Crispy fried spinach leaves topped with a monsoon of Mumbai chaat favourites including masala yoghurt, red, green and tamarind chutneys, onions, tomatoes and crunchy sev. They get more addictive with every bite! If you're a lover of nachos, try this Indian-style chaat.
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Keyword: bhajias, chaat, spinach, street food
For the crispy fried spinach:
180gbaby spinach leaveswashed and dried
1 1/4tspdried garlic powder
1/8tspasafoetida(hing - ensure it's a gluten free one if you have any allergies or intolerances)
2tbspchopped coriander leaves
2tspoil(I used sunflower)
300mlice cold water
For the masala yoghurt:
150gunsweetened vegan yoghurt(I used soy)
1tsproasted cumin seedscoarsely ground
1/2tspblack salt(kala namak)
For the chaat toppers:
1smallred onionfinely diced
1/4tspchilli powderor fresh green chillies (adjust according to your taste)
2tbspgreen coriander and mint chutneyrecipe linked below
2tbsptamarind and date chutneyrecipe linked below
2tbspred chilli chutneyrecipe linked below
2tbspfresh coriander leaves
1Loil for deep frying(I used sunflower)
For the masala yoghurt:
Mix together all the ingredients and chill in the fridge until needed.
For the batter:
Place the chickpea flour in a large bowl. Add the Kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric, asafoetida, dried garlic powder, salt, ajwain and rice flour. Stir to combine.
Next, add the oil and lemon juice. Now gradually add the water, whisking all the time to ensure you work all the lumps out. It's good to add the water in stages for this reason. The final batter should be like a smooth dosa or crepe batter.
To fry the spinach:
Heat the oil in a large pan suitable for deep frying, about 5cm deep. Bring the temperature to 200C/400F. It should be hot but not smoking.
Dip a spinach leaf in the batter, gently shaking off any excess. Carefully place the spinach leaf in the hot oil. It may crackle and spit so be extra vigilant.
Repeat more spinach leaves, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. I fried mine in batches of 6-7 at a time. Turn the spinach in the oil often using a perforated spoon or frying spider/skimmer. After around 2 minutes the spinach should be golden and crispy. Lift the spinach out of the oil using the perforated spoon.
Place the spinach on a plate or tray lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. If you want to keep them warm, you can transfer the fried spinach leaves to an un-lined tray and place them in a low oven while you fry the remaining spinach. This will help keep them crispy.
To build the chaat:
Arrange the spinach leaves on a tray. I lined mine with baking parchment for easy clean up. Top with onions, tomatoes, chilled masala yoghurt, chutneys of your choice, sev, fresh coriander leaves, optional chaat masala and any other toppings you would like to add. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.
Serve immediately. This chaat doesn't wait around for long so get stuck in.