Beetroot and apple bhel puri
SERVES 4 AS A STARTER
‘Bhel puri’ is a traditional street snack from Mumbai made with puffed rice, vegetables, tamarind and coriander chutney. It is a fun and colourful snack to serve at a dinner party or communal table. All the ingredients are kept separate in their own bowls, for a nominated ‘wallah’ or server to mix a portion or two at a time fresh at the table, just like it is on the streets of Mumbai. Made like this, this dish has a unique texture and taste that is crunchy, spicy, sweet and sour, all at the same time — absolutely scrumptious. In this recipe, beetroot and apple are used as a seasonal alternative to tomatoes, however, adapt the recipe to use whatever seasonal fruit and vegetables you have to hand
- Splash of extra virgin olive oil, for frying
- 1 beetroot with leaves, roots finely diced, leaves shredded
- 20g mint, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
- 35g fresh coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
- 1 green chilli, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan until fragrant
- 1 unwaxed lemon, zest and juice
- 1 dessert apple, diced into 2cm cubes
- 6 dates, roughly chopped
- 2 handfuls of a puffed grain (e.g. amaranth, millet, rice)
- 1 handful of sev or Bombay mix
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 4 tsp garam masala or chaat masala
- 50ml sweet tamarind paste
- Heat a small saucepan with a lid over a medium heat with a little oil inside. Add the diced beetroot and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. Add the shredded beetroot leaves and cook for a further minute until just wilted, then transfer into a small bowl.
- To make the coriander chutney, blend half of the chopped herbs with 2 tablespoons water, the green chilli, garlic, toasted cumin and the lemon zest and juice and transfer to a bowl.
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients and lay them out in separate little bowls on the dining table along with the beetroot and chutney.
- To serve, mix a little of everything in a bowl, a couple of portions at a time, and serve in individual bowls or newspaper cones.