That’s not how you make Bhel Puri

Ate a delicious salad for lunch at work where everyone had brought something to share. ‘It is Mumbai-style street food’ explained its cook. When I bought the ingredients from our Indian grocer, it seemed everyone had a tip to share about how their mother made the best Bhel Puri. ‘That’s not how you make it’, said the grocer, ‘You need apple and roasted peanuts to make it special’. While searching for the particular chutney to serve with the salad, a guy stocking the shelves looked at the items in my basket and said: ‘That’s not how you make it. You should buy a kit with all the things inside’.

Diced six juicy tomatoes, tossed them with a teaspoon of chaat masala and a splash of oil. Roasted these at 200C for about 30 minutes, adding a slug of balsamic vinegar to caramelise the juices in the bottom of the tray. At the same time, tossed a half dozen diced, parboiled and unpeeled potatoes with another teaspoon of chaat masala and more oil. Roasted these until crisp. Toasted a 2 cups of puffed rice on a separate oven tray for 10 minutes,  then tossed in a cup of nylon sev. Picked a large handful each of parsley, coriander, basil and mint and chopped these roughly along with a red onion. Tossed all ingredients in a large bowl and served it immediately, with a bottle of Bhel Puri chutney on the side.

Shared a photo of my effort with the cook. ‘That’s not how you make it’, she frowned. Then added with a smile: ‘But it’s ok’.

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