Bhel is a very popular snack in India, you get this in every single food cart and snack stands around the city. It is a mouthwatering snack which has both the crunchy part and the salad part mixed with sweet, sour and spicy sauces, Sounds good right !
You can easily prepare bhel for a large number of people in a jiffy, so when we host parties this is a preferred starter. There are so many different ways to make bhel, literally sky is the limit. This is my take on the classic bhel with a twist.
Let me tell you what Bhel is, it is a mixture of wheat crisps, puffed rice, flattened rice flakes, chickpea flour crisps, roasted lentils and peanuts. It is flavored with chat masala which is a powdered mix of roasted coriander, cumin, pepper, red chili, paprika and black salt.
You can buy this ready made in Indian grocery stores. You get this in both spicy and mild versions. The spicy version is made with red chili powder hence the difference in color, Other than that both versions taste the same since both have the same ingredients and flavored with chaat masala.
This mixture is our base…
Now we have to add the fresh salad part which is a combination of…
- 1- finely chopped onion
- 1 – tomato finely chopped ( scoop out the flesh and the seeds)
- 1 – small bunch of cilantro leaves finely chopped including the stems.
- Green raw mango cut in very thin slices and then cut into slivers
The binding aspect of this crispy and salad part are the sauces
- I have used masala chili sauce which is sweet and spicy
- Coriander chutney made with cilantro, green chili and vinegar makes it tangy
Keep all the chopped items in a kitchen towel or paper towel for a couple of minutes, it absorbs the moisture out of it and keeps it nice and crisp.
This step is very important otherwise it makes this snack soggy.
Now comes the twist, I’m adding slivered green mango to this, it adds an extra crunch and the aroma of the raw mango takes it to the next level.
This snack can dress up according to your mood you can add anything to make it your own like fried potato cubes, cooked chickpeas or diced cucumber.
Come on let’s put together this yummy snack which I like to call ” The crispy salad “
I’m going to give you the exact ratio so that every time you mix this you get the same consistency and the taste.
- Take a large bowl
- Put 2 cups of bhel mix, I’ve used the spicy version
- Break the wheat crisps so that it’s easy to eat
- Add all the chopped onion,tomato and cilantro, mix it well
- Add 1- teaspoon of coriander chutney
- Add 1- tablespoon of masala chili sauce, mix it well
- Now add the chopped green mango slivers on the top.
How easy is that ! Now its ready to serve. Put a scoop in a beautiful bowl and enjoy !
This recipe easily serves 4 and you still have little bit more for those who wants seconds.
Mmm … it is so good ! it’s crunchy, savory, sweet, spicy and tangy all at the same time it’s literally a flavor explosion in your mouth.
Always mix this just before you serve it otherwise it gets soggy.
Look how colorful it is. This is one snack which is sure to please everyone. It is so likable because you can serve this at your parties or picnics in paper boats or cones which makes it so convenient to carry around and eat without a mess. In India we get this in beaches, street fairs, carnivals and even in movie theaters.So next time you see bhel on the menu go ahead and try it I guarantee you will love it. Happy Snacking !
If you are entertaining a large group of friends don’t try to mix them all at once, use the ratio above and mix it in batches. It makes your job easy and every batch tastes the same.
You can keep diced raw mangoes, cucumbers, fried potato cubes and chickpeas in separate bowls as addional toppings so that your guests have the choice to add whatever they like .
You can also keep green chili sauce for those who like it spicy and tamarind and date chutney for those who like it sweet.