Bhel puri, tamarind & date dressing

by Roopa Gulati

A popular savoury rice street food dish with a sweet and tangy dressing


For the date and tamarind chutney:
150g tamarind pulp
125g seedless dates
175g jaggery
½ litre water
1 tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin

For the mint relish:
Large handful of mint leaves
1 bramley apple, chopped
3 tsp caster sugar
¾ tsp ground cumin
25g ginger, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
Juice of 1 lime

For the bhel:
100g murmura (unsweetened puffed rice)
50g sev (a gram flour snack available from south Asian shops) or Bombay mix
2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and diced
1 small red onion, diced
3 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tomatoes, diced
100g roasted, unsalted peanuts 


Break up the tamarind and dates and put them in a pan with the jaggery and water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook down until really soft. About 15 mins.

Remove the pan from the heat and push the chutney through a sieve to remove any seeds and fibres. Stir in the ginger powder, garam masala and toasted cumin powder. Serve chilled.

For the mint chutney, blend all the ingredients in a liquidiser with a dash of hot water until you have a thick paste. You can also use a stick blender for this. Aim for a sweet and tangy flavour, adding more sugar or lime juice if needed. Move to one side.

Heat the oven to 180C and bake the puffed rice for about 10 mins until crisp. Leave to cool.

Combine all the ingredients for the bhel and add enough tamarind and date chutney to lightly coat the mixture. Streak the mint chutney through the bhel, taking care not to mix it in completely.  Spoon it into dishes and serve straight away.

Recipe: Roopa Gulati