My mother-in-law already makes her bhelpuri very healthy by adding kala chana (black chickpeas) and sprouted mung beans. As my husband and I are still detoxing from the holidays, I took it a step further by removing the potatoes and papdi (fried pieces of dough), and adding fresh tomatoes. I also used unsalted rice cakes instead of loose puffed rice for two reasons: (1) they are easily available at my local grocery store, (2) I don't have a huge bag of loose puffed rice sitting in my cupboard afterward, and (3) they look so cute! Can you imagine serving a whole tray of these to guests?!
If you do opt to use mung beans then start by soaking the dried mung beans in water overnight, or for 8 to 12 hours. Use twice the amount of water as dried beans; for example, if you use 1/2 a cup of mung beans, soak it in 1 cup of water.
Ingredients (for 4 cakes):
Ingredients (for 12 cakes):
- Baking sheet
- For sprouting mung beans only: large bowl, colander, kitchen towel
Steps for Sprouting Mung Beans (48-72 hour process):
- Soak mung beans in water overnight, or for 8 to 12 hours, using a ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part mung beans.
- Drain the water from the mung beans and wrap in a kitchen towel. Place the towel in a colander, and place the colander in a bowl. Set aside in a dark place (such as the oven) for 1 to 2 days.
- If the towel begins to feel dry, lightly moisten it.
- After 24 hours, sprouts will begin to appear. You may allow them to grow longer for another day, or use them at this point.
- Store in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days.
Steps for Making Bhel Cakes:
- Combine the sprouted mung beans with water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat slightly and let the beans boil for 20 to 25 minutes until they are soft and the green skins have begun to come off.
- Once the mung beans are done cooking, drain them from the water in the pot and let them cool.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. As it preheats, combine the oil, turmeric, and hing powder (optional). Spread this mixture on the top of each rice cake. Place the rice cakes on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
- Once heated, place the rice cakes in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until they have crisped slightly. Once they are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool.
- While the rice cakes are in the oven, chop the onion and tomatoes. If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse them. Note my recent post on using slow-cooked dried chickpeas instead of canned ones!
- Combine the chickpeas (1 part), mung beans (1 part), tomatoes (1/2 part), and onions (1/2) part. Then add the hari chutney and stir to combine all the ingredients of the bhelpuri mixture.
- Spread imli chutney on top of each rice cake. Next, add the bhelpuri mixture to the rice cake. Finally--and optionally--top with nylon sev and chopped cilantro leaves.
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