This recipe is a result of a dear reader request looking for an healthy version of Dabeli.
By the way, let me start with a personal declaration – Indian chaat is, by far, the yummiest and healthiest version of junk food there is…Ain’t that the truth?? Come on, man – yummy sauces, freshly cut veggies, chopped coriander, lemon slices, mmm mmm…French fries and ketchup pales in front of it, you got to admit that!!!
Still, chaats like Dabeli can be made healthier – just a little planning and switching of certain ingredients is all.
I made 2 health upgrades to this recipe:
- I used a low-carb cauliflower bread as a base instead of the refined flour bun.
- For the stuffing, I used chickpeas instead of potatoes for higher protein/higher fiber and lower glycemic index benefits.
Step by Step Pictures
Don’t get scared of making chaats. All you need to master chaat is to know its components. If the components provide the necessary tang, chilli spice, salty and sweet characteristics within its layers, you have a winner. Get all the components ready, set up an assembly line and bring it all together. That’s all!!
Component 1 – Low Carb Cauliflower Bread
I was inspired by the Paleo “Cauliflower Bread” recipe listed below in the reference. In a food processor, ‘rice’ the cauliflower.
Add the flax ‘egg’, the water chestnut flour (singode ki atta), salt, pepper and mix well. I have used the water chestnut flour (available in Indian stores) as a binder. You can use almond flour instead, it will work just as fine. I have used flax egg, because I was also making it for my mom who does not have eggs. You can substitute a regular egg, just the same.
Take a non-stick muffin pan, apply oil with a pastry brush around the bottom and sides. Take 1-1.5 Tbsp of bread mixture and press it flat on the pan. It is very important that it is a non-stick pan, otherwise you will end up with bread sticking to the bottom of the pan and tear easily while taking it out.
Place in a 400F oven for about 25 minutes. When it is crispy on the bottom, cooked on the top, take it out. Cool for 2 minutes and gently slide out the bread pieces.
Component 2 – Stuffing
Ok, I know, I made you work for your bread (rather than just buy pav from the store). But, hey I made the stuffing a lot easier for you…even easier than the traditional method of boiling and mashing potatoes.
Empty a can of chickpeas into a food processor. Whiz it until a paste is formed.
Saute onions. Add spices – I have use channa masala, chilli powder and salt for this recipe.
Add the paste, let it come to a boil. Add a tablespoon of tamarind-date chutney and chopped coriander.
Component 3- Garlic Chilli sauce
Get all the components together (see recipe below) and just blend it. Done!!
Component 4 – Tamarind date sauce
I literally just make a paste of soaked tamarind, 10-15 dates and water. You can add other spices and make it as fancy as you want.
Component 5 – Hot Garlic peanuts
Place raw peanuts, oil, salt, chili powder, garlic powder in a shallow pan. Place it along with the cauliflower bread in the 400F oven for between 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it after the 10 minute mark.
Now comes the fun part. Place all the components on the table and start assembling. Enlist your kids too.
- 1/2 head cauliflower
- 1 tbsp flax powder (or 1 egg)
- ½ cup Singode ki atta (or Almond flour)
- Few turns of pepper
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- salt to taste
- 2 tsp butter / oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp chana masala
- 1 can chickpeas
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp tamarind chutney
- few coriander leaves chopped
- 2 cups Thin sev
- 1.5 cups Raw Peanuts
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
- ½ tsp Garlic powder
- 5-6 large garlic cloves
- 1/2 large lemon juice
- ¾ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- A small chunk of jaggery
- salt to taste
- 1 lemon size tamarind soaked in water
- 10-15 soft dates
Preheat oven to 400F. Soak 1 tbsp Flax with 1/4 cup of water and let it thicken for 5 minutes. In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until it reaches a powdery consistency. In a large bowl, mix the cauliflower with the flax egg, water chestnut flour (or almond flour), salt and pepper.
Grease the cavities of a muffin pan. Scoop out 1 to 11/2 tbsp of lightly packed cauliflower mix. Dump onto muffin pan and press down on the middle with the palm of your hand. Sprinkle tops of bread with sesame seeds.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden and cauliflower breads are completely cooked. Use a thin spatula to gently loosen the bottoms of the cauliflower breads. Let it cool for a couple of minutes
Add the contents of a can of chickpeas into the food processor. Make a paste.
To a hot pan, add oil and chopped onions. Saute until golden brown. Add the spices - channa masala, chilli powder and salt to the pan.
Add the ground chickpea paste, let it come to a boil. Add a tablespoon of tamarind-date chutney and chopped coriander.
Place raw peanuts, in shell or shelled, one layer deep in a shallow baking pan. Add oil, salt, chili powder, garlic powder. Place it along with the cauliflower bread in the 400F oven for between 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it after the 10 minute mark. Remove from heat just short of doneness desired, as peanuts continue to cook as they cool.
Blend all ingredients listed under this sub-heading
Soak a lemon-sized ball of tamarind in 1 cup of water. Let it soak for 30 minutes. Extract the pulp out and add it to a high powered blender along with 10-15 dates. Blend. Add water and salt as required.
Add garlic chutney to one side of a bread. Apply tamarind date chutney on another bread. Add the stuffing and masala peanuts in between. Close the sandwich and roll the sides over sev. Serve!!
Is there anything more fun that breads with chaat gushing outside as you take a bite?
I hope parts or all of this recipe inspires you to make your own healthier version of Dabeli. Do post your feedback and comments down below. Your input is valuable to me.
Do you have any such ‘upgrade’ request? Challenge me to upgrade your favorite food weakness!!
Are you looking for other low carb options? Have you tried?
Here’s the link to the blog that inspired my Cauliflower bread. This blogger has more details and comments on her page that will help you get the nuances of making the cauliflower bread right.
Here’s the original link of the traditional Dabeli that resulted in the upgrade request.