There are, of course, many, many versions of bhel available all across the country but here's why this bhel has tickled our fancy.
Off late, we have seen many interesting versions of Bhel going viral. For the unversed, bhel is a popular Indian street food that typically comprises puffed rice, chopped onions, tomatoes, chillies and cilantro. There are, of course, many, many versions of bhel available all across the country, in the eastern part of India, the same snack gets hotter and pungent with the addition of mustard oil and green chillies, and is called Jhal Muri instead of Bhel. Recently, we saw the 24k gold bhel create a stir on the internet with its rich and exquisite preparation fit for royalty, around the same time, we also saw the fried noodles bhel of Mumbai go viral.
From Mumbai again, a video of ‘Helicopter Bhel’ is slowly becoming a talking point among foodies of the internet. The video posted by YouTube channel ‘Aamchi Mumbai’, has raked in close to 150k views within a day of going live. What makes this bhel special, is the method of preparation it entails.
To make the bhel, the vendor from Gupta Chana shop of Andheri East, chops two onions very finely. Then in a heavy bottom aluminum vessel, he adds murmura or puffed rice, fine sev, namkeen and peanuts. To which he adds a dash of spices. The next set of items in the bhel are some boiled potatoes, chopped onions, chilli chutney, spicy and tangy pudina chutney and tamarind chutney. Everything is tossed together with vigorous speed, almost reminiscent of the choppers of a helicopter in motion. The bhel is then landed on a steel plate with compartments, in one compartment goes sweet and chilli chutney, and in the other some crisp papdis, boiled potatoes and sev. The whole plate is sprinkled over with fine sev, chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice. On top of the bhel, the vendor further adds some chopped tomatoes, onions, crushed papdi, and chaat masala on top. Drooling much? You are not alone.
Even the comments section is buzzing with a range of reactions. Some people complimented the riche legacy of Indian street food that is still kept alive by a few stalls, “Good food never fail in bringing people together”, wrote a user. While some were rather impressed by the thought and attention given to hygiene, “well maintained, well organized, hygienic, mouthwatering. Perfect!”