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Bombay Chaat Ensemble - Pani Puri, Bhel and Dahi Batata Puri

For most people, this is a snack. But I grew up eating this as dinner. There are many ingredients here that are store-bought because I don't have the time to make them. But these items def bring a smile and lots of happiness and it is a great way to celebrate the end of a busy week. And the party in your mouth is certainly exciting too :)

What you see in the picture above:

Pani Puri - This item is vegan. Store-bought Puffed fried puri, home-made brown chatni, store-bought green (pani-puri) chatni and pressured cooked sprouted green moong and brown chickpeas.

This is a good recipe.

Bhel Puri: This item is vegan. Store-bought puffed rice (which was then sautéed with store-bought fried chickpea vermicilli and fried puri (or whole wheat thick tortilla chips, fried), 3 potatoes boiled, peeled and cut, one finely cut onion, home-made green and brown chatnis. Check this recipe.

Dahi Batata Puri: This item is vegetarian. Yogurt (dahi), potatoes (batata), and flat puri (thick whole wheat tortilla chips, fried) . Check this version - which I like, which is the same recipe as Sev Batata Puri, to which you just add the yogurt. That's how I made this item.

For green chutney, check this recipe. For brown chutney, I usually mix date syrup and tamarind concentrate and spice it with salt, cumin powder and red chili powder. Easiest and most child-friendly way to make it.

Remember, you can find both chutneys, all the spices and the ingredients below at an Indian store. You may even find a ready-to-go or ready-to-prepare package if you are experimenting for the very first time.

Are you Los-Angeles based? If you are looking for a restaurant, find one that specializes in Indian street food. Surti Farsan and Jay Bharat in Artesia are decent. Samosa House and Bollywood Zaika offer good options as well. Badmaash (Fairfax) has interesting twists and may be slightly pricey but its a cool hangout.

Also, one of my favorite Indian stores is the new Pioneer store in Artesia. Check them out here or visit them at 11700 183rd St. Artesia, CA 90701.

Mini dictionary, Hindi adapted to English. Know that different words exist for the same item because India has several different sub-cultures and languages.

  • Puri: Can be flat or puffed. Usually made of wheat. Sometimes baked, but most often, fried. The puffed ones are used for Pani Puri, which is also called Gol Gappa

  • Batata: Potatoes. Also called Bataka or Aloo

  • Dahi: Yogurt. Traditionally, dairy-based

  • Pani: Water

  • Sev: Fried vermicilli, made traditionally with chickpea flour. Has many versions - fine, thick, long, short.

  • Mumra: Puffed rice. Also called Kurmura. Rice-based, gluten-free. Most often, sautéed slightly in oil to crunch them up and used to make Bhel Puri

  • Chutney: Spicy or savory condiment or sauce, sometimes preserved in sugar and vinegar. It is always gluten-free and in most-cases dairy-free but you need to check the latter to be sure. Common ones used in Indian street food are Green (cilantro / mint) or Brown (date / tamarind) chutneys

  • Sooji: Semolina


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