A post very close to my heart.... brings back my college day memories. Friends, Fun, Frolic and Food..... Jhalmuri, Rolls, Bhelpuri, Idly- Vada - Dosa and Capri[the ultimate destination for Chinese food for us]. How authentic.... was not a matter of concern for us, the ultimate joy of sharing a plate with friends meant everything. As I have told earlier, our school was in a restricted area, no vendors were allowed near the venue. Hence, once in college we were like free birds. I had bagged few tutions too and quite rich in a way, hahaha. The jhalmuri wala stood just outside the gate while the Bhelpuri wala, who sold Aloo tikki too stood some 25 metres away. There was no competition between the two, we visited them in turns. Some 25 years back, competition did not rule our life, it was simple and peaceful. In my dreams, I go back there to seek simplicity.
Coming back to present, on my visit to Kolkata, I go to Dakshinapan, the saree hub with a dear friend. Just outside the gate, there is a Bhelpuri wala who makes it awesomely. I have to have it. We manage to hold it with our left hand juggling with our saree packets till we get a cab. Time may have changed but its so much fun having it in different environment. Yesterday, I had a plate full of dahipuri chaat, sitting alone. That is also fun, I so much love my own company. I prepared this Bhelpuri snack chaat yesterday evening and believe me, my filipino help enjoyed it too. She is an equal partner in all my cooking ventures. My inspiration for this recipe??..... off course the Kolkata street vendors. Though I do not claim it to be a Kolkata street snack, its essentially Indian.
Puffed Rice[muri] : 200gm
Potato[boiled and chopped] : 1
Onion[chopped] : 1medium
Tomato[chopped] : 1small
Cucumber[chopped] : 1/2 of 1
Green Chilli [chopped] : 1
Coriander leaves[chopped] : 2sprig
Date Tamarind Chutney : 1/4small cup
Green Chutney : 3tbsp
Bombay Sev : 1/2small cup
Papri : 7-8[broken into smaller pieces]
Chanachur : 1/4 small cup[a mix of peanuts, cashews, gram dals, bhujiya tossed in dry spices]
Mustard Oil : 1tsp
Salt : little
Take the puffed rice in a big bowl. Add the mustard oil and salt.
Peel, wash and boil the potato and then chop. Wash rest of the chopped vegetables. Drain all the excess water. Add to the puffed rice.
Add the Bombay sev, papri pieces, chanachur, date-tamarind chutney, green chutney and mix together everything very nicely and fast with a spoon.
Serve immediately in thonga[newspaper cups] to be authentic. I do not claim my version to be authentic as I did it as I have seen the Kolkata street vendors doing it. They add something else too, have to note on my next visit.