North Indians have a love of chaat, the finger-linking street food which comes in many guises. This is a new and delicious version. This isn’t something you’ll actually find on the street but it takes these super-quick crisp baby spinach pakoras and mixes them with typical yoghurt 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 and delicious.
• 40 g baby spinach, really roughly chopped
• 50 g gram flour
• 1 tbsp cornflour
• 1/3 tsp salt
• ¾ tsp coriander powder
• ½ tsp chaat masala
• 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
• 1/8 tsp red chilli powder or to taste
• A good pinch of carom seeds (leave out if you don’t have any)
• 150 ml Greek-style yoghurt (plain)
• 1 tsp roasted cumin powder (dry-roasted cumin seeds, powdered)
• 5 tbsp sweet tamarind chutney
• 5 rounded tsp tangy coriander chutney
• Sev or pomegranate seeds to garnish (optional)
Mix together the dry ingredients for the spinach. Add in four teaspoons of water and stir well to mix. Add the spinach and stir well to mix. It will be a bit gloopy.
Heat a large wok or karahi with 3-4” oil. When the oil is hot around 180 °C, take walnut size balls with your hands and flatten so they are about 1-1½ cm thick. They will be irregular which will help them be crispy. Add them all in and then turn the heat down a little and fry until golden brown, turning occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a kitchen roll to drain off any excess oil.
To serve: Whisk the yoghurt with the roasted cumin powder and season lightly. Place two spinach pakoras onto a small plate, I place one overlapping the other at an angle. Dollop over two teaspoons of the yoghurt leaving the edges clear so they remain crispy. Spoon over a tablespoon of the sweet tamarind chutney and a teaspoon of the tangy coriander chutney. Sprinkle liberally with the sev if using and serve.