Surti Collegian Bhel is one of the most famous street food in Surat. It is, as the name suggests, students’ favourite dish. One could say that crunchiness is one of its USPs since it consists of peanuts and sev. It is an authentic Surati dish.
Surat is also quite famous as the city of foodies. There is a famous saying about Surati food: “Surat nu Jaman ane Kashi nu maran”. The saying compares the leisure of eating in surat (or Surati food) and spending one’s last days/years in the holy city of Kashi.
This dish is originally from Surat itself. However, people from different states and cities make it there have been no regional versions or variations of this dish. You could say this dish is a variation of bhel, but they have a fair share of differences.
On a local level, collegian bhel is a super hit in surat. But it is yet to go on a national or international level hit like Bombay Bhel. So some count it as chaat; some don’t. Well, let’s leave it up to you to decide.
Since it is on a local level, it won’t be easy to find much of the history behind the dish or origin. However, it is safe to say that this dish originated in modern times. If you are interested in dishes originating in Surat, you should check out Surti Ghari.
Though the dish is filled with spices, chutneys, and vegetables, you’ll be surprised to know this dish is available as a Jain dish too!
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Why is this dish called ‘Collegian’ bhel?
Surti collegian bhel dish does not have a long history behind it like other Surati dishes (i.e. Ghari). And it is hard to find the origin of the dish. But one popular belief is that it is a hot favourite among college students due to its chatpata taste, easy availability, and cheap price. Thus, the name ‘Collegian’ is bhel or bhel for college students.
Not just college students but kids from school too love it. After school, many school kids go to a nearby collegian stall. One could say that students in general love Collegian. Price and easy availability play a key role in its popularity among students.
I remember my friends, and I used to eat collegian bhel after school and even after extra classes. It is fun to eat with friends. if you live in Surat and haven’t tried this dish with your friends, then I highly recommend that you do!
Other famous food in surat
Surat has plenty of super famous dishes. Some of them include Fafda, jalebi, khaman, locho, aloo puri, and khavsa. The list goes on and on. And these are just street food!
There are famous dishes from individual areas in Surat as well! Areas like Rander, Adajan, and Citylight have exceptional food!
Adajan has Cold bhel, a spicy and quick-to-make version of Chinese bhel. Rander has Khavsa, and aloo puri, Both of them are authentic Surti street food. Citylight and Vesu are areas where Fine-dine restaurants are blooming. You can also find famous and delicious egg dishes.
And especially Dumas! This village/beach area is famous for its Bhajiyas (Fritters). Every weekend many people go there just to eat fitters and have a chill time.
You will not believe Surat has a whole street dedicated to food! People call it “Khaudhra Gali”, which translates to Foodie street. All type of street food with out-of-the-box variety is available at khaudhara Gali. People from all around the city come here. If you are visiting Surat, then this is a place you must visit once. Surat will always amaze you in food!