Bhel is one of India’s staple street foods, defined by the contrasts of everything from texture and flavour to the pizzazz of colours. This is certainly not a typical bhel, but much like the quinoa bhel on chilled watermelon in my book Saffron Soul, page75, this one also has all defining things, the freshness of the blueberries and lime, the warmth and masala of the sweet potatoes, the tangy sweetness of imli, the chilli stirred into the cooling yoghurt. Perfect to put together quickly for a summer feast!
For the sweet potato
1 sweet potato, chopped in small cubes
2 tablespoons yoghurt or coconut milk
¼ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon salt
sprinkle of cumin seeds, optional
For the salad
½ tin chickpeas
1 tomato, chopped
handful chopped parsley
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, soaked for an hour or overnight
1 spring onion or ¼ red onion, finely chopped
handful blueberries, around 15 blueberries
1 tablespoon thick yoghurt, sprinkle of red chilli powder, sprinkle of salt
1-2 tablespoon imli chutney (tamarind and date chutney)*
juice of ½ lemon or lime
few mint leaves
sprinkle of dill leaves
Soak the sunflower seeds overnight or even for an hour or longer, then strain the water. Boil the sweet potato cubes in boiling water for 5-10 minutes, then mix together the cubes with the coconut milk or yoghurt, garam masala, salt and cumin seeds and stir fry in a pan on a medium heat until cooked (you could also cook in the oven if you prefer). While this is cooking, mix together all the ingredients for the salad and leave aside until ready to serve. Ideally, let the sweet potatoes cool down before mixing into the salad. Mix together all the ingredients with the yoghurt and imli chutneys, leaving aside a little to drizzle over the top. When ready to serve, drizzle the yoghurt and imli chutneys, then garnish with a few mint leaves and dill leaves.
*can buy this ready at most supermarkets – recipe is also on page 146 of Saffron Soul
I just spent 5 days in the Mulshi hills, a few hours drive from Mumbai, cleansing, having juices, lights soups, massages and more at a wellness resort called Atmantan, one of the recommendations at the back of my book.
In the afternoon section of Prajna, I speak about Buddha bowls and the concept of prepping different elements of your ‘bowl’ on any night, so that all you have to do in the morning or the night before is arra [...]