While strolling on one of the by lanes in my colony I saw a crowd of around 10 people at the bend of the lane. Even before my eyes knew what was happening my nose indicated that it was the local bhel puri walah. The aroma grew irresistible with every step closer to the stall. Finally giving in to my gastronomical impulses I ordered a plate of my favorite dish. After a patient 10 minute wait I sank my teeth into the first spoon of one of Mumbai’s characteristic chat. While the many flavors of the bhel started playing on my tongue I was relishing every morsel of it. And that experience sent me on a trail of thoughts.The bhel puri is undoubtedly one dish that personifies Mumbai it all it’s eclectic splendor. Just like our beloved city it encompasses all flavors, tangy, sweet, sour, and hot and all flavors melt effortlessly in your mouth to produce one sublime experience. And just like the city that seems to be bursting at the seams but still can accommodate more people whole heartedly to add to the colorful diversity, the more ingredients you add to the dish the tastier it becomes. In a city of extremes where skyscrapers jostle for space with hutments, swanky cars speed past handcarts; it’s one of those few elements that neutralize disparities.
So here’s the recipe of the much loved chat
For the bhel
- 2 cups of puffed rice
- ½ cup sev
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/2 cup raw mango finely chopped
- 1/2 cup boiled chopped potatoes
- 1/4 cup boiled chana
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
- salt to taste
- 2 cups coriander leaves
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 5-6 green chilies
- 1 tbs lime juice
- Salt to taste
Grind the above items to a fine paste by adding required water
Tamarind Sweet/sour chutney:
- Tamarind extract 1 cup
- Pitted Dates 1/2 cup
- Brown sugar 1 Tbsp.
- Cumin Powder 2 tsp.
- Chilli Powder 2 Tsp.
- Salt Acc to taste
Boil the above till they reduce by half & cool.
Grind it to smooth consistency.
Mix puffed rice and sev in a large bowl. Add onions, tomato, cooked chana, boiled potato, add required green and tamarind chutney. Mix well and garnish with sev and cilantro leaves. Serve immediately
Now relax and savor the dish whole heartedly… 🙂
The best time to try this dish out is
• On a lazy, cozy rainy day
• When you invite a bunch of friends to try it out
• Kids parties