I always get so excited when I put up a post about Indian food. It has been such a huge part of my life since I can remember . It practically raised me – we ate it when we were sick, we ate it for family breakfasts, we even left it out for Santa on Christmas Eve which, looking back, was a well-played move by my dad who was sick of milk and cookies. I owe it to this spicy, flavourful food culture for my adventurous taste in foods from around the world.
Each dish reminds me of home and , albeit cliché, my mother’s cooking. So I love sharing these recipes, and I think my mom gets excited too because she keeps telling me to “add tandoori masala to it”, “don’t forget to put the cumin in” and “did you make the chutney?” As soon as she knows that I’m posting a recipe for Indian food, she steps in as the matriarch of the kitchen, making sure I do it right. She’ll read this and know it’s true. So you guys know you’re getting the real thing.
Bhel puri is a popular street food in India, especially on the beaches of Mumbai. You can imagine the street vendor, tossing in the puffed rice, fried vermicelli noodles and chickpea chips in a newspaper cone, adding the spiced chickpeas and cilantro. Maybe if you’re lucky he’ll sneak in some onions and potatoes before topping it all off with chutney and a generous squeeze of lime juice.
The textures and tastes hit you all at once. It’s crunchy, soft and chewy. The tangy taste of tamarind is offset by the lime juice, the sweetness of the mango and the spice from the chickpeas. The cilantro gives a refreshing taste to the puri. Each handful gives a different flavour combination and each bite tastes just slightly different every time.
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 white potatoes, boiled and cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp tandoori spice
- ½ cup roasted peanuts
- 1 cup of puffed rice
- ½ cup chickpea chips
- ½ cup fried vermicelli noodles
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- lime wedges and mango slices for serving
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Toss the chickpeas with olive oil, cumin and salt and roast in the oven until crispy - approx. 15 mins
- While the chickpeas are in the oven, make the tamarind chutney but bringing the tamarind paste and water to a boil in a small saucepan then simmering approx. 10 mins until iit's reduced by ½. Add in the tandoori spice and remove from heat to thicken.
- When ready to serve, in a large bowl add the peanuts, puffed rice, chips, noodles, cilantro and spiced chickpeas. Serve in bowls or plates and top with tamarind chutney, mango slices and a squeeze of lime juice.