Bhel Puri or Bhel Poori is a classic Bombay street-side snack. It is made with puffed rice, tangy, sweet, and spicy Bhel chutneys, and fresh veggies. Bombay Bhel is the perfect street-style Indian Chaat
(This recipe was first published in June 2020 and has been updated)
Table of Contents
What is 'Bhel'?
A humble street-side snack, sold from carts by vendors, bhelpuri or Bombay bhel is a classic Indian streel style chaat made with Indian namkeens - it is made with puffed rice, boiled potatoes, onions, crushed-up papdi (namkeen), and tossed with chaat masala, sweet chutney, green chutney and red chutney, and finally, garnished with sev (fried chickpea batter) and raw mango and pomegranate seeds.
There are so many elements going on in this Indian street style chaat recipe – there is so much texture from the puffed rice to the crispy papdi and sev that’s sprinkled on top. There’s an explosion of flavor from the combination of sweet and sour tamarind and date chutney for bhel to the spicy red chili chutney and the green chutney.
There are different versions of Bhel Poori in India - In Bombay, it is simply called Bhel, and in West Bengal there is Jhal Moori or Muri which is a different form of Bhel, with added mustard oil for seasoning. There is also Sukha Bhel (dry Bhel) which is made with Bhel powders and no chutney and is served in newspapers from the street carts.
Every roadside vendor will have their own variation of bhelpuri – and no matter where you get your bhel puri fix from – Mumbai, Gujarat, Kolkatta – you will never find two bhel puri recipes that are exactly the same.
Bhelpuri is one of those dishes that is best enjoyed outdoors, at a roadside stall. However, it isn't difficult to get your bhelpuri fix without leaving your home. This dish can be made easily at home as well.
You will need the following ingredients to make street-style Bhel Puri or Bombay Bhel at home:
- Puffed rice - Also called as 'Murmura'
- Onion - Used finely chopped red onions
- Tomato - Finely chopped tomato
- Potatoes - Boil the potatoes until soft, and tender, and chop coarsely
- Papdis - Use namkeep Papdis (any brand such as Haldirams will work)
- Sev - Sev or Bhujia is used as a garnish in the last step (any brand such as Haldirams will work)
- Fresh Coriander (Cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
- Chaat Masala - Use and good brand of store bought Chaat Masala such as MDH or Everest
- Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Raw Green Mango, finely chopped
- Pomegranate Seeds - Fresh pomegranate seeds are used as a garnish
Ingredients for the Chutneys
Green chutney / Mint Cilantro Chutney for Chaat
- Coriander Leaves
- Lime juice
- Chaat masala
- Green chili
Red Chutney for Chaat
- Kashmiri Chili (dried whole chili)
- Garlic cloves
- Salt or Black Salt
- Water to soak the chilies
Tamarind Chutney (Imli Chutney) for Chaat
- Jaggery (powdered or grated)
- Cumin Powder
- Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
- Kala Namak (Black Salt)
- Ginger Powder
Step-by-step Recipe Instructions
All the ingredients for the Bhel Puri are prepped in advance and then tossed together just before serving. Since Bombay Bhel Poori is enjoyed at room temperature, you can prep all the ingredients in advance, making this a great option if you are meal prepping for the week. Bhel Puri should be eaten immediately after it is served, else the puffed rice will get soggy.
Step 1 Make the Chutney for Bhel
Green Chutney - See the detailed recipe for Green Chutney or Mint Cilantro Chutney here.
Red Chutney - Start by soaking the red chilies in water for 20-30 minutes. Peel the garlic. Take out the soaked red chilies (drain the water). Add chilies, garlic salt, and 1 teaspoon of water to a blender jar. Blend until a thick red chutney is formed.
Tamarind Chutney - Soak tamarind in hot water for 30 minutes. Squeeze out the pulp into the same bowl and discard the seeds. Strain the pulp into another bowl and keep aside. On a small saucepan on the stovetop, heat the oil. Add the Cumin, Red Chili Powder, Black Salt (Kala Namak) and Ginger Powder. Reduce heat, add the strained tamarind pulp. Add in Jaggery powder (or grated jaggery). Cook for 5 minutes on low heat until jaggery dissolves. Cool down and use in bhel.
