|Yummy Indian Chaat - Bhel Puri|
|Bhel Puri Chaat|
Basic List of Ingredients for Preparing Bhel Puri
serves 3-4 people
4 – 6 cups of puffed rice (murmure)
3 – 4 tbsp green chutney (hari chutney)
3 – 4 tbsp sweet chutney (meethi chutney)
3 – 4 tbsp garlic chutney (lehsoon ki chutney) - [optional]
¼ – ½ cup finely chopped onion (bareek kata pyaaz)
¼ – ½ cup finely chopped tomato (bareek kate tamatar)
¼ – ½ cup diced boiled potato (uble huey aalu)
4 – 6 Tbsp finely chopped raw mango (khatti kairi) - [optional but awesome]
½ – ¾ tsp red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
¼ – ½ tsp roasted cumin powder (jeera powder)
⅛ – ¼ tsp table salt (namak)
¼ – ½ tsp black salt (kala namak)
½ – 1 tsp chat masala
1 – 2 Tbsp lemon juice (nimbu ka ras)
¼ cup roasted peanuts (seki hui moongphalli)
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro (baareek kata hara dhaniya)
¼ cup broken papdi
¼ cup sev or namkeen mixture
|Ingredients for Bhel Puri|
How to Make Bhel Puri - The Concept, The Tips, The Procedure
1. PUFFED RICE – Lightly roast the store-bought puffed rice in a pan over medium heat, OR spread a layer on baking sheet and put in oven for 10 minutes at 180C/350F. This helps keep the roasted puffed rice nice and crunchy. Quantity might seem like a lot but the puffed rice shrinks as it gets mixed with chutneys and vegetables. Keep aside.
2. CHUTNEY – The green chutney could be any mint chutney, coriander-mint chutney, or green spicy and tangy sandwich chutney. The minty flavor is what we mostly need from this chutney. The sweet chutney could be any tamarind chutney or date-tamarind chutney. We need a little sweet and a little tart taste. Thin the chutneys down with water just a little bit - thin enough to still mix with other ingredients but not so thin that the watery chutney makes the puffed rice very soggy. Keep separately in a small bowl. I rarely have garlic chutney at home so I do not add this, but if you like a hint of garlic flavor in your bhel puri feel free to add a little garlic chutney to your bhel.
3. VEGETABLES – Red onion would be great but white onion will definitely work too. Quantity up to you, onion is optional too. Use tomatoes with seeds removed, a firm tomato is better than mushy tomato. Peel and boil potatoes in a pot or pressure cook for one whistle to soften them - let the potato be tender enough but not completely mashed. Raw mango tastes great in Bhel - use small pieces because you do not want to bite into a big piece of sour raw mango, but tiny pieces of the tang once in a few bites is good. Keep all finely chopped vegetables aside on a plate.
4. SPICES – Red chili powder will be added as per the taste considering the spiciness in your chutneys. Roasted cumin powder adds a slight aroma and a little flavor. You will need very little table salt because your chutneys will have a little salt in them too. Black salt and Chat Masala add saltiness as well as a little sourness and are GREAT for every Indian chaat dish. But use sparingly as required, remembering that chutneys are salty, spicy, and sour too.
5. OTHERS – Lemon juice is for adding a little more zesty and tangy flavor to your bhel. Roasted peanuts and/or roasted whole chana dal are added, but I usually add only roasted peanuts. Do not add raw peanuts - roast on medium flame and keep aside. Fresh finely chopped cilantro is mostly for adding a nice green color to the bhel, since the taste of cilantro will hardly be noticeable in the mixture of spices and chutneys. You have two options for broken papdi - either use the same papdi that you'd use for papdi chaat [crush with your palms], or crush the puris (the ones you use for pani puri) and use those. Keep aside. As for sev: I like using the baareek sev since I keep a packet of this for several chaats and for using over sandwiches. You could also use one of those readymade packets of namkeen mixtures from the Bikaner/Ganesh/Haldiram brands. Keep all aside.
If you are happy with the sourness from chutneys, black salt, raw mango, and chaat masala - you might not even need to add lemon juice. Don't make your bhel too sour, it's no fun. If the salt is sufficient from the chutneys, black salt, and namkeen mixture - you might not even need to add excess table salt.
|How to Prepare Bhel Puri|
Now, here's what you need to do to make Bhel within 5 minutes: In a large bowl, mix ALL the ingredients quickly EXCEPT puffed rice. Taste to check the spice, the salt, the sweet, and the sour because these are all the flavors your tongue is going to love when you eat each bite of the bhel. If you add minimal amounts and are not sure of the taste, throw the puffed rice in and give it a quick mix and taste. If there is anything you need to add, add all of it quick then mix again and serve. If the flavors are just a teeny weeny bit strong, it is perfectly fine because the bland and hollow puffed rice will absorb and allow them to blend in well with itself.
|Bhel Puri - Mouthwatering Indian Chaat - Street Food or Snack|
How to Serve Bhel Puri?
Once you are done mixing and tasting your Bhel Puri to perfection, garnish Bhel Puri by sprinkling some chopped cilantro, chopped tomatoes, sev, and crushed papdis on top and serve immediately. To make it a fancy presentation for your guests, you can even serve Bhel Puri in individual portions – either in some nice paper bowls, or in small cups made out of dried leaves, or in a paper cone (these are the three ways Bhel Puri is popularly served in India at the chaat shops and stalls or roadside vendors). However creative you want to serve Bhel - just do it before it begins to get soggy.
|How to serve bhel - in a cup, paper bowl, paper cone, on a plate or in a glass: your choice!|
Making Bhel is actually very easy since you only need to assemble everything together and there is no actual cooking required, but it does create a lot of dishes to wash because of the numerous ingredients kept separated!
|Garnish and serve Bhel Puri|
|Savory Indian Snack - Tasty Bhel Puri Chaat|
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