Bhelpuri – A Spice Roasted Chickpea Salad

27 Apr


  I know I said it always rains at Easter but this year was ridiculous. On Thursday afternoon (the day before Good Friday) the sky turned an ominous shade of black and we were treated to one of the scariest thunder storms I have ever experienced. The loudest clap of thunder and lightning strike simultaneously conspired to blow up my modem and the electrics in the house. No internet, no TV, no shops open to buy a new modem and no processions to follow and photograph. Just rain, buckets full of it. The kind of rain that comes in the back door while you are mopping the flood at the front door. So I apologise for my recent absence and lack of Semana Santa documentation but I’ve just come back online today and I wasn’t going to go out in that rain and nor, I believe, did Jesus…

So, thankfully, now it has stopped raining and the sun is shining. The electric is back on and the new modem is working. I have lots of recipes to catch up with so I will get on with it. I bought some wholemeal puffed rice from the health food shop and was reminded of a salad we served as a special at the restaurant called Bhelpuri. Bhelpuri is a type of  Mumbai street food. There are many different versions some including potatoes rather than chickpeas but the common ingredients are puffed rice, tamarind chutney, onion, chilli, tomatoes & coriander. It is a dish with many different textures and flavours. The crispyness comes from the puffed rice and also crumbled puris ( a type of fried flatbread) as well as sev (a fried crispy noodle snack) also found in Bombay mix. I couldn’t find any Bombay mix here so I just used the puffed rice.

Let’s start with the spice roasted chickpeas. These are extremely addictive. You will be lucky if they make it into the Bhelpuri. I had to physically restrain myself from eating the whole lot straight off of the baking tray. They are a really tasty, healthy snack on their own and would be great as a nibble with drinks. I got this easy, delicious recipe from Alexa Marsden. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you….

Spice Roasted Chickpeas Recipe

vegan, gluten-free, adapted from Alexa Marsden

  • 1 jar/tin cooked chickpeas 400 gr, rinsed & drained
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp Sharwood’s medium curry powder (do not use that horrible generic yellow curry powder) or see the original recipe for a spice breakdown
  • salt & black pepper

After you have rinsed and drained the chickpeas leave them to air dry.  Pre heat oven to 180 C. Mix the curry powder, olive oil, salt & pepper in a large bowl then add the chickpeas and toss to coat evenly. Arrange them in one layer on a lined baking sheet and put it on the lowest rack in the oven. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes shaking the pan half way through. Leave them to cool if you are physically able then tip into a bowl to serve with drinks or see Bhelpuri recipe below.

This is my recipe for Bhelpuri. I researched it and found that every recipe is different. I have given you a list of suggested ingredients You don’t have to use them all. There are no amounts you just add what you think, mix it all together, taste and adjust to your liking.

My Bhelpuri Recipe

serves 3-4 vegan, gluten-free

  • 4oo gr spice roasted chickpeas (above)
  •  puffed rice
  • sev (or Bombay mix)
  • roasted peanuts or cashew nuts
  • crushed puris or poppadoms
  • 1/4 onion or a few spring onions, finely chopped
  • diced cooked potatoes
  • 1 green or red chilli, finely chopped
  • tamarind chutney/ syrup
  • mango chutney
  • lemon juice (essential)
  •   handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tomato, deseeded & diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, deseeded & diced
  • little gem lettuce leaves to serve

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt & pepper. Add vegetables, chutney, lemon juice and coriander, mix to coat everything then taste and adjust to your liking. Serve in a big bowl or on a small lettuce leaf and top with more puffed rice, sev (Bombay mix) and coriander leaves.


11 Responses to “Bhelpuri – A Spice Roasted Chickpea Salad”

  1. Dani April 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    Ooh, I love spice roasted chickpeas. This looks like a great combination.

  2. Alexa Marsden April 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Oh wow! I would never have thought of doing anything but eating those chickpeas right off the pan — I bet this is delicious!

  3. Angela@RecipesFromMyMom April 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    I’m with Alexa and think I could eat that whole pan of roasted chickpeas.

  4. Tes April 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    Your Bhelpuri looks amazing and healthier than the authentic version here which used a lot of deep fried stuffs. It sounds so flavourful and delicious 🙂

  5. happywhennothungry April 28, 2011 at 12:09 am #

    I’m so sorry you lost electricity!!! Glad you’re back! This Bhelpuri looks amazing and healthy too.

  6. sarah April 28, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    I’m glad you survived the rain and your recipe is stunning!!

  7. tony ward April 28, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Visions of you shaking the chickpeas with one hand and mopping the floor with the other !!
    Did the cats take to higher ground ??

    Will give this one whirl on the weekend when we are expecting friends for a braii !! I know, its the carnivor in me. xx

  8. Rita April 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    This is delicious! I have some mango chutney I made some time ago: a really tasty alternative to eat it! 😛

  9. bhavani@ameanderingmango May 3, 2011 at 12:19 am #

    Yum! I love Bhel – it’s one of my absolute favourite Indian snack foods – so sweet, salty and tangy – it’s like a flavour explosion. I should make it again soon. Thanks!

  10. Brindusa @ Cooking with my soul May 3, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    Amazing recipe. And the last picture …. I am drooling. I definitely have to make that spiced chickpeas. Thanks.
    Have a nice day.

  11. Andrew Forbes May 8, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    We’ve just arrived in Delhi – and the food is fab! Rafa is thinking vegetarian is the way forward now, so I know he’ll be asking for 1 on 1 tuition!
    Breakfast was so tasty – quite a few southern Indian dishes served here. I’ll try and photograph the dishes tomorrow morning at breaky and post them online for inspiration!
    Lunch today at an amazing black lentil dahl (sp?) with fresh cream stirred in – don’t miss meat!

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