Okay my dear kooky readers. If your reaction to this recipe is like “what the f-“, I can totally understand. Even for me, this is probably the kookiest recipe I have ever invented!
if there was a kookiness scale running from 1 to 10 where 10 is the kookiest, this recipe would definitely fall off the scale
Well, here’s the back story to this recipe. I have some diet khakhra lying around and they are not the best I have had. I really didn’t want to throw them and was thinking of how best to use them which is when I thought of making khakhra bhel.
Some of my most creative ideas seem to come to me when I am doing up-down-up-down laps at the pool. And so during one of my swim sessions it suddenly hit me – I can pop amaranth seeds and combine them with the khakhra to make an unconventional bhel. Probably, the Mumbai Boss article on amaranth seeds was still sitting subconsciously in my mind.
I happened to have all the ingredients, just had to buy some sweet corn and green mango so thought I would give it a go.
The traditional bhelpuri is a combination of puffed rice, sev, crispy puri, onions, tomatoes and various chutneys.
In my recipe, I have swapped puffed rice for popped amaranth seeds and crispy puris for diet khakhra. If you don’t add the sev and use diet khakhra, this recipe becomes totally fat-free.
As for the taste, I can assure you that you will not notice any difference. It is just as good as the traditional bhel but healthier. Would definitely recommend it. Kooky or not (having tried it, my verdict is ‘not’), this recipe is for keeps. And now, I am actually so glad that I have those khakhras as I will be making this bhel again.
If you can’t get hold of diet khakhra, you can try it with any plain, crisp flatbread. Also will taste good without the chutneys (like dry bhel).
Bhel combination is a matter of personal taste so please use the following as a guideline and adjust the quantity of chutneys and vegetables according to your preference.
You will find instructions on popping amaranth seeds on my blog here.
2 Cups popped amaranth seeds
3-4 Diet khakhra
1/2 Cup sev (optional)
1/2 Cup coriander leaves
100 Grams sweetcorn kernels
1 Small raw green mango
2 Tablespoons sunflower and pumpkin seeds
1 Tablespoon green chutney
1 Tablespoon red chutney
1 Tablespoon tamarind chutney*
Salt to taste
- First, work on the vegetables. Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.
- Wash and finely dice the tomato.
- Peel, wash and finely chop the mango.
- Wash and finely slice the chillies.
- Wash and chop the coriander leaves.
- Wash the sweetcorn kernels and steam the for 10 minutes till tender
- Dry roast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a frying pan for a couple of minutes till they are nicely toasted.
- Break the khakhra into very small pieces using your hands. Place them in a bowl.
- Add the popped amaranth seeds, sev (if using) and toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds to the broken khakhra.
- Toss it around a bit till the mixture is combined.
- In another bowl, mix the onion, tomatoes, mango, sweetcorn kernel, chilli and coriander with a pinch of salt. Combine everything well.
- Now, take a large mixing bow. Tip in the vegetable mixture and the three chutneys. Mix really well and check for salt and also see whether you would like to add more chutney. Once you are satisfied with the taste, add the popped amaranth seeds and khakhra, mix well and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Garnish with some chopped coriander and sev (if using).
- You can prepare the vegetables and chutneys ahead of time. But bring it all together when eating else it will go soggy.
- I have a jar of Dr. Oetker’s imli chutney sauce which is what I used. You can make your own tamarind chutney, go here for recipe.
Here are the dry ingredients. Top Row: Left – Coriander. Right – Sev. Bottom Row: Left – Popped Amaranth Seed & Khakhra Mixture. Right – Vegetables.
Here are the three chutneys I added.