Bhel Puri

Bhel Puri is a popular Indian snack known for its unique combination of crunchy textures and spicy and sweet flavours. Here's how you can make Bhel Puri at home:

Ingredients:

2 cups of puffed rice

1/2 cup sev (thin fried gram flour noodles)

1/2 cup murmur (puffed rice)

1/2 cup boiled potatoes, diced

1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

2-3 tablespoons of tamarind chutney

1-2 tablespoons coriander and mint chutney

1/2 tsp chat masala

1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)

Salt to taste

Instructions:

Preparing the ingredients: Ensure all ingredients are prepared and measured before you start. It includes boiling the potatoes and making tamarind and coriander mint chutneys if you still need to get them ready.

Mixing the dry ingredients: Combine the puffed rice, stock and rum in a large bowl. Mix gently so as not to crush the puffed rice.

Adding the vegetables and spices: Add the boiled potatoes, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, and freshly chopped cilantro over the puffed rice mixture. Sprinkle chat masala and red chilli powder (if using) over the mixture, add salt to taste and mix well.

Incorporating the chutneys: Add the tamarind chutney and coriander mint chutney over the "Bhel Puri" mixture

and mix delicately, making sure all the components are thoroughly combined and coated with the sauce.

Serving: Bhel Puri should be served immediately after preparation to maintain the crispiness of the puffed rice. Spoon the mixture into serving bowls and, if desired, garnish with more juice, fresh chopped cilantro and a lemon wedge.

Bhel Puri is a perfect snack for parties or as an afternoon snack. It is easy to customize according to personal preferences, adjusting the level of spiciness or the ratio of crunchy ingredients to sauces.

Bhel Puri, a Indian street food snack, and Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine, seem to be two entirely different concepts at first glance. However, there can be exciting connections between them, especially in Ayurveda's approach to nutrition and the balance between different types of tastes.

Connection with Ayurveda

Balance of Tastes: Ayurveda emphasizes balancing the six fundamental tastes (sweet, salty, sour, spicy, bitter, and astringent) in every meal to promote health and balance. Bhel Puri, with its blend of ingredients, achieves this balance to some extent. It includes sour (tamarind), spicy (chilli powder), salty (sew, potato chips), sweet (tamarind chutney), bitter (coriander leaves), and astringent (tomatoes and raw onions) tastes, thus contributing to a complex and balanced culinary experience from an Ayurvedic perspective.

Digestion: Ayurveda strongly emphasizes maintaining digestive health, considering digestion essential to overall health. According to Ayurvedic principles, ingredients like coriander and spices in Bhel Puri can stimulate digestion. Coriander, for example, is often used in Ayurveda for its cooling and digestive properties.

Personalization by Dosha: Ayurveda divides people into three constitution types (dosha): Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, each with specific dietary recommendations. Bhel Puri can be adjusted to suit the particular needs of each dosha by adding or removing certain ingredients. For example, to balance Pitta, one can reduce spicy ingredients and add more cooling components such as coriander and tomatoes.

Considerations

Although Bhel Puri can be adapted to better align with Ayurvedic principles, it is essential to note that being a street food, it can sometimes be too spicy or too salty for some people, especially those with a Pitta-prone constitution. Inflammation or for those with Vata, who may be sensitive to foods that are too cold or dry. Also, the ingredients' quality and freshness are essential in Ayurveda, so making Bhel Puri at home with high-quality ingredients could be preferred to maximize the potential health benefits.

Bhel Puri is primarily a comfort and pleasure food; with minor adjustments, it can also reflect Ayurvedic principles, offering culinary satisfaction and potential support for balance and health according to the ancient Indian tradition.

Bhel Puri can be interpreted and adjusted to align with Ayurvedic principles of balance and health. Ayurveda, a holistic system from India, focuses on maintaining equilibrium between mind, body and spirit using diet, herbs, exercise and spiritual practices. Each person is considered to have a unique constitution, or dosha, determined by the proportions of the fundamental vital energies: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Adaptation of Bhel Puri for Doshas

Vata: People with a dominant Vata dosha are advised to eat foods that balance light and calm nature. Bhel Puri can be adjusted for Vata by adding ingredients that bring warmth and stability, such as boiled potatoes, and by limiting raw ingredients and those that can cause gas, such as some vegetables. It is also recommended to be less spicy and include more sweet and sour elements.

Pitta: Pitta-dominant people need foods that are cooling and calming. Bhel Puri, naturally spicy and sour, should be modified to reduce these qualities. One can reduce or eliminate spicy ingredients and add more fresh and cooling ingredients such as cucumber and fresh coriander to balance Pitta heat.

Kapha: The Kapha dosha is characterized by heavy and moist qualities, so people with a dominant Kapha benefit from light and warming foods. Bhel Puri can benefit Kapha by adding metabolism-boosting ingredients and limiting the sweet ones. Spices like ginger or chilli can be helpful, along with a limited amount of sap or expanded rice, so as not to aggravate Kapha.

General Considerations in Ayurveda

Ayurveda promotes the consumption of fresh, well-prepared food adapted to each person's individual needs. Even though Bhel Puri is a street food, adapting it according to Ayurvedic principles can help promote digestion and maintain energy balance. Emphasis is placed on the balanced combination of tastes (sweet, salty, sour, spicy, bitter and astringent) to support digestion and ensure a satisfactory diet, aspects that can be adjusted in the preparation of Bhel Puri to suit different doshas.

To align Bhel Puri with the principles of Ayurveda, it is essential to pay attention to the quality of the ingredients, avoid over-processed or old foods, and adapt the recipe according to each person's individual health and balance needs. Thus, Bhel Puri becomes a pleasant snack and contributes to promoting health according to ancient Ayurvedic wisdom.

Bhel Puri and ayurveda