Dabeli Paav/Pao

Posted: July 2, 2012 by incidentalcooksuman in Indian Food, Snack, Street Food
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Dabeli Paav/Pao

Dabeli Paav/Pao

To be honest I have never tasted dabeli back home. First time I have tried this delicious snack at my friend’s house last year in christmas. Then, I found dabeli masala at Indian grocery store and got an excuse to try this at home.

Dabeli is a Gujarati word which literally means pressed, and Pav/Pao is an hindi term for dinner rolls. It’s a street food commonly found in Mumbai. A mix of spicy, tart potato filling pressed in between a butter-toasted bun which is smeared with tamarind-date chutney and chilli-garlic chutney and topped with spicy roasted peanuts, grapes, sev and coriander leaves. The crunchiness of the spicy peanuts, the unexpected burst of sweet and tart grapes and the heat from the chilli-garlic chutney,all delicious in one bite…You’ll definitely have a hard time eating just one or two. It is an incredibly delicious and addictive snack, and on top of it, this one is little bit healthy too!! Because I have made the buns at home with whole wheat flour/atta. Will post the recipe soon for the same.

Don’t get intimated by the long list and process, it just mix, garnish and serve, provided you keep everything ready in advance. Most of the ingredients are easily available at any indian grocery store. Even you can find chilli-garlic chutney and tamarind-date chutney in the freezer aisle. But me being me, made everything at home except the sev and growing up the vegetable..:)

Spicy and tangy potato filling!!!

Spicy and tangy potato filling!!!


For the potato filling:

  • 4 medium-sized potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp dabeli masala
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1/4 cup grapes, cut in halves
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp extra light olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, you can taste and adjust accordingly
  • salt to taste

For the chilli- garlic chutney

  • 3 red dried chilies, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and then remove the seeds(microwave it for 1 minute on high and then keep it aside)
  • 7-8 garlic pods
  • 2 shallots/pearl onions, peeled and halved
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of sugar

Grind all the above ingredients in a blender to a smooth paste, add little water for consistency. Keep this aside.

For Tamarind-Date Chutney

  • 1/2 cup dried ripe tamarind, soak in 1 1/2 cups of hot water
  • 12 fresh large dates, pitted and chopped
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
Chilli-Garlic Chutney and Tamarind-date Chutney!!!

Chilli-Garlic Chutney and Tamarind-date Chutney!!!


  • Soak tamarind in 1 1/2 cups of hot water and microwave it for 30 seconds – 1 minutes and set aside.
  • Once cool, squeeze the tamarind with your fingers to extract all the pulp, discard the fibre and seeds. Add the thick tamarind liquid to the dates and puree this mixture to a fine paste using a blender adding little water if needed.
  • Strain through a sieve and pour this tamarind-date paste into the sauce pan and add brown sugar, red chill powder, cumin powder, dry ginger powder and salt to taste and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the chutney thickens little bit.
  • Let it cool completely and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use when needed.

For serving dabeli Pao/Pav

  • 6 pav or dinner rolls, sliced and lightly roasted in butter
  • 1/2 cup masala peanuts
  • 1/2 cup fine sev
  • 1/2 cup green grapes, cut in halves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • garlic chutney as required
  •  tamarind dates chutney as required


  • Boil the potatoes in pressure cooker, peel and mash them. To the mashed potatoes add dabeli masala, lemon juice and salt to taste and mix everything well. Keep this aside.
  • Heat a pan with oil, add cumin seeds and let it get brown. Then add chopped onions, asfetodia and sauté until it turns light brown in color. Add the above potato mixture to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Check for seasoning.
  • Transfer the potato filling on a serving platter, garnish with chopped coriander leaves, chopped red onions, green grapes, masala peanuts. Potato stuffing is ready.

For assembling:

  • Cut the bun in halves.Lightly toast the buns facing the white side down with a little butter or oil.
  • Then, spread chill-garlic chutney on one side of bun and tamarind-date chutney on the other side of the bun.
  • Cut a slice from potato filling and place it on top of chilli-garlic chutney on the bun.
  • Sprinkle some chopped onions, peanuts, grapes, coriander leaves and sev on top. 
  • Top it with the other half of the bun and serve!
  • Follow the same steps to assemble the rest of the buns. 
Ready to eat Dabeli Paav...

Ready to eat Dabeli Paav…

  1. Priya says:

    Super like, drooling rite now here.

  2. Prachi Hendre says:

    yuummmm…loved it

  3. This is such an exquisite combo of flavors and textures! you make me want to get on the next plane to Mumbai!

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