you can find in India.

Malai means cream and as the name goes, Chicken malai kebab consist of succulent pieces of boneless chicken, marinated in a creamy base with a hint of spices. Once grilled, these are dripping with mouth-watering goodness. These kebabs are mild in their spice level. You can always increase the green chilli or pepper for more heat.

 



 

Which meat to use:

Quite often I hear discussion about what pieces of chicken should be used for grilling. Although the current health trend favours leaner cuts of meat, the extra fat on the thigh meat is in fact essential during grilling. As chicken can go dry pretty quick once on the heat, I do not prefer using chicken breast meat for this recipe. The last thing I would want is dehydrated chicken that tastes drab. Thus not only should you go for the thigh meat but also preserve the tags of fat that come with it; this is where the real magic lies in getting those soft, succulent pieces of meat.

Marination allows the chicken to get married with all the flavours you are coating it in. If in a hurry, 2 hours is fine but I would always suggest to plan ahead and give 8-10 hours marination time. This even tenderises the meat and the end result is always a notch higher.

Quick tip: To make matters simple, use a zipper bag and dump all the marinade ingredients and mix in the bag itself. Throw in the chicken pieces, remove the air and zip it up. Now just massage the marinade into the chicken.

That’s no mess, no fuss and 1 less container to wash!

Skewers: Bamboo skewers or satay sticks are easily available anywhere. To prevent them from burning, always soak them in water for at least 30 minutes. Or you can go ahead and use metal skewers.

Now let’s dive into this recipe.

Makes 5 skewers

Ingredients

  • 500 gm chicken thigh fillets
  • Oil for basting as required
  • For the marinade
  1.  1/4 cup Cream cheese
  2. 2 tbsp thick yogurt
  3. 2 tsp ginger paste
  4. 2 tsp garlic paste
  5. 1 and 1/2 tsp crushed green chilli (this is as per taste)
  6. Pinch of grated nutmeg
  7. Pinch of green cardamom powder
  8. 2 tsp salt
  9. 1-2 tsp white pepper (black pepper is good too!)

Method

  • Cut rectangular pieces of chicken approximately 1 inch by 2 inch.
  • Put all the ingredients of the marinade in a zipper bag or bowl and mix well such that there are no lumps.
  • Add the chicken pieces, and rub the mix well. Leave this to marinate in the refrigerator for 8-10 hours, overnight is ideal.
  • When ready to grill, skewer the strips lengthwise folding twice shaped like a S, such that each piece gets pricked thrice. (Imagine S to $) Most skewers should accommodate 3-4 pieces.
  • Grill the skewers in whichever method you choose. (See note below.) Use oil for basting.
  • Grill until chicken is cooked through, and there are beautiful char marks on the edges.
  • Indication that the chicken is cooked is, the juices run clear and there are no pink bits in the centre of the meat.

 

Chicken Malai Kebab

Methods to grill the kebab

  1. If you are lucky, you would get access to a tandoor and the burning coal to get the authentic smoky kebab flavor and aroma.
  2. Fire up the barbie! That’s how Aussies refer to the barbecue 🙂
  3. Oven: Preheat to 180 ° C and then cook for 15 minutes, turning halfway in between. After that, grill or broil for 10 minutes.
  4. And if you are like me, with none of the above resources, it is worthwhile to invest in a grill pan. I use a cast-iron grill pan for grilling kebabs in my very own home kitchen. A non-stick grill pan is another option.
  5. Just a regular pan or skillet.

How to serve

  1. As a starter – These kebabs are so flavourful, they make for an impressive starter. Just couple it up with some mint and coriander chutney and pickled onion rings.
  2. In a salad – If you love your veggies and salads make up most of your meals, 2 skewers of these kebabs can be an excellent source of protein.
  3. In a wrap – Take any flat bread, and layer with your choice of dressings and greens. You can even use lettuce wraps for a low-carb option.
  4. Chicken malai kebabs are loved by kids as they are mild and creamy.

Variations

Try a vegetarian spin on this with Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or parboiled baby potatoes.

 

You surely must save this mouthwatering recipe. Pinterest users save this pin.

Chicken Malai Kebab
Chicken Malai Kebab

 

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Fancy another version of chicken kebab that is spicier? Click here for my Chicken Tikka recipe