Peanuts and Peas Bhel Puri

Peanuts and Peas Bhel Puri

Chaat is an all-encompassing category of snacks originating in India. There are many different types and can be served during meals or most commonly as roadside snacks from street vendors. Chaats bring together all of the textures and flavors that make something delicious, satisfying, and supremely craveable. The hallmarks of chaat include sweet, sour, tangy, spicy, crunchy. 

Bhel puri is a type of chaat commonly associated with Mumbai, and recipes always contain puffed rice, peanuts, potatoes, and sev, a type of thin, crispy noodle. Whenever I’ve had it I can’t help but think of Southern dishes of rice and black eyed peas, doused with vinegary hot sauce and served with sweet cornbread on the side, prompting this version of a Mumbai-meets-Mississippi chaat.

This recipe takes inspiration from the bhel puri recipes of Mumbai, and combines it with Southern ingredients while also paying homage to George Washington Carver’s love of the peanut and utilizing it in as many ways as possible. Crushed roasted peanuts and peanut powder provide this snack with the texture and flavor to make it peanut-forward and the protein to nourish the body as he intended, while also being supremely addictive. His life-long devotion to helping us sustain the land and ourselves lives on!

“Absolutely delicious, and so visually appealing, too! This would be a wonderfully different type of appetizer for any kind of gathering. Be sure to take extra care to pat the wet veggies very dry so the puffed rice, chow mein noodles, and roasted black-eyed peas stay crispy.” —Diana Andrews

Peanuts and Peas Bhel Puri/Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked black-eyed peas

  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil

  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces, about 2 1/4 cups

  • 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped, about 3/4 cup

  • 1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped, about 1/2 cup

  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves and stems

  • 2 small scallions, thinly sliced, about 1/3 cup

  • 2 cups unsweetened puffed rice

  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, lightly chopped

  • 1 cup crunchy chow mein noodles or sev

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • Pinch cayenne

  • 1 tablespoon peanut powder (usually located near protein supplements)

  • 1/2 teaspoon citric acid, more to taste (also called sour salt)

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons pepper jelly, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Peanuts and Peas Bhel Puri ingredients on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 425 F. Rinse and drain the cooked black eyed peas and pat very dry.

    Black eyed peas on a paper towel

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Place them in a bowl with the oil and Creole seasoning, toss evenly to coat.

    Black eyed peas in a bowl with oil and seasoning

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Spread in a single layer on a large parchment lined rimmed baking sheet.

    Black eyed peas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Roast for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 F. Continue to bake until the beans are crispy, shaking the pan halfway through cooking time, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely on the baking sheet.

    Baked black eye peas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Meanwhile, place the diced sweet potato in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water, add a heavy pinch of salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until just tender and still holding their shape, 3 to 4 minutes.

    Diced sweet potatoes in a pot with water on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Drain, pat dry, and let cool completely on paper towels. Transfer to a large bowl.

    Sweet potatoes in a glass bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. Use several paper towels to gently squeeze and pat the excess moisture from the bell pepper, celery, and cherry tomatoes.

    Bell pepper, celery, and cherry tomatoes on a paper towel

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Add the bell pepper, celery, and cherry tomatoes to the large bowl with the cooked sweet potato. Add the herbs and scallions.

    Green onions, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, celery, and cherry tomatoes in a glass bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  10. Add the black-eyed peas, puffed rice, peanuts, chow mein noodles, salt, paprika, cayenne, peanut powder, and citric acid to the bowl. Toss to combine.

    Peanuts and Peas Bhel Puri in a glass bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  11. Add the pepper jelly, tossing the ingredients together until well combined. Serve immediately.

    Peanuts and Peas Bhel Puri in a glass bowl, with pepper jelly

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

Make Ahead

The baked black eyed peas can be prepared up to 1 week ahead and stored in an airtight container in your pantry or cabinet. It makes a great snack on its own too!

No Citric Acid?

No citric acid laying around your pantry? No worries. Substitute the same amount with fresh squeezed lime juice, or more to taste. In fact, you might as well zest the lime before juicing it, to garnish the final dish.

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