Saturday, November 19, 2005

Homemade Bhel Puri

I arrived in Bombay from London a few days back for a business meeting. I'm staying the weekend to hang out with my parents and friends. As always, it feels so terrific to be back here in Bombay. I'm being totally pampered in every way you can imagine. And I'm soaking up the sun, glad to be far away from the bitter cold in the U.S. I so wish I could stay longer and extend the luxury of being thoroughly spoilt but I have to hop back on the plane tomorrow and make my way back to New York. Agh!

Our cook at home, Gulabibai (GB), knows all my favourite foods and starts cooking them for me from the minute I arrive. I almost have to beg her not to stuff me so much that I sleep all day long. Yesterday GB made me some lip-smackingly delicious bhel puri at home.

Bhel is very simple if you have the right ingredients. In the U.S, you even get dry bhel ingredients in readymade packets and all you need to do is add a couple of chopped boiled potatoes, fresh ripe tomatoes, raw onions, tamarind chutney, cilantro chutney, fresh cilantro, a bit of lemon juice and salt. I love the flavour of garlic in my bhel so when I make this in Manhattan I also add some freshly chopped garlic or some garlic paste. But GB would never dare to add garlic though I love it so much because it is banned in my parents' house. Many South Indian Brahmins do not use garlic in cooking because it is considered to be a flavour enhancer for meat and therefore not to be found in the kitchen of a strictly vegetarian home.

Next up: Aviyal (including the recipe)


Blogger vkn said...

Lulu - that looks soo yummy! I just loved it. Thank you for the post. I too like it with a little garlic and ginger. Convey my thanks to GB too; she is brilliant. Look forward to more home-made dishes from Mumbai :-) Cheers!

5:52 AM  
Blogger vkn said...

Btw - I am so curious to know the GB's authentic mumbai bhel masala powder. Would you mind sharing it please? :-)

5:58 AM  
Blogger Paa"ji" said...

I am Jealous..... :) looks so so yummy

5:50 PM  
Blogger Lulu said...

hi vkn,
i asked GB and here's how to make tamarind chutney:
take dates and tamarind in the proportion of 4 cups to 1/4 a cup and soak overnight in water. squeeze out the water in the morning. add some red chill powder, a few teaspoons of jeera and salt and grind well in the mixer. per your taste you can adjust the propositions. this will keep for a few months in the fridge.
for the green chutney, take a big bunch of coriander and mix with the following in a mixi:
green chili
lime juice
whole coriander seeds
fresh coriander
hope this helps! things are done a bit "andaaz" here so i'm sorry if i am not giving the exactly right proportions. i have to make it myself to figure it out!

9:25 PM  
Blogger vkn said...

Thanks a ton Lulu. This is superb. I like the way experienced traditional chefs mix in the spices with their andaaz. My mom cooks that way too much flexible with the ingredients in hand where as my sister used to cook in a more punctilious way bringing all the measured ingredients together first prior to cooking. In either ways the final product used to turn out perfect :-) Thank you once again for the post and the details. Cheers!

11:27 AM  
Anonymous missjain said...

That's great..very yummy bhel
I am jain so instead of potato i had put raw banana..
Thanx for tasty bhel recepie

9:03 AM  
Blogger sugirtha said...

hey frn...

thanks for the bhel poori recipie... here in chennai we dont get the original mumbai wala's bhel poori... ur recepie was real gud...

3:47 AM  

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