Step 2 Prepare the Rest of the Ingredients
Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes in a covered vessel on the stove. Once they are cooked and cooled to room temperature, peel them and mash them coarsely. Keep the potatoes aside.
Step 3 Assemble the Ingredients
Just before assembling the Bhel Puri, lightly toast the puffed rice in a large wok. To assemble the Bhel Poori, use a large mixing bowl, add the toasted puffed rice, crushed papdi, onion, coarsely mashed potatoes, tomatoes, and mix well.
Then add the chutneys for Bhel – add as much or as little as you like, followed by the chaat masala, lime juice, and chopped green mango. Give it a mix to combine.
To garnish, sprinkle some sev, green mango, chopped coriander leaves, pomegranate seeds, and top off with more chutney.
To this bhelpuri recipe, you can add optional ingredients and customize this dish to your liking. Here are some of my favorite ingredients that I like to add to my Bhelpoori:
- Roasted peanuts
- Chopped cucumber
- Chopped green chilies
- Sprouted moong beans
More Indian Snack Recipes
Aloo Tikki Chaat
Bhel Puri (Bombay Bhel Poori) Recipe
- 5 cups Puffed Rice (Murmura)
- 1 Red Onion finely chopped
- 1 Tomato finely chopped
- 3 Potatoes boiled, peeled and cooled
- 1 cup Papdi (namkeen)
- 1 teaspoon Chaat Masala
- ½ teaspoon Lime juice
For the green chutney
Imli Chutney (Tamarind Chutney)
- ⅓ cup Tamarind
- 3 tbsp Jaggery (powdered or grated)
- ¾ tsp Cumin Powder
- ¾ tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Kala Namak (Black Salt)
- ¾ tsp Ginger Powder
- ⅓ Raw green mango finely chopped
- 3-4 Papdis
- ⅓ cup fresh coriander leaves chopped
- ⅓ cup Pomegranate seeds
- ⅓ cup Sev
Green Chutney For Bhel
- In a blender jar, add all the ingredients for green chutney along with 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until combined to a dip-like consistency. Do not over-blend.Taste and check for seasoning. Add more salt or lime juice or water as needed.
Red Chutney For Bhel
- Start by soaking the red chilies in water for 20-30 minutes. Peel the garlic. Take out the soaked red chilies (drain the water). Add chilies, garlic salt, and 1teaspoon of water to a blender jar. Blend until a thick red chutney is formed.
Imli Chutney (Tamarind Chutney for Bhel)
- Soak tamarind in hot water for 30 minutes. Squeeze out the pulp into the same bowl and discard the seeds. Strain the pulp into another bowl and keep it aside. On a small saucepan on the stovetop, heat the oil. Add the Cumin, RedChili Powder, Black Salt (Kala Namak) and Ginger Powder. Reduce heat, add thes trained tamarind pulp. Add in Jaggery powder (or grated jaggery). Cook for 5minutes on low heat until jaggery dissolves. Cool down and use in Bhel.
Prepare the rest of the Ingredients
- In a large wok, toast the puffed rice, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat, and keep aside.
- Coarsely mash the boiled and cooled potatoes and keep aside. The potatoes should be dry with little to no moisture.
How to assemble the Bhel Puri
- In a large mixing bowl, add the toasted puffed rice, crushed papdis, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, and some of the chopped green mango.
- Add 1 tablespoon each of the green, red and date and tamarind chutneys. Working quickly, mix all the ingredients well to combine.
- Add the chaat masala, lime juice and mix again. Top off with the chopped coriander, more raw mango, sev, 3-4 crushed papdis, and add more chutneys to garnish.
- Serve and enjoy immediately!
- Optional additional add-ins for bhelpuri: Roasted peanuts, chopped cucumber, Chopped green chilies, Pomegranate seeds, Sprouted moong beans
- Prepare all the ingredients and keep them ready, mix together just before you are ready to serve. Don't make it ahead, the bhelpuri will be soggy.