Bhel is often identified with the beaches of Mumbai, such as Chowpatty or Juhu. Bhelpuri is thought to have originated within the Gucafes and street food stalls of Mumbai, and the recipe has spread to most parts of India where it has been modified to suit local food availability. It is also said to be originated from Bhadang (भडंग), a spicy namkeen from Western Maharashtra. Dry Bhel is made from Bhadang, The Kolkata variant of Bhelpuri is called Jhalmuri (meaning "spicy puffed rice"). A native Mysore variant of Bhelpuri is known as Churumuri or Churmuri in Mangalore. A dry variant of Bhelpuri popularly known as Bhadang is consumed after garnishing with onions, coriander and lemon juice.
There is no clear mention of when and where bhelpuri was first prepared, but it likely originated in cafes and street food stalls of Mumbai. Bhelpuri belongs to the family of chaats, which are salty and spicy snacks sold on carts throughout India.
Bhelpuri is made from puffed rice and Sev (a fried snack shaped like thin noodles made from besan flour) mixed with potatoes, onions, Chat masala and chutney and mixture (a mix of different types of fried snacks), as the base of the snack. Bhelpuri has a balance of sweet, salty, tart and spicy flavors, with different textures as well, including crispy and crunchy from the puffed rice and fried sev. Other commonly used ingredients include tomatoes, and chilis added to the base; In northern India recipes also made by adding boiled potatoes cut into small pieces.
Different chutneys impart a sweet, tangy or spicy flavour. There are two popular chutneys used: a dark brown sweet one made mainly from dates and tamarind (saunth chutney) and a green spicy chutney made from coriander , mint leaves and green chillies.
Bhelpuri is also made by sprinkling the puffed rice mixture with chunks of diced raw-sweet mango. The finished snack is often garnished with a combination of diced onions, coriander leaves and chopped green chilies. It is sometimes served with papri puris, a deep fried small round and crispy wheat bread.
The other variants of Bhelpuri:
Bhel puri can be served in many ways, but it is usually served in a paper folded in the form of a cone and is consumed using a paper spoon or by the papdi which is itself an edible component of the bhel puri or it is put on a plate.