The trick with bhel puri is that it requires very little handling. If you over-mix it, it gets soggy. If you prepare it far in advance, it gets soggy. Ultimately, sogginess is going to be your downfall. Which is why it is the lazy person’s best friend.
All it requires is assembly. I’m including the chatpata tamarind sauce recipe and the tangy pudina chutney recipe here, and honestly, it doesn’t take very long to make at all. You can even store them for later as desi add-ons to spice up air-filled bags of chips. Or use them as dips when you’re trying to trick yourself into eating more vegetables, calling them “crudites” to feel classy. Or drizzle it over some shredded veggies to make yourself a nice, wholesome salad. The possibilities are endless.
Your tummy awaits.
1 chopping board
1 small katori for soaking the tamarind
1 spoon for mixing
1 mixing bowl
1 blender / hand mixer / mixie
1 vessel for cooking your sauce.
1 serving Bowl
For the Tamarind Sauce
2 tbsp tamarind (soaked in the water for a couple of hours)
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp dates, chopped finely
1 tsp cumin seeds (roasted and powdered)
1 tsp chilli powder
3 tbsp sugar
salt to taste
For the Pudina Chutney
1/2 cup pudina (washed, with leaves separated)
1/2 inch ginger
1 green chilly (chopped)
1/2 tsp lime (optional)
2 tbsp water
salt to taste
For the Bhel
2 cups puffed rice
1 small onion (chopped)
2 small tomatoes (chopped)
1 small potato (boiled and chopped )
1 small pomegranate (about 1 cup of seeds)
1/2 cup sev (optional, but the texture is awesome with it)
coriander for garnish
1. Strain the soaked tamarind into your cooking vessel and remove the seeds and fibres from the pulp. Bring it to a boil.
2. Add the chopped dates, chili powder, cumin powder and sugar to the boiling tamarind water and mix well, until the dates soften and cook. Add salt to taste.
3. Take the sauce off the heat when the mixture resembles the consistency of honey and transfer the mixture to a blender. Blend until smooth and set aside. Wash the blender immediately.
4. In the washed blender, add the pudina, ginger, green chilly, water and salt. Blend until smooth and set aside. Wash your blender. Do it.
5. In your mixing bowl, mix your fresh ingredients and potatoes.
6. Add the sauce and chutney as per your taste and mix well.
7. Add the puffed rice and sev right at the end and mix gently, to preserve their texture. Garnish with sev, chopped coriander and pomegranate seeds. You’re done!
Add in a pinch of chat masala for added flavour.
Salt your potatoes when you boil them so that they don’t taste flat.
DON’T over-mix after you’ve added the puffed rice and sev. There’s nothing worse than soggy bhel puri!