Bhel Making | Street Food India.

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Bhel Making | Street Food India.

Bhel is a popular street food which is more oftenly called as Bhelpuri. Bhel has derived its name from Marathi language. It is a savoury snack and is also used as a type of chaat. It is made out of puffed rice, an assorted set of vegetables and red tangy tamarind chutney. Bhel Making is very easy.

Bhel Making | Food Etymology.

From food etymology, there is no clearly specific mention of when and where Bhel was first prepared, but it was likely to be originated in street side cafes and street food stalls of Mumbai. So, Bhel is often identified with the beaches of Mumbai, specially Juhu Beach.

Bhel is thought to have originated within the Gucafes and street food stalls of Mumbai and the recipe has spread to almost all the parts of India where it has been modified to suit local food availability.

Chivda Bhel. Street Food India.
Chivda Bhel Photo.

It is also said to be originated from Bhadang, a spicy namkeen from Western part of Maharashtra. Bhel belongs to the food family of Indian chaats, which are salty and spicy snack items sold on moving street carts throughout India.

Variants of Bhel.

Lots of variants of Bhel are available in various parts of India. Dry Bhel is made from Bhadang (a prequel of Bhel) that is devoid of red tangy tamarind chutney.

The Kolkata variant of Bhel is called Jhaal Muri (literally meaning spicy puffed rice). A native Mysore variant of Bhel is known as Churumuri or Churmuri in Bangalore. A dry variant of Bhel popularly known as Bhadang is consumed after garnishing with onions, coriander and lemon juice.

Bhel takes only few seconds to prepare and its ingredients are also most commonly available. The required ingredients are –puffed rice and sev (a fried snack shaped like thin noodles made from besan flour) mixed with potatoes, onions, chaat masala and red tamarind chutney and special mixture (a mix of different types of fried snacks). This is the base of the snack.

Gujarati Bhel.

In the western part of India, Bhel has a typically Gujarati balance of sweet, salty, tart and spicy flavours, with different textures as well, including crispy and crunchy from the puffed rice and fried sev.

Other commonly used ingredients of Bhel include chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped coriander leaves and green chillies which are added to the base as garnishing. In northern and eastern India, Bhel recipes are also made by adding boiled potatoes cut into small pieces.

Different Chutney’s For Bhel.

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 green spicy chutney made from coriander leaves and green chillies.
Some people like variations in preparing Bhels. They prefer Bhel making by sprinkling the puffed rice mixture with chunks of diced raw-sweet mango. The finished snack is often garnished with a combination of diced onions, coriander leaves and chopped green chillies. It is sometimes served with papri puris, which are deep fried small round and crispy wheat breads.

Bhelpuri.

When people use the word Bhelpuri instead of Bhel, then it becomes associated with lots of other sorts of street side puris. Sevpuri is a mixture of Bhelpuri, chutney, papdi and sev. Dahi puri is a mixture of Bhelpuri, chutney, papdi and savoured with lot of yogurt.

Sev papdi chaat is a lot like sevpuri but with 2-3 types of chutney, potatoes, chana masala. Churmuri has finely cut pieces of onion, tomato, coriander leaves along with chilli powder are mixed adding few drops of coconut oil. Sometimes fried or roasted groundnuts are also added for enhancing crunchiness.
Bhel can be served in simple ways in bowl, but it is traditionally served in a paper folded in the form of a triangular cone and is consumed using a paper spoon, wooden spoon or by the papdi which is itself an edible component of the Bhel.

Famous Indian food shows have explored all the street food items available and have concluded that Bhel is among top five most popular Indian street food items that everyone craves for. So, undoubtedly Bhel grabs an envious rank in the list of most popular Indian street food items.