Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bhel Puri

Say "chaat", and it is sure to trigger a flood in my mouth.

Speaking of chaat, think it won't be such a bad idea to have some on the side as I write this post...excuse me, will you, while I go and fix myself some bhel puri?

So as I was saying, we love our chaats, especially bhel puri. And though there are restaurants here that serve very good chaat, nothing compares to the chaat that is served on the streets of almost any and every city back home. In fact, one of the first things we do when we go to India is to hit the streets for some chaat.

Wait for a minute - think I need to add some more spice to this plate...

Almost everyone who has had chaat on the streets would have that one chaatwala who, they will aver and insist, makes the best chaat ever. Terradaze and I have been going to 'our' chaatwala since the time we were in college. Back then, given our very slim monthly allowances, even a..

(eats a few spoonfuls...hmmm. nice, really nice)

.... 5 buck bhel puri was a big indulgence - especially given the fact that we would have it at least twice every week - so more often than not, we'd end up sharing a plate, savouring every mouthful.

(a few spoonfuls more, the bhel puri is fast disappearing)

Then, we got jobs and moved to Bombay. Now, we could afford to have a plate of bhel puri all to ourselves, but unfortunately, could visit our chaatwala once every few months. And though there were so many chaatwalas all over Bombay, we still felt that 'our' chaatwala was better than the best. And so whenever, we went back home, very dutifully, we would seek him out. On one such visit, I managed to coax him to tell me how he made his bhel puri.

(eats the last spoonful)

And though I love the way my bhel puri turns out, I still think that nothing, absolutely nothing, can beat the taste of street food eaten on the streets!

(stares at the empty plate....ummm...why don't you take a look at how I make my bhel puri while I go and fix myself some more)

Bhel Puri:


Puffed rice - 11/2 cups
Sev - 1/2 cup
1 Onion, chopped
1 Tomato, chopped
1 large potato, boiled and cut into cubes
Raw green mango, chopped - optional
Roasted masala peanuts, optional

Green Chutney
Tamarind Chutney

Papdi, crushed into a few big pieces
Rock salt
Chaat masala
Coriander leaves, for garnish

For the tamarind chutney:

Soak some tamarind - 2 lemon sized balls - in warm water for about half an hour. Extract the juice, strain it. To this add some pureed dates (soak 10 dates for a few hours, take the seed off and then puree in the mixie), 6-8 tbsps jaggery, 1 tsp roasted jeera powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, rock salt and 1 tsp chaat masala. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 15-20 mins till the juice thickens. Adjust the sweetness to your taste by addingmore or less jaggery.

For the green chutney:

Grind these together to a fine paste - 1 cup coriander leaves, 3/4 cup mint leaves, 6-8 green chillies, 1 large clove of garlic, juice of 1/2 a lemon and rock salt.

Making bhel puri:

Assemble all the ingredients listed from puffed rice to roasted peanuts. Add a few teaspoons of the tamarind chutney and the green chutney according to your taste preference. Mix it well. Add rock salt, if needed. Garnish with some chopped coriander, chaat masala, some crushed papdi, chopped onion and sev.


And though I now prefer to not share my bhel with anyone, I really would like to share it with Sunday Snacks : Chaats/ Indian Street Food hosted by Pallavi and with JFI:Mint hosted by Ashwini, event conceived by Mahanandi.


  1. You are the apt candidate for CIA...torturing us with that eating narration while giving out the recipe??? Where are you staying at?? Wanna drop by to have some chat ....I so want chat now...hmpffff!!!

  2. Wow that looks so so yummy delicous, wish i had that whole plate for my self, i know i am greedy.

  3. WOwow thats looks so delicious, the platter is really inviting!

  4. Wow, looks very yummy, just today I was speaking about hyderabadi chaat and mmm here a plate fulla bhel... I did like to relish on the entire plate!!!

  5. I love chaat too. Atleast once a month, we go to one Indian restaurant here which serves great chat. Yumm.

  6. HMMM i love it..looks so delicious..infact i think i can live on chats :) looking at the pic my mouth started watering :))) i think i'll make one plate for myself now :)

  7. Hi AD,
    LOL.....tempting with ur munch time teaser narration ;)that was a good trip down the memory lane ...most of it is so true with each one of us...we'll have one chaatwala regular though there are umpteen around the area. Hmmm...true to each word..however hard we try we don't come even close to the taste that the street vendors offer :)....wonder what's the secret magic potion they include...quite intriguing right?!:)
    nevertheless you've matched up the standard with the gorgeously dressed up bhel AD. Applaudable :)
    Thanks for the tempter.

  8. Absolutely! but yours comes close :)

  9. wow yummy chaat ... my favorite .......

  10. Bhel Puri :( I could do anything for some right now

  11. LOL, I only learn after wedding this chaat, now every satur i should eat! Wanna pass ur plate, i am too lazy to make mine :(

  12. my drooling here looking at that I love the roadside chaat back in india!!

  13. OMG!! that is simply a, i soo wanna have some bhel puri and i dont have any bhel or sev or anything else for that matter!! but i do have some ragda patties planned for the weekend..i think i can hold on for a day more :)

  14. Can dig in anytime...lovely bhel..

  15. Bombay Bhel..there's nothing quite like've triggered cravings!

  16. Mint is such a versatile herb and lovely addition to the chat.

  17. I can eat this for b'fast, lunch & dinner .. yum

  18. u r so right../every one has a fvchat joint,..;-)cht looks yum

  19. Delicious & mouth watering chat. Nice to see & eat as well.

  20. thank you very much for such lovely comments!

    Sakshi, must admit, it gave me sadistic pleasure while doing this particular post :))

    Parita, even I can survive on bhel :)

    Suparna, me thinks all the dust that flies off from the street onto the carts definitely makes a difference!!

  21. Ummmm sure rings bell always :)...looks so gud and tempting

  22. OMG! you are tempting me now :) Looks yum yum yum!

  23. Thats looking so yummy.. making me to tempt.. Love bhelpuri looking perfect

  24. Chaat is my favourite and bhel puri just tops the list of things to eat - nothing like a Bambaiiya bhelpuri IMO!

  25. SLurrp!I am drooling over it so..can't write anything more .......


It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!

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