Monday, October 8, 2012

Chatpati Palak Patta Chaat (Spinach Fritters)

How many of you count on calories before picking up the kitchen ladles and jars for trying out a new recipe? Well, for sure I'm not the one. I hardly think about the calories, the fat content, the sugars and carbs when I'm in a mood to try out a recipe. Though I'm a doctor and this is quite contradictory to how my behavior should be, but who says doctors don't have diabetes or hypertension. Jokes apart, I believe in eating good, and good here means something that is soul-satisfying.
Now this recipe here on this page is pretty close to my heart and tongue both, because it has been reigning these two for years. How can I forget the first time I saw this and had love at first sight. (My hubby was surely jealous about this! :P) That was the first time ever I had heard of something like that, I mean a 'Chaat' with 'Palak'!! Since then, I've been wanting hard to make this but don't know what was keeping me aback. Finally when I made this a couple of days back (You know how lazy am I not to post things on time!), I was almost on cloud nine, before even tasting it and getting remarks from my better loving half. As usual he said 'acchha hai', with his mind completely engrossed in some stupid cricket match, and hardly giving his taste buds the chance to relish something as great as this. Anyway, men are finally men, so I moved forward with my own bowl and skipped my dinner that evening because of this chatpati chaat (I'm sure many of you can do that! ;))


Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes 10 Servings

Info Meter:

  • Spinach is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, especially folic acid.
  • Spinach is not only great for women, children and growing teens, but it can slow the age related decline in brain function and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • During the First World War, wine was fortified with spinach juice and given to French soldiers weakened by hemorrhaging.
  • It is always advisable to cook the spinach than consuming raw spinach.
For Palak Pakoda/Fritters:
1. Palak Patta/ Spinach Leaves: 10
2. Besan/Gram/Chickpea Flour: 1 cup
3. Water: 1 cup + 2 tbs
4. Salt: 1 tbs or as per taste
5. Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
6. Jeera/Cumin Powder: 1/2 tsp
7. Red Chilli Powder: 1 tsp
8. Coriander Powder: 2 tsp
9. Garam Masala: 1/4 tsp (optional)
10. Asafoetida/ heeng: a pinch
11. Oil: for deep frying

For Chaat:
1. Spicy Green Chutney
2. Sweet Tamarind/Imli Chutney
3. Bhel Ki Sev
4. Anaar/ Pomegranate Seeds

For Palak Pakoda/ Fritters:
  1. Clean the palak/spinach leaves with water and pat them dry. Be careful not to break them.
  2. If the leaves are too big, cut them into two halves each.
  3. Now prepare the batter by adding the besan/gram flour with all the spices and water.
  4. Add water slowly and keep mixing continuously so as to avoid formation of lumps.
  5. When the batter reaches ketchup-like consistency, stop any further addition of water.
  6. Heat some oil in a pan.
  7. Check if it is properly heated by dropping a small portion of the batter and notice if it immediately rises up and starts floating. If so, the oil is ready.
  8. Now carefully take one leaf/patta at a time in your palm. Coat it with the batter on both the sides and slide it smoothly in the hot oil.
  9. Flip over after a minute and see that both are sides are well fried and are golden brown.
  10. Take it out and drain any excess oil on a kitchen tissue. 
  11. Fry the leaves one by one after coating them with the batter.
  12. Do not keep them aside for cooling as this chaat is enjoyed hot and crisp.

Assembling The Chaat:
  1. Now take one crisp spinach leaf/ palak patta and smear it lightly with spicy green chutney and tamarind/imli chutney.
  2. Shower some pomegranate/ anaar pearls over it and finally ornament with bhel ki sev.
  3. Serve immediately else the leaves will so soggy and soft.
  1. You can also add 2 tbs of rice flour to the batter to make the fritters even crispier.
  2. Adjust spices as per your taste.
  3. This dish is not meant for storing and keeping, rather make it and finish it at one go.
  4. It always tastes heaven when served immediately so that the leaves stay crisp.
  5. You can also add chopped onions and tomato to the chaat while assembling.
  6. If the batter is too thick, the leaves will have a softer and thicker coat, but if it too runny, the batter will all scatter in the pan, so make sure the consistency is right.