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Dabaare (singular Dabaara) are a popular, savoury and deep-fried snack in Dogri cuisine. If ever there were any guests expected during the evening at our place, Dabaare would often be the snack that was planned to be served along with tea. They are typically paired with mint chutney - together these two provide a nice balance of flavours with the mint balancing out the spice/heat in the Dabaare.

This dish is very similar to a dish from Maharashtra - Batata Vada. Also, this dish is fried twice - once deep-fried and then pan-fried, which apparently is what led to the name. Dabaare loosely translates to "twice".

Here are some important metrics for the recipe

  • Difficulty - easy

  • Prep time - 45 mins

  • Cooking time - 30 mins

  • Servings - approximately 3-5 per person or 25 to 30 dabaare in total

The Ingredients

We'll split the ingredients into two sub-sections for this one - one for the batter and the other section for the stuffing.

The stuffing

  1. Boiled, peeled and grated potatoes - 7 to 8 medium-sized ones.

  2. Finely chopped onions - 2 medium-sized

  3. Mustard seeds/Rai - 1 tsp

  4. Pinch of Asafoetida/Heeng

  5. Cumin seeds/Zeera - 1 tsp

  6. Finely chopped green chillies - 3 to 4

  7. Ginger - 1-inch knob finely diced.

  8. Vegetable oil - 3 tbsp. This will be used for frying the potatoes.

  9. Salt - 2-3 tsp or to taste

  10. Garam Masala - 1 tsp

  11. Red chilli powder - to taste

  12. Dry mango powder/Aamchoor -0.5 tsp or to taste.

The batter

  1. Besan/Gram flour - 150 grams

  2. Salt - 2 tsp

  3. Dhaniya powder/coriander powder - 1 tsp

  4. Coriander seeds (slightly crushed) - 0.5 to 0.75 tsp

  5. Water - approximately 4 cups but you can adjust. More on that later when we're preparing the batter.

The process

Let's start the process by first preparing the stuffing.

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan.

  2. As the oil gets hot, add in the mustard seeds, asafoetida, cumin seeds, ginger and green chillies into the oil. Stir the ingredients of the pan and ensure that the ginger does not burn.

  3. Add in the onions now and saute.

  4. Once the onions have turned translucent, add in the potatoes.

  5. Add salt and garam masala. Mix well.

  6. If you're after some more kick, feel free to add in some red chilli powder. The amount you add (if any) is completely up to how hot you prefer your food.

  7. On a similar note, if you're after some tang, then dry mango powder/Aamchoor is your friend. My mum adds it in, and it's also how I prefer it.

  8. Mix everything well and continue cooking until the potatoes are a little crisp.

  9. Once the potatoes are crisp, turn off the heat and allow the contents of the pan to cool down.

  10. Once the stuffing cools down, separate the stuffing into tiny (say an inch in diameter) balls.

The stuffing is now done, and we move on to the batter.

  1. Mix the gram flour with salt, coriander powder and coriander seeds.

  2. Introduce water into the dry mixture and mix it nicely.

  3. Continue adding water to the mixture and mixing. The idea is that the batter is supposed to be slightly thick but not a lot. If you're familiar with Pakoras or Bhajiya batter, we want our batter to be slightly thicker than that.

  4. Time to deep fry everything now. Coat the stuffing with the batter and deep fry them. As with anything that we are deep-frying, I encourage you to use the first few as samples until you get the balance of crispiness and dryness correct. We're aiming for a light brown colour on the outside, all the while ensuring that the contents inside do not go completely dry. Once you get the Dabaare out of the oil, remember to pat them dry with a paper towel.

  5. Gently press into them before chucking them into a frying pan. Pan-fry the Dabaare until they reach a texture similar to the one in the photo above. That's it; our Dabaare are ready now.

If you ever decide to make these, I would love to know how your experience was in the comments section down below. See you in the next post.

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