Bhel Puri Recipe

Bhel Puri is a combination of puffed rice along with vegetables and spicy, tangy chutney/auce. This is the most commonly sold chaat/fast food in many places in India. It is a snack with an iconic status in Western India. Bhelpuri is low-fat, delicious and eay to make! 

After a long day at work, or on days when I have no mood to cook, we have Bhel Puri for dinner. I store all the dry ingredients in the pantry, the chutney in the fridge and we just combine all these to whip up a delectable “khatta-meetha-theeka” light dinner. On the last road trip we took, I packed all the ingredients required to make bhel puri and we had it many times as snack or even as dinner. 

You can get creative and add or remove things you like to make it unique. The ingredients listed below are pretty much the standard. You can add like cooked black chana, cooked kabuli chana garbanzo bean, grated carrots, raw mango, and cucumber to cater to your taste. You can reduce the amount of sev and crushed puri to reduce the amount of fat as they are the only fattening ingredients. 

Adjust the amount of chutney depending on your taste. I love the ‘khatta’ and sweet taste of the tamarind chutney while DH loves the spicy coriander chutney.

The key to remember is to assemble the bhel puri few minutes before eating; otherwise if kept for a while it becomes soggy and looses taste.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups puffed rice/murmura (available at Indian stores)
  • 2 small potatoes (peeled , boiled and mashed)
  • ½ cup of sprouted moong
  • ½ cup of roasted peanuts
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 large tomato (chopped)
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • A handful of coarsely crushed crispy papdi/puri
  • Sev (as required for the topping)
  • Chopped coriander for garnish
  • Tamarind chutney (per taste)
  • Spicy coriander chutney (per taste)

Spicy chutney :

  • 1 cup corriander leaves
  • 2 to 4 green chilies (based on taste)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin seed powder (optional)
  • salt per taste

Method:

  • Blend everything to a smooth paste adding water (1/4 cup). This should be spicy (hot). Do not worry about the taste as this will be compensated by the sweet taste of tamarind chutney.

Bhel Puri Method:

  • Take a dry big bowl. Add the puffed rice, moong sprouts, red chilli powder, peanuts, mashed potato, onion, tomato together in a large bowl.
  • Add the Tamarind chutney and coriander chutney as per your taste.
  • Mix well and garnish with coriander leaves, sev and papdi. Serve immediately. 

Easy Corn Bread


I remember years ago when we had taken a road trip to Austin, we were tired, hungry and were craving for something warm and hearty. It was dark and colder than the usual and with no many choices on hand we reluctantly stopped at a local café located on the highway. However we were in for a treat, when we tasted their corn bread along with hot black bean soup. We had never tasted such cornbread before, hot, moist and delicious it totally worth the stop we made there.

 Again in our recent trip, we tried to locate that place, but were not successful. It appears to have lost in the oblivion. Anyway the warmth and the flavor will be etched in our memories for long time. 

After that we tried cornbread from many different places, but were not pleased with the flavor and dense texture. So I decided to give it a try on my own. I have baked this recipe by adapting it from the Joy of Vegan Baking. This is one of my favorite cook books and I have had good results following her recipes. This corn bread comes close to the ones we had; soft, delicious and can be made in a jiffy. 

Do check out this easy corn bread black bean bake if you are looking for similar alternative.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1.5 cups milk (use soy milk to make it vegan)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1-2 jalapenos seeded (cut into circles)
  • 1/2 cup frozen whole corn kernelsMethod:

 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare keep a square pan (9 X 9) ready by greasing it.
  • In a small bowl, first combine the wet ingredients, milk and vinegar and set aside.
  • In another bowl, combine together cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Now add oil to milk/vinegar mixture and stir to combine.
  • Add corn kernels, continuing to stir until just blended.
  • Spread the batter into the pan evenly and top it off with cut Jalapeno circles.
  • Transfer to the oven and bake it for about 25-28 minutes until top is golden brown.
  • Cut into desired shapes when slightly cooled.

Konkani Undi/ Steamed Rice dumpling

Blame it on the winter season, but lately I have been on the lookout for ‘chatpata’ steamed food that can be made ‘zhatpat’. One some really cold days, I don’t care for heavy meals, but feel like nibbling on some warm finger food along with hearty soup. So while on quest for such recipes on the net I landed on Lakshmi Canteen a wonderful blog which is a store house of tradition Konkani recipes.

 When I looked at her “Undi recipe, I froze as I had completely forgotten about it. It is a well loved breakfast/snack dish our favorite and one my mom-in-law makes for us often when we are in Bangalore. Traditionally this is made by soaking rice overnight and then grinding it in the morning along with coconut. But I took some shortcuts and made it the quicker way using Idli rava. 

Note that the rava that is used here in this dish is rice rava (used for making idlis) and not the sooji rava. Also using chopped coriander leaves in this is traditionally scoffed upon, but I for one cannot do without these leaves and use it in almost anything savory. If you do not like then do skip them. 

I have been told that these are called as upma khozukattai in Tamil.

Recipe Adapted from Lakshmi Canteen 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup idli rava [not sooji rava]
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 2.5 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • Handful of chopped coriander leaves 

Seasoning/Tadka 

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp methi seeds
  • 4- curry leaves (broken)
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated) [optional]
  • 2-3 Green chillies [chopped finely]
  • 1 Tbsp urad daal  

Method 

  • Heat a big pan and add oil. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter then add urad daal and continue to stir until it turns light brown
  • Add the methi seeds, curry leaves, green chillies and grated ginger and mix again.
  • Now add 2.5 cups of water and let it come to boil.
  • Add the idli rava, salt and continue to stir until the water has evaporated.  Add the shredded coconut, chopped coriander and stir. Turn off the gas.
  • Let this cool (not completely).Rub some oil on the palms and make small balls out of the dough. Using index finger make a hole in the middle.
  • Now take these balls and steam it in a pressure cooker like idli for 8-10 minutes.  (Without the weight). I used the idli stand greased it and placed 6-8 undis on one plate.
  • Serve hot as is or along with coconut oil or podi.