I can't really remember the taste of bhel puri I ate at the Chowpati beach but I do remember detesting the beach because it was so filthy. Yet, I always associate bhel puri with Chowpati. This is a very simple "semi-homemade" (as in Sandra Lee's show) version. Its a deliciously healthy snack for a weekend evening with chai:)
The other place I associate with bhel is this really famous bhel stall in Kolhapur called "Rajabhau Bhel". The bhel here is simply mind blowing and you really get spicy when you ask for spicy. I am drooling even as I write about this place.
Again, credit goes to my mommy dearest for the excellent bhel puri she always made for us customized according to individual likes and dislikes. :D:D Also another crazy fan of this dish is my sis Rashmi, ensuring that this is regularly made no matter where she is. There is nothing great about this recipe here except putting the right things together. So it is really easy to make.
To start off with I use an instant bhel puri mix which contains puffed rice, papdi, sev and some other yummy stuff. This is a shortcut to the way my mom used to make it with bhadang from scratch and other stuff bought individually from the Gujarati store.
The above pic shows the chutneys I use for the bhel. The one on the left is a sweet/sour tamarind chutney. Now this can be bought in the store and it is called tamarind-date chutney. The homemade version I make is slightly different and its recipe is below. The one on the right is a mint, green chillies and cilantro chutney. You get this in store too but I made this one at home and recipe is below.
The above picture shows the rest of the ingredients.
- 1 packet bhel puri mix
- Cucumber - 2, chopped finely
- Red onion - 1, finely chopped
- Tomate - 1 large, finely chopped
- Raw Mango - 1/2, finely chopped and a few long slices for garnishing
- Cilantro - 1 bunch, finely chopped
- Tamarind chutney - 1 cup
- Mint/Cilantro Chutney - 1 cup
- Red chilli powder
- Sev for garnish
- The bhel can be mixed in batches of 2- cups each. In one large bowls, take 2 cups of bhel mix.
- Add in as much of the cilantro, onions, tomatoes, cucumber and mango as desired (according to taste, I usually take less of onions and more of everything else).
- Add in salt, red chilli powder (I add lots of this to make it spicy), tamarind chutney (1-2 tsps), mint/cilantro chutney (1-2 tbsps) and mix everything thoroughly.
- Serve in smaller bowls and garnish with cilantro, mango slices, sev and green chillies:).
Tamarind Chutney Recipe:
- Tamarind - 2 inch ball
- 1 1/2 cup water
- Jaggery - 2 tbsps
- Red chilli powder - 1/1 tsp
- Jeera - 1tsp, roughly powdered
- Soak tamarind in the water and extract all the pulp.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pulp and boil until it thickens into desired consistency.
Mint/Cilantro Chutney Recipe:
- Mint - 1 bunch
- Cilantro - 1 bunch
- Green chillies - 2,3
- Ginger - 1 inch
- Grind the above into a soft paste with enough water to make the chutney into a runny consistency