OK, this is it: THE street food dish of Mumbai, perhaps the most famous street-food dish in India. It’s a wacky but simple concept: you toss together crispy little carb bits, like chick-pea noodles, puffed rice, wheat flour chips, with raw veggies (onions and tomatoes), cooked veggies (potatoes) and thin chutney sauces (mint and tamarind). The result, often served, in Mumbai, in a paper cone is a lively, sweet-sour mouthful of refreshing crunch. Bhel Poori-making at home is extremely simple: you buy a bag of Bhel Puri Mix, toss everything in a bowl, and you serve the result (garnished fancily, if you wish) on appetizer plates. The hardest part is finding the ingredients. My favorite shop, Kalustyans in Manhattan, will ship all of them.
(Crispy Tossed Snack with Onions, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Herbs and Chutneys)
2 cups (Mirch Masala Bombay) Bhel Puri Mix*
½ cup minced tomato
½ cup minced purple onion
½ cup boiled and diced potato
¼ cup chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
¼ cup minced mint
1 teaspoon (MDH Chunk) Chat Masala*
4 tablespoons (Swad) Mint Chutney*
6 tablespoons (Kalustyan’s) Tamarind Chutney*
2 tablespoons water
4 heaping teaspoons (Mirch Masala) Thin Sev*
1. Just before serving, mix all ingredients except Thin Sev in a large bowl. Divide mixture among four plates. Garnish each plate with 1 heaping teaspoon Thin Sev, and a few cilantro leaves. Serve immediately as appetizer.
Makes 4 appetizer servings.
*All ingredients marked with an asterisk are available from Kalustyan in the parenthetical brands.