‘Bhery Bhel Done’: This British chef selling Jhalmuri on the streets of London has won over desi Twitter

Move over, fine dining and snooty posh restaurants. The flavour rocking London right now is our very own Jhalmuri, made by a Brit chef!

 |  3-minute read |   12-06-2019
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For the uninitiated, Jhalmuri and Bhelpuri are very similar snacks — just like Delhi's Sarojini Nagar is the elder sister of Lajpat Nagar, Jhalmuri is a long-lost distant cousin of Bhelpuri. Jhalmuri, like Bhelpuri, is made up of rice puffs, veggies and spices mixed to perfection. Squeeze some lemon on, add some chaat masala or chutney, a generous pinch of mirchi, and you have the perfect evening snack!

So, this Sunday, India and Australia determinedly locked cricket bats at The Oval in London — but little did the Indian fans know they were in for a double treat!

After the pleasure of watching India win the match with smooth finesse, the moment the fans got out of the stadium, they saw British chef Angus Denoon — selling Jhalmuri on the streets!

streetfood690_061219052240.jpgHeaven on a plate: The crispy, crunchy, tangy Jhalmuri is a popular Bengali street food. (Source: YouTube/Awesome Indian Food)

As several people queued excitedly around his stall, some filmed the man whipping out delicious Jhalmuri in trademark paper cones. The video went viral on social media in no time.

Oh, and senior Bachchan jumped onto the Jhalmuri-Bhelpuri bandwagon too to share his thoughts on the man who had by now become an Internet sensation.

As per this article, Angus Denoon had visited Kolkata and that was when he learnt the art of making Jhalmuri. After he came back to Britain, he was asked to prepare a Kolkata dish on the pilot episode of a cooking show — guess what he ended up cooking?

Yes, it was Jhalmuri, which, ironically enough, needs no cooking.

Everyone loved the street snack so much that Angus decided to open several Jhalmuri stalls in London. Angus Denoon named his stall 'The Everybody Love Love Jhalmuri Express', not quite a haute cuisine-like name, conjuring up visions of perfectly starched white tablecloths and snooty waiters — but nonetheless, terrific! The stall reportedly attracts several customers who want to satiate their spicy cravings in cold, rainy London.

express690_061219052157.jpgSpotted in Blighty: The 'Everybody Love Love Jhalmuri Express'. (Source: YouTube)

But even more than the dish, what made desi Twitter go gaga were the typical Indian plastic containers filled with sauces and his style of serving the snack in paper cones. To the desis, it brought hot, sulty, masaledaar and 'jugaadu' home to London — to the Brits, it transported them to vibrant, energetic India, even if for a quick bite.

Win-win!

This perhaps is the magic of street food then.

While posh dining will always need all the paraphernalia of restaurants and maitre d's and waiters and wines and glasses and cutlery, a street snack is just that — a delicious little nibble, packed in minimalistic wrappings, created on one street, easily recreated in another — even if millions of miles away.

Thank heavens for simplicity that travels — even one as spicy as Jhalmuri's!

Also Read: The way we feel depends on what we eat and it’s high time we accepted it

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Deepansh Duggal Deepansh Duggal @deepansh75

Politics. Mostly humor.

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