It’s no secret that India loves spicy, savoury chaats and pakoras (pakoray in Punjabi). This delicious street food-inspired recipe combines the two favourites into one spicy, tangy spinach pakora chaat. Pakoras are enjoyed most during monsoon season, but let’s be real: I’d be happy to come home to a plate of this delicious chaat and a piping hot cup of chai any day!
I’ve used baby spinach here. If you’re using a bunch of spinach, trim the stems so they’re no more than about a centimetre long, it’s also important to ensure the spinach is completely dry — or the batter will not stick.
The batter is meant to be on the thinner side, but thick enough to just coat the spinach. Too thick, and the pakoras will be chewy, too thin and the batter will slide off before the spinach hits the oil. I always test a couple before frying, just to be sure! Enjoy this delicious treat as an appetizer, or mid afternoon snack with chai. I’ve loaded it up with classic toppings, including my go-to cilantro mint chutney, but you can customize and mix and match with your favourites.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the chickpea flour, salt, cayenne, turmeric and water. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes, the batter will thicken slightly.
Place a deep skillet or pot on medium high heat, fill about 3 inches up with neutral oil.
Place half of the spinach into the chickpea batter, coating each leaf well. Place coated leaves into the hot oil one at a time, or if leaves are smaller, a few at once so they form a larger leaf when fried. The individual pakora are best thin here, as opposed to many spinach leaves together to form a typical pakora.
Fry for about 1 ½-2 minutes per side, or until golden.
Set fried spinach pakora aside on a paper towel-lined dish.
Plate the pakoras, layer with your choice of toppings and serve immediately.