Jhalmuri in West Bengal and bhel in other parts of India, this is churmuri from Karnataka.
Every state claims to be the creator of this delicacy, but let’s just end the argument by accepting it as one of OUR comfort foods.
There are different versions of bhel in every part of Mumbai. Moreover, bhel can be easily customized to the liking of each person on the spot. According to me it’s one of the most versatile dishes in India. I can actually imagine all 1.2 billion Indians having their own favorite addition to bhel.
As legend has it, a British Army officer once ate ‘Bhel Puri’ at a local stall and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Thus he decided to cook it for his troops. He sent his very experienced British chef to get the recipe from the locals. Even today, very few recipes are documented in India, with mostly all recipes being forwarded orally from one generation to the next. So his chef went from one house to the other in search of the recipe for bhel puri. He got a dozen different recipes with different ingredients being added to puffed rice, which was the only constant ingredient in every house hold. After explaining this incident to his officer, the chef was shot dead for his inability to recreate the dish. Such is the impact of food on the local culture and heritage in the world.
So churmuri is the Karnataka equivalent of bhel puri, with the addition of a few drops of coconut oil.
Here you all can see how Churmuri is being made fresh by the beach, which definitely adds to the whole experience of having this comfort food!