Bhel Recipe

By | January 12, 2017

I gave you the recipe for sweet chutney last week and now I need to give you something to eat it with. You can’t just eat plain sweet chutney. So, may I present bhel. Pronounced “bear” or “bare.” I don’t know why there’s an “L” in it. To confuse people probably.

**As numerous people have pointed out to me now, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong my entire life. The L isn’t silent! The world feels like it’s in much better balance now. Yay!**

***Update 2. I talked to my mom again and she pronounces it “bear.” It’s “bear” in Marathi and “behl” in Hindi.***

I think of this as a brunch or lunch food. A party food. Set it up on the counter and let people make their own. A bhel bar.

Bhel bar. That would make an excellent name for a granola bar. A fancy granola bar.


  • yogurt
  • green chutney
  • brown chutney
  • diced onions
  • diced tomatoes
  • chopped, boiled potatoes. (See steps #1-6 and step #17 of this recipe.)
  • diced red peppers
  • Bhel mix – you can get this at an ethnic grocery store.

Bhel mix. This is how I know there is a weird silent “L” in the name.


  1. Prepare everything in the ingredients list.
  2. Put in nice bowls on the counter.
  3. Oooh.
  4. Ahhh.
  5. Mix together.
  6. Eat.

Bhel at a tiny Indian restaurant behind a gas station in Muscat, Oman

Acceptable deviations

  1. It’s not a big deal if you don’t have red peppers.
  2. You can add corn. I guess.
  3. My mom put cilantro in the onions and tomatoes to make it look pretty. Also, because it tastes good.

15 thoughts on “Bhel Recipe

  1. KangSik

    Please link the website to buy behl. I can’t find behl. Google shows only a Indian name.

  2. Abby Peyekrl

    If the ‘L’ is silent, I’ve been lied to my whole life. I guess it goes silent after crossing India’s border.

  3. tt


    I can’t bear it… (ok, more accurately, barely accepting.)

    I was hoping for your Mom’s samosas. Bearing (pairing) chutneys with a platter of golden brown samosas is a beautiful image!

    Nice bowls = nesting?!?


      1. tt

        You didn’t ‘bite’ @ my behly acceptable pun! (probably an indication of decorum.)

        Since the content provider, aka, thrifty gal, does such excellent work, it seems fair to try to elicit a smile. Since I’m a guy, I will just assume the desired effect!

        Looking forward to more…

  4. Aniket

    The L in BHEL is not silent. The first 2 letters BH sounds as the first 2 letters in BHARAT the hindi name for INDIA. The last 2 letters EL sounds as EL in Elephant.

      1. Aniket

        Well, it was an instinctive reply. I didn’t want the Indianness to disappear from the recipe.😉

  5. Justin

    How critical is the yogurt to this? Wonder if I could make a vegan version? Looks great!!!


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