Ready-to-eat Bhel Puri: How Does Local Chheda Stack Up Against Haldiram’s? Uttarika Kumaran October 19, 2012 Food Products & Beverages 1 views: 12922 After our Mother Dairy Mishti Doi review, we’ve been keeping an eye out for other regional specialities that have now become available nationally (and sometimes even globally) in packaged form. Now if Kolkata has its mishti doi, then Mumbai has its bhel puri. A Mumbai roadside staple – the bhel puri evokes a salivating response from any self-respecting Mumbaikar who loves his street food. Bhel puri is a delicious combination of sweet, savory, sour and crunch. It is a thrown-together kind of dish consisting of puffed rice, split chana dal, corn and wheat flakes, sev and peanuts. Add to that some lip-smacking chutneys and you’re good to go. But don’t even think of making this at home – you could, but as we can all testify – it never tastes the same! If you like your bhel, you must already be familiar with Haldiram’s Fatafat Bhel. It’s a popular go-to bhel mix for those days that the roadside version is hard to come by, or one needs to satisfy their cravings in a more sanitary fashion. But a few days ago, somebody mentioned the ready-to-eat bhel puri that is sold at Chheda Stores in Matunga. Already pretty satisfied with Haldiram’s, we nonetheless decided to give Chheda’s bhel puri a try and do a comparative review. Haldiram’s Fatafat Bhel Mix Pros: Open the container and you find all the components of this bhel mix packed separately – there’s a dry bhel mix and three chutneys – green, tamarind and chilli. To make it convenient, they also provide a disposable spoon to mix and eat on the go. One of the best things about this bhel is that the quantity of chutneys provided is just right. Nothing feels too little or too much although we’d recommend going a little easy with the chilli chutney if you’re not too fond of spicy. The bhel mix tastes good even without the chutneys. Just add some chopped tomato, boiled potato, green chillies and a little lemon juice and make your own dry bhel. The bhel can fill you up as a meal or be shared as a snack by two people. It is quite filling. At Rs. 20 for 70 gm, it’s value for money. Cons: The packaging is a bit tedious. It’s not easy to pull the wrapper off and you need to use a sharp instrument to cut it. Sometimes the taste of the peanuts is off and the puri pieces lack that fresh crunchiness. Chheda’s Bhel Puri Mix Pros: Since this bhel is locally produced and packaged, it is definitely fresher than Haldiram’s. This is true of most locally packaged bhel mixes and if you are the kind who likes to keep bhel mixes at home, we suggest you find a local source that you trust. The quantity is again very good. This bhel mix too comes with three chutneys – garlic (white), green chilly chutney and tamarind chutney. As a pleasant surprise, the packet comes with three paper plates (sharing is caring!), extra sev and papadis. We felt that the Chheda bhel mix has more crunch and the chutneys are far more fresh then Haldiram’s bhel components. At Rs. 60 for 450 gm, it’s again value for money. Cons: Chheda’s Bhel Puri mix is only available at its Mumbai outlets (Santa Cruz, Matunga, Dadar and Parel). Although the packet we bought was pretty good, one cannot be sure about the quality of the product and the hygiene levels maintained during the making and packaging. Since Haldiram’s is a branded product and is mass produced there are certain quality standards already in place. All in all, each of the bhel puri mixes have their pros and cons. We suggest you try them out and see what suits your taste-buds best! Product: Haldiram’s Bhel Puri Mix Weight: 70 gm Calorie count: 540 calories/100 gm Price: Rs. 20 Available at: all the grocery stores, super markets nationally. Product: Chheda’s Bhel Puri Mix Weight: 450 gm Calorie count: N/A Price: Rs. 60 One Response anon January 21, 2013 It’s Haldirams bhel for me. I work into the night. I don’t eat restaurant food as the places around are unhygienic. And so I carry the Haldiram’s pack with me in my workbag. Come 8 pm and I eat it for dinner at my desk. It’s a nice bowl and the spoon makes it easier. Convenient to carry with me when I do outdoor duty.