EVENT: FOODIES_ REDOING OLD POSTS #28
Updated on 25/06/2020
Though I’ve made healthy bhel several times over the years, I didn’t get the opportunity to take some decent clicks. However, as the saying goes, there is a right time for everything. The Foodies_Redoing Old Posts Event gave me the opportunity to redo Healthy Bhel as my 28th recipe updated. The recipe remains the same, only the photos have changed.
My blog is just not a place where you’ll find recipes but also a place where I can give words to my thoughts, share important events and share memorable journey. Many have pointed out that usually personal experience or narration of events may not be good for my website SEO but really, I didn’t start blogging so that I can run my blog like a business.
WhatsApp has improved communication tremendously. You just need to be connected to an internet or wifi and voila… you’re good to go. Its become easier to communicate with friends and family who are far from us or when we are travelling. So the typical messages sent are ‘leaving for the airport’, ‘reached the airport’, ‘done with security and immigration’, ‘having coffee’, ‘boarding plane’, ‘boarded’. Then for a while its peace and quiet. As soon as one lands, the first task is to find out if there is free wifi at the airport. If there is messaging begins again. ‘Lovely airport’, ‘immigration line very long’, ‘waiting for baggage’, ‘reached our destination’, etc etc.
While for most of us this is really good because we can keep in touch with family and friends, sometimes Whatsapp can turn out to a be a huge nuisance. If you are part of several groups, then your mobile is certainly very busy. Sometimes we have a situation where the same message is forwarded to the same group umpteen of times by the members. Wrong messages have gone to the wrong group. When members of the group are in different time zones, then the messages start pouring in early morning and continue till late night. The best one is the herd mentality in a group. Spreading of fake news has become the norm. I always tell my hubby that people are not ‘trigger happy’ but keypad happy… no thought given to the info whether its true or false and before you know it, it appears in several groups.
What is Bhel?
More popularly known as bhel puri, its a savory snack enjoyed as Chaat in the Indian Sub Continent. The basic ingredient is roasted puff rice or mamra with sev and a bit of deep fried papdi. There are so many variations of bhel or bhel puri depending on which part of the Indian Sub Continent you are in. Usually, I make bhel puri at home but occasionally have had some from Juhu Beach which has a bit of boiled potatoes, brown chickpeas and lots of chopped onion.
Different Bhel/ Bhel Puri Recipes:
- Try Chinese Bhel that is served with fried noodles, bean sprouts, bell pepper, spring onion, sweet corn and schezwan sauce.
- Have you tried Mexican Bhel? A fusion of Indian and Mexican flavors, its one of my favourite dishes. While I used homemade tortilla chips you can easily use ready made ones.
- Ponk Bhel – Ponk is tender sorghum when still young and fresh. Priya makes a tasty bhel using ponk.
- Enjoy a traditional Bengali style bhel with some mustard oil and Chanachur added to it. Chanachur(Bombay mix) is like mixture of two to three fried savory snack items. If you don’t have chanachur then add sev like Poonam does to make Jhal Muri.
- Cheeslings Bhel – I love cheeslings and have never thought of using them to make Bhel the way Priya has.
- Archana makes a delish Barley Bhel. She soaks and cooks the barley and then uses it to make bhel. Healthy and tasty.
- Looking for a traditional bhel puri recipe? Then you’ve got to check out Priya VJ’s Bhel Puri.
- Kalyani’s Corn Choliya Bhel is healthy as she uses roasted choliya or chickpeas.
- If you’re a big fan of raw mango like me then you’ve got to make Sasmita’s Mango Bhel Puri. With just few spices added you don’t even need any chutneys.
Okay, now that I’m over and done with my thoughts on WhatsApp, lets get down to today’s recipe – a Healthy Bhel. Healthy because I have added different yummy and healthy ingredients to it. Don’t get me wrong, the usual boiled potatoes and chickpeas are healthy, but this bhel is different. You can actually add whatever you want. Also I’ve tried to use less of the fried sev, baked leftover roti to replace the fried chaat puri and roasted the puff rice or mamra in the oven instead of frying them. Yes, some people fry them. The date and tamarind chutney I use has no added sugar or jaggery.
