Street food: Dabeli

At night the arterial street of Uran town beats to the blast of traffic horns and the tempting aromas from bubbling woks and sizzling tavas. To the Dabeli we are always drawn for a masterclass in texture and taste.

Bloggers, travellers and authors have all pounded the streets of Mumbai to document its street food.CNN traveller lists no less than 40 street food items they can’t live without but misses the humble dabeli of the ‘pav’ family.



The ‘pav’ is the soft square white bread bun in to which is stuffed a whole lot of mouthwatering fillings. The dabeli has a combination of a tomato, potato, onion and green chilli filling . The filling is not as unique as what comes next. The filled ‘pav’ is then placed on a hot tava, a few lashings of oil thrown on to get the tops crisp, rotated a few times to prevent it from burning and then dipped in ‘sev’: thin strands of deep fried gram flour. The ‘sev’ is what gives you the first crunch and the toasted bread tops add the second layer of crisp, followed by the soft inner bun, the zingy tomato and chilli filling and then ‘sev’ crispiness everywhere.

Our local dabeli man was incredibly pleased that we filmed him at work  documenting local cultures is what we are all about.



You can see for yourself what an expert this man is. His work station is incredibly clean. And don’t miss the young boy’s eyes following his every move and at one point even licks his lips! I love to watch the precision and speed people who perform a repetitive task, tend to develop. This man is a master.

I bet that made you really hungry…Come to Uran – have a dabeli!


About nonsense girl

Galley slave, qualitative researcher working in development, married my best friend, writing about my life, my family, my dog, TV, Indian culture, astronomy and my garden.
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One Response to Street food: Dabeli

  1. ganesh gopalakrishnan says:

    Now that you have filmed him next time suggest a no touch technique. he started out well but then had to put his fingers in. maybe its finger lickin good

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