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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Food » Everyone's Talking About Bhel Puri!

Everyone's Talking About Bhel Puri!

By Rediff Get Ahead
June 14, 2022 18:24 IST
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It makes you smack your lips with appreciation and leaves you salivating for more. Plus, it's healthy.

No wonder when MasterChef Australia contestant Sarah Todd was asked to make a tasty dish in 10 minutes, the first thing that came to her mind was Bhel Puri.

The popular street food -- in Mumbai, you'll spot a cart/stand selling it at almost every street corner -- is a mishmash of several ingredients like kurmura or puffed rice, a spicy green mint-chilly chutney, a sweet-and-sour tamarind-jaggery chutney, chopped onions and tomatoes (tiny slivers of raw mango are tossed in as well during the summer), crushed puris (with an additional whole puri or two that you can use as a spoon), sev and lemon juice, among other things, that give it a distinctly chatpata flavour.

'It is said a true blue Bhel Puri must be created just before consumption to prevent the puffed rice from getting soggy,' Sarah said on her Instagram timeline.

'And all we have to do is let the taste takes its course. Perfect for the MasterChef 10-minute challenge, right?

Zingy, tangy and slightly spicy.'

IMAGE: Sarah Todd's version of the 'healthy afternoon snack' features shredded iceberg, raisins, sriracha and red onions.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Sarah Todd/Instagram.

While Sarah's version of Bhel Puri had the judges raving, their comments seemed to have left the Indian audience bemused.

@pratyasharath tweeted, 'Someone made bhel puri in MasterChef Australia and the judges were like -- 'You packed such complex flavours into this and the raw onions were amazing, and how did you manage to do this in 10 minutes.'

'Ask these judges to go to bhel puriwalas standing outside Churchgate or Chowpatty. These guys make bhel for 20 people in 5 minutes,' added @medha60.

'If you bring your chutneys along then it does not take more than 5 minutes. Making saunth or tamarind and jaggery chutney takes more than 30 minutes,' added @Satyshiv S.

But there were those who felt that the judges's praise was justified.

'Why do we undervalue ourselves so much? Have you tried to make bhel puri from scratch? It takes so much expertise and skill from cutting to frying to balancing every chutney and then using them in the right proportion!' tweeted @Nehaneha117.

@sganesh181 added, 'Bhel Puri is an amazing dish and has fab flavour. Incredible that she made it in 10 minutes. Indian cuisine is fantastic and we Indians do not appreciate it enough.'

IMAGE: Sarah cooking the dish in the MasterChef Australia kitchen.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Sarah Todd/Instagram

Sarah had, in her 2011 post, presented her bhel puri recipe.

Here's her version of the popular street food that she hopes will tingle your taste buds.

Sarah Todd's Bhel Puri

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup kurmura or puffed rice
  • 1 tsp peanuts, crushed and roasted
  • 2 tsp chopped red onions
  • 2 tbsp chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 tsp chopped green dhania or coriander or cilantro
  • 2 tsp raisins
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp date-tamarind chutney
  • 1 tsp sriracha or hot chilly sauce
  • Pinch chaat masala

Method

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the kurmura, crushed peanuts, chopped red onions, tomatoes, shredded iceberg, raisins.
    Drizzle the sriracha sauce, date-tamarind chutney on top.
    Add the lime juice and lightly toss until mixed.
    Sprinkle the chopped coriander.
    Serve.

Note: For a Jain version of this bhel, skip the onions.


Dear Readers, what's your favourite chaat? Do you like to have it the classic way or have you improvised on the recipe?

Mail your interesting chaat recipes to getahead@rediff.co.in along with your name, where you live and photographs of your dish.

We will publish the best recipes on Rediff.com.

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