When can you enjoy this healthy bhel?
Well, as a healthy snack in between meals, as a light meal, or even serve it as a starter. Hubby and I love to have healthy bhel when we plan a movie night. Its either popcorn or Healthy Bhel. With healthy bhel we can add as much vegetables and fruits to it.
Ingredients required for Healthy Bhel
- Puffed Rice – also known as Mamra, mumra. Its easily available in any Indian Grocery Store. Usually its not crunchy or crispy and you need to make it crunchy.
- Thin Sev – thin sev which is available in any Indian Grocery Store in the snack section. Sev is a fried thin noodle like snack which is made with chickpea flour.
- Sweet Corn and/or Sprouted Moong – I sometimes add both or whatever I have at hand. If I use sprouted moong, I usually steam them a bit to take that raw taste away.
- Roasted Peanuts – optional.
- Pomegranate Arils – they add a bit of crunch and tang.
- Fruits – can use grapes, chopped apple, ripe mango, passion fruit. Whatever you fancy. I personally love ummmm all!
- Cucumber – yes I sneak in chopped cucumber as hubby doesn’t like to have it on its own.
- Chopped Onion – no bhel is complete without onion. Can use red or white.
- Raw Mango – chopped definitely adds the required sourness.
- Date Tamarind Chutney – its easily available in Indian Stores but its also easy to make it at home. I usually make a big batch and freeze the chutney in small containers. Click on the name of the chutney for the recipe.
- Green Chutney – Easy to make at home. Click on the name of the chutney for the recipe.
- Salt – as per your taste
- Turmeric Powder – haldi or hardar to add to mamra before roasting them.
- Red Chilli Powder – lal mirch to add to the mamra.
- Oil – to help mix in the turmeric and red chilli powder. Also helps to make the mamra crunchy.
- Chaat Masala – easily available ready made. If you don’t have it omit it.
- Baked leftover roti or khakra pieces – I like to brush leftover home made roti with some oil and bake it at 100°C till crispy. If you don’t have roti can use ready khakhra or just omit this altogether.
- For Gluten Free version omit adding khakra or baked roti
- For Satvik friendly bhel, omit onion
For Mamra/Puffed Rice:
- 2-3 cups mamra, puffed rice
- 1 tbsp oil
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ -1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp chaat masala powder
For the Healthy Bhel:
- ½ cup thin sev optional
- ½ cup sweet corn cooked
- ½ cup bean sprouts cooked
- ½ cup roasted peanuts
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- ½ cup fresh fruit or fruits of your choice chopped
- ½ cup cucumber finely cubed
- ½ cup onion finely chopped
- ¼ cup raw mango peeled and finely chopped
- 1 cup baked roti or khakra pieces optional
- 1 cup date tamarind chutney
- ½ -1 cup green chutney
- Preparation of Roasted Mamra/puffed Rice:
- Preheat the oven to 150°C.
- Put mamra (puffed rice) in a big bowl.
- Add turmeric powder, oil and salt to it. Mix it well.
- Put the mamra in a baking tray. Spread it out into a thin layer.
- Roast the mamra for 20 minutes in the oven or till they become crunchy.
- Remove the mamra from the oven and add chaat masala and chilli powder. Mix well. Let the mamra cool down a bit.
To Serve Healthy Bhel:
- Add cucumber, bean sprouts, corn, fruits, onion, raw mango, baked roti or khakhra pieces, and sev is using any to the roasted mamra.
- Mix well.
- Serve with the date tamarind and green chutney.
- Add boiled potatoes, cooked chickpea, raw carrot diced etc. In fact add whatever you wish.
- I sometimes add boiled peanuts instead of the roasted ones.
- Add more fruits and vegetables to make it more healthier.
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