Crispy Palak Chaat (Spinach Chaat)

Palak chaat or spinach pakora chaat is a delightful Indian street food dish that's as vibrant as it is delicious! Imagine crispy spinach leaves tossed with tangy tamarind chutney, creamy yogurt, and a burst of aromatic spices. It's like a flavor party in your mouth!

Crispy palak chaat made with spinach leaf bhaji and topped with chaat toppings.

I love making palak chaat for parties, it’s always a hit!

To make palak pakoda chaat, fresh spinach leaves are coated in a light batter and then deep-fried until they’re wonderfully crispy and golden brown.  

Once they’re crispy, the spinach pakoras are drizzled with sweet and sour tamarind chutney, savory cilantro chutney, creamy yogurt, and a sprinkle of chaat masala—a spice blend you can make at home that adds a kick of flavor.

Golden brown spinach leaf pakoras.
Crispy spinach pakora are the base of this delicious chaat.

 Key Ingredient Notes

I’ve divided the ingredients into two sections: 1) spinach pakoras and 2) chaat toppings.
The complete list is below in the recipe card.

Spinach Pakora Ingredient Notes

Spinach chaat ingredients on a board.
  1. Spinach Leaves: Fresh spinach leaves that are larger are typically used for this dish.  I’d avoid baby spinach leaves here.
  2. Besan Flour (Chickpea Flour or Gram Flour): Used as the primary batter ingredient to coat the spinach leaves.
  3. Rice Flour: Helps to add crispiness to the pakoras.
  4. Carom Seeds (Ajwain): Adds a distinct flavor and aids digestion.
  5. Baking Soda: Helps in making the pakoras light and crispy.
  6. Asafoetida (Hing): Adds a unique flavor to the pakoras. There aren’t any suitable substitutes, and you can skip it if you don’t have it on hand.
  7. Red Chili Powder: Provides heat and spice to the pakoras.

Chaat Topping Notes

The yum factor of palak chaat lies in its contrast of crispy spinach, creamy yogurt, tangy chutneys, and aromatic spices—a feast for your taste buds!  So, don’t skimp on the toppings.

Chaat toppings such as chutneys, onions, pomegranate, yogurt, chaat masala, and fine sev in small bowls.
  1. Cilantro Chutney: Adds freshness and tanginess to the chaat.
  2. Tangy Tamarind Chutney: Provides sweet and tangy flavors to balance the dish. You can make an easy, quick tamarind chutney from concentrate or a ​date tamarind chutney, also known as imli ki chutney.
  3. Cilantro Chutney:  A cilantro chutney or cilantro mint chutney can work here.
  4. Yogurt: Offers a creamy and cooling element to the chaat. The yogurt is usually flowing, like a sauce.  So, if you use Greek yogurt or a thicker yogurt, add a little water to help it flow.
  5. Fine Sev: Adds crunch and texture to the chaat. If you look for it online or at your local Indian grocery store, you’ll see it called nylon sev.
  6. Chaat Masala: Infuses a distinctive tangy and spicy flavor.
  7. Red Onion: Adds a sharp and crunchy element to the chaat.
  8. Pomegranate Seeds: Provide bursts of sweetness and a refreshing contrast to the chaat.
  9. Cilantro leaves: Optionally you can top the chaat with chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Making the Pakora (Crispy Spinach Fritters):

Prepping the Spinach Leaves:

Start by thoroughly washing fresh spinach leaves and patting them with a kitchen towel.

Remove thick stems to ensure you’re left with just the tender leaves.

Spinach leaves with long stems cut off.
Wash and dry spinach leaves well. Cut off long stems. A little stem is ok and helps give you a little “handle” to dip each leaf in the batter.

Preparing the Batter:

Mix chickpea flour (besan or gram flour), rice flour, a pinch of baking soda, salt, red chili powder, and a dash of turmeric in a mixing bowl.

Gradually add water to the dry ingredients to form a thick, smooth batter. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter, not too thin or thick.

