Apart from several things uniting Indians one surely will be the savory snack, CHAAT. From the small roadside stalls to fully-fledged restaurants, you can find these places dotting almost every city and town in India. From New Delhi in the north till Chennai in the south, from Ahmedabad in the west to Kolkata in the east, you can find chat stalls everywhere in India. Today I thought of sharing with you all the chat item I literally drool over! And that delicacy is Bhelpuri.
Thought to have originated within the Gucafes and street food stalls of Mumbai, the recipe of Bhelpuri has spread to most parts of India where it has been modified to suit the local food availability. It is also said to be originated from Bhadang, a spicy namkeen from Western Maharashtra. Made with puffed rice, vegetables (predominantly tomatoes, onions, green chilies) and a tangy tamarind sauce, Bhelpuri is one dish which can set your tongues on fire. Literally! You can add various kinds of chutneys (sauce) to the basic mix and create your own version of the chaat item. What I like most about this dish is it is a light snack. I mean it won’t leave you feeling heavy on the stomach. Generally it is served in a paper folded as a cone and consumed using a paper spoon or by the papdi which is itself an edible component of the bhel puri or put on a plate. In my opinion, the first option of serving makes it even more alluring!
Bhelpuri has a balance of sweet, salty, tart and spicy flavors, with different textures as well, including crispy and crunchy from the puffed rice and fried sev (namkeen). In northern India recipes also made by adding boiled potatoes cut into small pieces. Different chutneys impart a sweet, tangy or spicy flavour. There are two popular chutneys used: a dark brown sweet one made mainly from dates and tamarind (saunth chutney) and a green spicy chutney made from coriander, mint leaves and green chillies. Bhelpuri can also be found in many different transformations namely Sevpuri, Dahi Puri, Sev papdi Chaat, Churmuri and many more.
To conclude this delicious blog, I would like to tell something close to my heart. I make it a point to request my mother to prepare this dish whenever I am in my hometown. There is some magic in the way she prepares the dish which I can never ever match! Maybe it is the magic in her hands which makes the dish all the more inviting. I do try to make it sometimes whenever I have the craving but unfortunately, I cannot match my mother’s cooking skills. Also, I do make it a point to visit the famous stores in Hyderabad or Bhopal which serve this delicacy. All of you readers would have had your own experiences of tasting this delicacy. Why not use the comments section below to share your tasty experiences with everyone.