Mandvi and Bin Harif dabeliwala 1/2 by Tripoto
Nandan Dongre
Heading down the narrow lanes of Bhuj, making your way past the Bus stand onto the street which houses a host of food vendors; you will come across ‘Mandvi’ and ‘Bin Harif’ dabeli walas. The shops have benches to sit inside, while the dabeli makers work on their trade, spurning out one delicious dabeli after another. Dabeli is essentially a traditional Kutchi snack, a sweetish-soft bun like bread filled with a flavoured mashed potato filling, which is spiced up with a thin sauce (chatni) and peanuts. While it is available in a fried form; where the bread (paav) is shallow friend onto a flat pan in butter; the bread is served as is in its most original form. Both the Dabeli vendors recently won an award for the best dabeli vendors in Bhuj, on a national food show named ‘Highway on my Plate’. While the dabeli served by ‘Bin Harif’ is a bit pungent on the spices, with the typical muslim flavours hitting you with each bite; the ‘Mandvi’ one is more easy on your palate in terms of spices, and a bit sweeter as well. The Mandvi once would suit a wider palate, but the sharp flavour on the Bin Harif one made it for me; though I would say it is not for one who would be affected by spices.