Crispy spinach chaat

Crispy spinach chaat

By
From
I Love India
Serves
5 (can be doubled)
Makes
10
Photographer
Martin Poole

North Indians have a love of chaat, the finger-licking streetfood which comes in many guises. You wouldn’t actually find this type on an Indian street, but it takes super-quick crisp baby spinach pakoras and mixes them with typical streetfood yogurt chaat-style ingredients. The resulting bite is crispy, hot, cold, creamy, herby and ever so tasty. Although this is deep-fried, it doesn’t absorb a lot of oil and still feels fresh. When it is hot outside, I often chop up some frozen Tangy Herb Chutney (I always have some frozen) instead of defrosting it and place little pieces on top; it looks better and is really interesting in the mouth.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the chaat

Quantity Ingredient
50g chickpea flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/3 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chaat masala
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
good pinch carom seeds, (delicious, but omit if you don’t have any)
40g baby spinach, really roughly chopped
vegetable oil, to deep-fry

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
150g greek-style yogurt
1 good teaspoon roast and ground cumin seeds
salt
5 tablespoons sweet tamarind chutney
5 rounded teaspoons tangy herb chutney
sev, (small crispy vermicelli, optional)
pomegranate seeds, (optional)

Method

  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients for the chaat. Add 4 tbsp water and stir well, then put in the spinach and stir well to mix. It will be a bit gloopy.
  2. Heat a large wok or karahi with 7.5–10cm of oil. When the oil is hot (around 180°C), or until a tiny piece of the spinach mixture sizzles straight away, take walnut-sized balls with your hands and flatten so they are 1–1½cm thick. They will be irregular, which will help them be crispy. Add them all, then reduce the heat a little and fry until golden brown, turning occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to blot off any excess oil.
  3. To serve, whisk the yogurt with the roast cumin and salt it lightly. Place 2 spinach pakoras on to a small plate, I like to arrange them overlapping each other at an angle. Dollop over 2 tbsp of the yogurt, leaving the edges clear so they remain crispy. Spoon over 1 tbsp sweet tamarind chutney and 1 rounded tsp Tangy Herb Chutney. Sprinkle liberally with the sev or pomegranate seeds, if using, then serve.
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