Thursday, February 24, 2022

Alepak/Belgavi Bhel

This is a simple and tasty food that is a popular street food in Belgaum, Karnataka, India. This is made with thin poha, peanuts, roasted dalia, and cilantro. A very simple, yet very tasty one that is oil-free!

Did I say that this is a no cook recipe? Yes, this amazing street food doesn't require standing near the stove or baking. Roasted peanuts are needed for this recipe, but most of the time I keep that as a stock for a quick and handy ingredient. Sometimes, I would love to have this for a meal too! No cooking, easy to make, and very tasty - this is always a winner in our home!

Thin or very thin poha should be used and thick ones do not work in this recipe. The poha quickly swells up in the dalia-cilantro mix and a little lemon juice. So, the thicker poha varieties are a big no for this recipe. Sometimes we need quick and comforting food that is tasty. Yes, loaded up with flavors! This easy street food is a great snack and is a crowd pleaser too. This has to be served immediately, if you are planning for parties, but making it is easier, and hence a great option.

Roasted dalia along with ground cilantro, green chili, salt, and lemon are made into small balls, reserving a little of this mixture without shaping them. The reserved dalia-cilantro mixture is mixed with poha, and served along with a portion of these shaped as balls. Every bite is refreshing with spicy and herb notes from the chutney mix, while the peanuts and dalia give a great crunch. The poha and coconut give an amazing soft texture and nutty flavor. Overall, this is heaven! 

Adjust the green chilies according to the chilies you have and taste requirement. Finely chopped green chilies are also added to the poha. I didn't add this time as the chilies were very very spicy and my kids preferred not too spicy version. 

Poha is an easy option to make and a comfort food too. For a quick snack, my mom would give poha with milk, or mix poha with roasted dalia, nuts, and brown sugar. While researching, I came across this alepak aka Belgavi bhel and that sounded interesting and yummy. I watched many videos but Rashmi's recipe sounded perfect and followed her recipe with modifications for spice adjustments. I have given the lemon juice quantities but adjust according to your profile.

I love to use thin poha for this snack or for chivda but, thicker ones for Chinese Style Poha and Raw Mango Poha which are also great and easy meal options. 

I am sharing recipes under the theme 'Street Food' for this week's Blogging Marathon. This amazing and comforting poha based street food from Belgaum is my first share. 

Street foods are always fun, tasty, and the memories made while sharing these foods are cherished. Every visit to the street food vendor stalls with friends or family always builds memories and there is no denying to that. Here are a few street food recipes that you can make at home when you miss those visits!

Serves 2 to 4

Thin poha - 1 cup
Roasted dalia 3/4 cup
Roasted peanuts- 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp plus 1/2 tsp
Green Chili - 3 to 5
Cilantro - 1/2 cup 
Coconut - 1/4 cup
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp


Grind 2-4 green chilies (as per taste), cilantro, half teaspoon salt, and one tablespoon lemon juice to a smooth paste. Set aside. Grind the roasted dalia to a powder and set aside.

Mix these two together to form a uniform mixture.

Reserve quarter portion and shape the remaining to 12 small balls.

In a big bowl, add poha, coconut, peanuts, dalia, cilantro, chopped green chili, reserved cilantro-dalia mic, and one tablespoon lemon juice. Mix quickly and thorughly.

Divide into two or four portions in serving plates, add dalia-cilantro balls in equal counts, and serve immediately.


  1. Never heard about this dish. Sounds interesting and simple dish. Must try

  2. Very interesting dish! Street food is my favourite and I live trying them. Bookmarking this bhel! Love these balls made with dalia and chillies - so while eating you just mix those balls?

  3. Oh my this is really such a gem, never read or heard about it...very nice Radha..

  4. North Karnataka has some gems hidden away in their cuisine and this Bhel is just a fine example of that. Sushla and this is the best snack ever.

  5. This is a very interesting dish... especially those balls going into them... What a gem to discover!