Tickle your taste buds…

By Sana Memom
A snack with almost iconic status in Western India, Bhelpuri is the snack that would surely tickle your taste buds. The most commonly sold chat in Maharashtra, with every street having its own affable bhelwala with his unmatched blend of spices.
Bhel is a scrumptious mix of Papadis, puffed rice, sev, onions, raw mangoes, potatoes and chutneys. Easy on the pocket and quick to prepare, bhel is quite popular amongst the old and young alike.

Bhel PuriVouching for its popularity, owner of a chain of chaat centers’ says, “Even with the introduction of new snacks, bhel has remained a favorite as it contains the true Indian spices. Youngsters want something tangy and love tasting the ‘fusion’ bhels.”
Original recipes have been modified, changed to suit everyone’s palate but the chutneys retain their position. With a strong cosmopolitan atmosphere the chaat preparation too have undergone a drastic change. From Chinese bhel to chocolate bhel and chaat there is everything that reminds you of your hometown.

indian bhel-puriThe snack is today served in many restaurants, each different in its taste. A regular customer and a fan of chaat, Nihar Asrani says, “The preparation may have changed and variations incorporated but the original flavor is something to die for.”
Located in at Babajan Chowk, in Pune camp, Jai Shankar Panipuri, Chaat and Bhelpuri house has carved a niche for itself in its 40 years of existence.

Bhel dishThe good hygiene standards, variety of ingredients used and friendly staff are the reason for its popularity. New additions to their list of lip-smacking delicacies include mirchi pakoda, dahi bhalle and Bombay chaat.
The oldest Bhel house in the city with over five branches across the city, Kalyan Bhel House is a must visit. From a cart opposite Seven Loves hotel this vendor is now a proud millionaire. The kulfi’s and pani puri will have you licking your fingers. Their puri’s have a different taste altogether.

The chaat stalls outside Sarasbaug and Sambhaji Park also offer mouthwatering delicacies. For over 50 years generations have been relishing these preparations. Served in traditional paper bowls with cardboard spoons the bhel is simply appetizing. Dahi puris, ragda pattice, are other snacks offered.

Chat Bhel puriThough each vendor has his own USP, some have made a special place in every Puneite’s heart. Their taste is inimitable and one keeps longing for more.

So what are you waiting for? Soak into the sweet and sour aroma and try resisting the tangy pani puri.

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