Friday, April 25, 2008

Charmurya Upkari - Konkani Bhel

This used to be my favorite "home" bhel. I mean, Chowpaty bhel was the one made by bhelwala bhayya and "charmurya upkari" was homemade bhel by my maternal grandmother. The secret ingredient of this bhel is Kumta/Poha masala. Since Maya sent this aromatic spice mixture as a part of Arusuvai friendship chain, I wasted no time to make all of my favorite delicacies.
Since it's a Konkani bhel, it is flavored by - you guessed it - fresh coconut and coconut oil. I will first write grandmother's recipe and then I will write about other options/changes that you can make. The recipe is totally based on "Andaaz" because it doesn't matter if you take 1/2 cup coconut or 1 cup coconut. However for the authentic taste, more the merrier!! :-)
Grandma used to take fistful or two of puffed rice per person.

Charmurya Upkari
Konkani Bhel
Puffed rice/Charmure/kurmure/mamra/moori

Grind to a fine paste
Freshly grated coconut
Salt to taste

Coconut oil or ghee
freshly grated coconut

1. Grind all the ingredients to a fine paste without adding any water.
2. Mix with puffed rice.
3. Drizzle some coconut oil (or ghee if you don't like the flavor of coconut oil).
4. Garnish with some more coconut and sev.
5. Serve immediately.

Notes -
1. You can add some bhel-friendly vegetables like boiled potatoes, onions, raw mangoes, lemon juice etc, though it was not the part of my grandmother's recipe.
2. I used brown puffed rice in the above picture.
3. I didn't have khara sev so used yellow nylon sev. But khara sev gives the real flavor.
4. Based on your own desire to use less or more fresh coconut, adjust the recipe.
5. Do not add any water while grinding the paste. It will make bhel soggy immediately. That's the reason we are using fresh coconut which has just enough moisture.
6. I also added some roasted peanuts for a crunch, but this too is not the part of the original recipe.
7. If bhel seems to be too dry, you can sprinkle some fresh coconut water. or you can squeeze some fresh lemon juice for a tangy flavor.



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