Make it in a minute

Indian cuisine offers a wide variety of dishes, ranging from spicy main courses like the ever-famous butter chicken, which are usually complemented by Indian breads like chapatti and naan, to the dishes that sate the sweet tooth like gulab jamun and rasgulla. But if you are in the mood for something other than heavy main course dishes and delectable desserts, Indian food also offers something lighter.

Although not many Indian restaurants offer these, there are several light and crunchy Indian snacks that people can munch on between meals. The most popularly known Indian snacks are samosas, but samosas are far from being the most loved. Another popular snack is the pakora, whose filling can be composed of different vegetables or cheeses. One of the most delicious Indian snacks, bhelpuri, is, coincidentally, also the simplest to make.

Bhelpuri is a tangy, salty, and slightly sweet combination of puffed rice and raw vegetables like onion, potato, and tomato. The snack is known for originating from the beaches of Mumbai, where vendors still concoct this flavorful mixture and sell it to passerby in newspaper cones.

With a single mouthful, this snack creates an explosion of sensations, from the tingling of the different spices and chutneys to the crunchy texture of the puffed rice. The recipe is simple, involving only mixing all the basic ingredients together. Bhelpuri can be made easily in a dorm room, and doesn’t require any heat. All you need are the following ingredients, which can be obtained at any Indian store. A convenient one is Kohli’s, located opposite Lulu’s on Craig Street.


1 cup puffed rice
½ cup chopped tomato
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
½ cup boiled and mashed potato
4 chopped green chilies
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tbsp garam masala
6 tbsp tamarind chutney
Coriander chutney, to taste
Mint chutney, to taste
2 tbsp lime or lemon juice

Prepare the bhelpuri in a bowl by mixing the puffed rice, onions, tomatoes, mashed potato, chilies, and ginger together. Then add the spices and chutneys and mix well. To finish it off, sprinkle the lime juice over the mixture and garnish with coriander leaves. The dish must be served immediately, or the chutneys will soak into the puffed rice and make it soggy.

To make finding the ingredients easier, there is a readily available bhelpuri mix that contains the perfect mixture of puffed rice, along with some other additions, that is priced at around $5. Only the vegetables and chutneys need to be added.

In addition, there is also a mix from a brand called Haldirams that contains everything in a container, including the chutneys, and only needs to be mixed together once opened. It makes a single serving and is priced at around $2.

Bhelpuri is an excellent snack if you are in the mood for something sweet and spicy. Spice levels can be adjusted easily, making this a versatile treat that is sure to please everyone.