Bombay-Style Bhel Poori

I am a die-hard fan of chaats, so much so that I start missing them if I haven’t had any for about a week. πŸ™‚ Chaats are something I love trying out in different nooks and corners of the city, to find out which ones suit my taste buds the most.These days, though, I have cut down greatly on eating street food, and try to make my own version of chaats at home.

While I love churmuri, the Bangalorean version of bhel poori, at quite a few places around the city, authentic Bombay-style bhel poori has always been difficult to come by. That is something I most always make at home. This is the style of bhel poori that I have grown up eating back in Ahmedabad, and which has always reminded me of home. Apparently, this is the kind of bhel poori that you get at Chowpatty, Bombay – I have never visited, so I have no clue. This bhel poori has a very different taste from churmuri, and the husband and I happen to just love it.

Today, I am here to tell you my way of making it.

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Ingredients (serves 4):

3 fistfuls of roasted puffed rice (aka pori or murmura)

2 fistfuls of nylon sev (I commonly use store-bought sev, Garden brand)

About 1/2 cup sev/ omapodi (normal-sized sev that is not as fine as nylon sev – I usually use store-bought sev, mostly MTR brand)

A few masala shing (You could use Congress kadalai too)

6-7 papdi (I use store-bought papdi, mostly Garden brand’s Bombay poori), broken into halves

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

1 small tomato, finely chopped

A small bunch of coriander leaves, finely chopped

About 1/2 cup pomegranate arils

A dash of lemon juice (optional)

A small piece of beetroot, raw, peeled and grated (optional)

1 small carrot, peeled and grated, optional

1 medium-sized potato, boiled, peeled and cubed

4 tablespoons of spicy green chutney, or to taste (Click here for the recipe)

4 tablespoons of sweet and sour chutney, or to taste (Click here for the recipe)

2 teaspoons roasted jeera (cumin) powder

2-3 pinches of black salt/ rock salt (kala namak)

2-3 pinches of chaat masala (I am partial to the Everest brand)

Method:

  1. Take all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix everything thoroughly.
  2. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. As all of you know, bhel poori is a very inclusive dish. You can add just about anything to it, and it will taste good. This is just my version of the dish, based on remembrances of what I have grown up eating, learnt after a lot of trials and errors. You could add bits of raw mango, grated cheese, small cubes of peeled cucumber, chunks of pineapple to it, too – just about anything, like I said before.
  2. Be careful while you add the black salt – don’t add too much, for it will spoil the taste of the dish. You will be adding chaat masala too, which is a tad salty as well.
  3. I have tried adding boiled beetroot to bhel, but haven’t liked it much. I prefer adding it raw.
  4. Increase or decrease the quantities of the spicy and sweet chutneys, depending upon your personal taste preferences.
  5. The dash of lemon juice and beetroot are optional additions to this recipe, but I think adding them takes the taste to a whole new level. I would highly recommend both.
  6. You could add shing bhujia to the bhel instead of masala shing, too.
  7. You could use regular white salt in place of black/ rock salt, too, but I find black salt to have a distinct, beautiful smell and flavour of its own, which works wonders on a dish of bhel poori. If you have access to black salt, I would strongly urge you to use it!

I hope you will try this out at home too, and that you will love it just as much as we do!

 

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