Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bhel Puri

Bhel aka Bhel-Puri is an ever popular Indian junk food. And like many other recipes - every state, every city - and even every street vendor adds their own twist to the preparation. You know how New England Clam Chowda is different from the clam chowder you get in San Francisco... just like that the Gol-gappe you get in Delhi are different from the Puchkas in Calcutta from the pani puri you get in Mumbai.. Similarly Mumbai bhel is different from Pune bhel another reason for a Mumbaikar-Punekar argument.. I love all varieties given that the Punekar version is the best! ;-)

But the recipe am going to post today is especially close to my heart since it is my Mom's - Aai's recipe - a version of the typical Pune bhel. There are several recipes that are my Aai's best - Bhel, Ragda Patties, Aalu Parantha, Idli Sambar, Ukadiche Modak... I can go on.. The point is - These are the recipes I feel I MUST learn from Aai if I want to be known as her daughter :-)

ok.. enough of the senti talk - let's eat some Bhel - shall we?
Source: Aai
Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients: For 2 bhel hungry or 4 non-bhel fanatic people
  • 8 cups puffed rice or churmure or mumra
  • 3-4 cups of farsan - The closest option I have found is Hot Mix from the Indian grocery store. Kaka Halwai from Pune or Mahendra Pedhawala from Ahmednagar were our hot favorites back home. Also - what I call farsan is different from the meaning of the Gujarathi word farsan - snack. I am referring to a mixture of fine shev, gathiya, thick shev, little bit of daal moth - some versions may have peanuts and little bit of chivda
  • 1 medium sized Onion finely cut
  • 2-3 Tomatoes finely cut
  • Handful coriander leaves - finely cut
  • 1 cup Thin shev
  • Leftover puris from Pani puri (optional)
  • 1small potato boiled and cut into small cubes (optional)
  • a small piece of Green mango - finely cut or grated (optional)
For hot - green chutney:
  • 3-4 green chilies
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 curry leaves and 1 red chili (optional) - Vyas bhel wala from Sambhaji Park told this trick to Aai - good trick for a change
For sweet chutney
  • Buy a bottle of Tamarind-date chutney from the Indian grocery
  • Add water as needed to get a thin soup-like consistency
  • Add a pinch of black salt and a pinch of coriander seed powder and cumin powder

Grind the ingredients for hot - green chutney to a fine paste - Add a little water if you want to get a fine paste.

Mix the ingredients for the sweet chutney.

If you have bought the Hot Mix packet from Indian store - get rid of (read as eat) the muthiyas in that mix - they are delicious - just not suitable for this bhel.

Now take a big bowl and mix the puffed rice and farsan. Add all of the chopped onion, most of the chopped tomatoes (save some for garnish), half of the coriander leaves, a tsp of hot chutney (use more if you like it hot), 3-4 tbsp of sweet chutney and mix well. At this time you could add the optional green mango pieces and boiled potato pieces as well.

Transfer this mixture to the serving plate and garnish in the following sequence:
1. Drizzle 1 tbsp of sweet chutney
2. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of fine shev
3. sprinkle some tomato pieces for contrast with the yellow shev
4. Next is 1 tbsp of finely chopped coriander leaves
5. Optional but recommended - sprinkle crushed pani-puri ki puri

If it were India, this bhel would go on a serving cone made up of news-paper and you would use a small piece of a magazine cover as a spoon... Enjoy!


  1. Yummy want to have it right now.The green chutney recipe sounds interesting will definately try making Bhel your way next time.

  2. Yet another extremely well written and yummy recipe .. way to go !

    - CupertinoCA

  3. Oh man... mooh main paani aa gaya.. :)) didnt know you write so well and that too a food blog.. tussi great ho.. :))
    Have to get KG get working on Paani-poori and me on Bombay-style..(hehe) Bhel this weekend. :)

  4. thanks Kirti... vaise Khaggu ki bhel bhi bahot yaad aati hai.. Ab UK aa ke khani padegi