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This Indian Chaat Is Secretly A Bar Snack? Find Out About This Delicious Alcohol Accompaniment!

bhel snack

Enjoying alcohol is incomplete without bar snacks. Popular western bar foods have greasy, cheesy and spicy elements that go well with your liquor. Fries, onion rings, nachos, sliders, chips—the list is quite long and chefs continue to make delightful snacks to add to this inventory. Indian bar snacks are equally delicious accompaniments—masala peanuts, Chinese and Mughlai starters, masala papad—you can choose from a wide variety of spice-filled crispy and crunchy snacks. 

In this article, we open up the possibility for new and healthier evening snacks such as chakna or bar food. Yes, let's unleash the potential of the ubiquitous bhel—or as it is called as jhalmuri in Bengal and churmuri in Karnataka—as a bar snack.

What Makes Bhel A Perfect Alcohol Accompaniment?

Bhel is a very light snack so you will not feel full very fast

It has a delicious flavour with contrasting tastes which are harmonized perfectly

It's easy to munch on with its light body and its crispy texture works well with a drink.

It is super healthy compared to most bar snacks

Its flavour profile works well with most kinds of alcohol as it cuts through the bitterness and balances alcohol's heaviness with its light body

Bhel is super-customisable, you can decide on its flavours, whether you want to be sweet, tangy or full of heat

Bhel can be made using any base ingredient apart from puffed rice. You can have corn, quinoa, peanuts, sprouts and even noodles (Chinese bhel). You can also be innovative and use chips like Kurkure or crushed Lays as the base ingredients

It is also inexpensive and easy to make at home

bhel

How Bhel Is A Healthier Yet Tastier Bar Snack

The puffed rice and cold potatoes in the bhel are prebiotics, meaning they carry bacteria that is good for your gut. The chutneys have essential minerals and vitamins which are not found in most of our meals. Peanuts lower the glycemic load and stabilise your blood glucose levels. If you are having quinoa bhel, then you end up consuming lots of fibres and proteins.

Bhel is very easy to make. Today, there are prepackaged bhels where you get puffed rice, other crisps and chutneys. You just have to buy it and then mix all the ingredients. But when you are out, you can usually get dry bhel or Chinese bhel.

Below is a recipe for Chickpeas (Chana) Bhel which makes for a perfect bar snack:

Ingredients

120 gm Roasted and Peeled peanuts
120 gm Roasted chana
1 Small onion, chopped
½ Small tomato, chopped
1-2 Green chillies, chopped
2 tablespoons Masala peanuts
2 tablespoons Masala dal
2 tablespoons Pomegranate pearls
2 tablespoons Chopped raw mango
2 tablespoons Grated carrot
2 tablespoons Grated beetroot
¼ teaspoon Red chilli powder
½ teaspoon Dried mango powder (amchur)
¼ teaspoon Roasted cumin powder
½ teaspoon Chaat masala
¼ teaspoon Black salt
1 teaspoon Green chutney
1 teaspoon Date and Tamarind chutney
Sev (thin gram flour fried noodles), for garnish
Chopped fresh coriander leaves, for garnish

Method

Take a large bowl and add roasted peanuts in it. Also add roasted chana, onion, tomato, green chillies, masala peanuts, masala dal, pomegranate pearls, raw mango, carrot, beetroot, red chilli powder, dried mango powder, roasted cumin powder, chaat masala and black salt. Add the chutneys and mix well. Garnish with sev and coriander leaves. Serve immediately.

While it's great to learn about making alcoholic beverages and their accompaniments, it is important to consume alcohol moderately. Remember to serve and drink responsibly to ensure you and your guests are healthy and out of harm's way. If you know anyone who has trouble controlling their alcohol intake, please refer them to a professional immediately.