Spinach chaat is delicious street food at its best!
Crispy fried spinach chaat is usually made with large palak leaves which is a variety of spinach seen a lot in India but it is also available at Asian shops here in the UK. I usually use baby spinach leaves which are easier to come by in the UK but it takes more time to prepare because of all the chopping.
I tried my first fried spinach chaat at a great little restaurant in London called Thali. The delicious spinach chaat was one of their signature dishes so understandably, they weren’t quite ready to give me their exact recipe.
I have experimented quite a lot with this one but it wasn’t until I visited Mumbai that I was able to watch a street food chef put it all together. When I got home this was one of the first recipe I put together from what I’d learned in India.
Make this delicious crispy spinach chaat for your next curry feast with friends. They won’t know what hit them. There are so many delicious flavours and textures. It is now one of my party pieces. Great with ice cold beer!
If you love this recipe why not try these similar ones:
Shred the spinach for frying. Be sure to keep some of the larger leaves aside.
Fry the spinach until crispy. It will become crispier as it dries.
This is the base for the chaat!
Whisk the batter ingredients with just enough water to make a thick paste. Then dip the large leaves in it.
Fry the battered spinach until nicely browned. Set them on top.
Dig into a spinach chaat! You’ll be glad you did.
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At the time I photographed this recipe, I was only able to get large sev. That is the crispy string like stuff on top. Sev is made with fried gram flour. It comes in different sizes. What you want to look for is fine sev or nylon sev. This is much finer and I love it.
Wash and dry your spinach leaves and remove the large stems. You will be shredding the majority of the leaves but hold about 8 – 10 large leaves back for dipping in batter.
I find that it is quicker to stack the leaves and then shred them. Shred the leaves finely. If you have ever tried fried seaweed at a Chinese takeaway, that is the look you are going for with this spinach. Once the shredding is done, heat about 10cm (4 inches) of rapeseed oil in a large pan or wok for deep frying. When a piece of spinach instantly sizzles when added to the oil, you're good to go.
It is a good idea to cook the spinach in batches. Fry each batch until the leaves become darker and are beginning to turn crispy. Transfer to paper towels to soak up any excess oil. The shredded spinach will become crispier as it dries out of the oil.
To make the batter, whisk all of the batter ingredients in a bowl with just enough water to make a thick, smooth batter. Dip the large leaves in the batter. It should coat them. If you find the batter is too runny whisk in a little more gram flour. Fry the battered leaves in the hot oil until crispy and brown and then transfer to paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Season the shredded and battered spinach with salt to taste.
To finish, place a big mound of shredded spinach on two plates. Top with the chopped onion and diced tomato followed by the battered spinach leaves and then garnish generously with the sauces. Top with a couple handfuls of sev to serve.
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