Besan batter ingredients in a bowl.
Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Besan gram flour batter in bowl.
Slowly add water to make a smooth, thick but flowing batter.

Coating and Frying the Spinach:

Heat oil for deep frying in a pan or kadhai over medium-high heat.  

Dip each spinach leaf into the besan batter, ensuring it’s evenly thinly coated.

Oil in a pot on the stove.
Heat enough oil for deep frying in a pot on medium – high.
Spinach leaf in besan batter.
Place each spinach leaf in batter to coat it well.

Carefully place the coated, lightly coated spinach leaves into the hot oil. Fry them in small batches until they turn golden brown and crispy, flipping occasionally for even cooking.

Once done, transfer the pakoras to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Spinach leaf pakora frying in oil.
Place each battered leaf in the hot oil.
Spinach leaf in oil.
Keep an eye and flip them over to cook both sides.
Crispy spinach pakora in oil.
Fry until golden brown.

While they are still hot/warm sprinkle a little chaat masala on them so it sticks to each pakora!

Chaat masala sprinkled on palak pakora.
Sprinkle chaat masala on the pakoras while they are warm/hot.

Assembling the Chaat:

Arranging the Pakoras:Once the pakoras are ready, arrange them on a serving plate in a single layer.

Palak pakoras on a plate.

Adding Toppings:


-Drizzle the crispy spinach pakoras generously with sweet tamarind chutney and tangy green chutney.
-Spoon over some yogurt evenly across the pakoras.|
-Sprinkle chaat masala, roasted cumin powder, and red chili powder over the top for that extra burst of flavor.

Red onions on spinach chaat.
Sprinkle red onions.
Chutneys and sev added to chaat.
Drizzle tamarind chutney and green chutney along with nylon sev.
Assembled spinach leaf chaat on an ornate plate.
Finish off with yogurt, pomegranate, and a final sprinkle of chaat masala.

Garnishing:


Finish off your Palak Chaat with a handful of crunchy sev (thin gram flour noodles) and freshly chopped cilantro leaves for a pop of freshness.

 Serving and Enjoying:

Serve your Palak Chaat immediately while it’s still warm and crispy. It’s best enjoyed fresh off the plate, so dive in and relish the explosion of flavors and textures!

Spinach chaat on a plate.

Serving Suggestions

This palak chaat recipe makes for a great brunch dish, party appetizer, or evening tea.  I’ve seen it rise in popularity and served at Indian weddings in the US lately.

Chaat Bar: I like to serve it as a “chaat bar” so everyone can assemble their chaat and add toppings per their liking.

 If you are going chaat bar style, add Fruit Chaat, Tater Tot Chaat, and Chaat Hummus to mix things up!

Chaats are some of the best street food you can find in India.  Aloo chaat, samosa chaat, aloo tikki chat, and sev puri are just a few examples of various types of chaat

Chutneys: You can make a variety of chutneys to serve alongside this; you aren’t limited to tamarind and cilantro.  I love making homemade chutneys, and my cranberry chutney is a favorite sweet chutney with a tang.

Have you tried this palak patta chaat recipe?  Let me know below; it means a lot!

Crispy palak chaat made with spinach leaf bhaji and topped with chaat toppings.

Crispy Palak Chaat (Spinach Chaat)

Shilpa Joshi
Palak chaat or spinach pakora chaat is a delightful Indian street food dish that's as vibrant as it is delicious! Imagine crispy spinach leaves tossed with tangy tamarind chutney, creamy yogurt, and a burst of aromatic spices. It's like a flavor party in your mouth!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 176 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 deep frying pan

Ingredients
  

Spinach Leaves Pakora

  • ¾ cup besan flour 80g
  • ¼ cup rice flour 38g
  • 20 medium spinach leaves
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp carom seeds ajwain
  • tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • cup water
  • oil for frying

Chaat Toppings

Instructions
 

Make Spinach Pakora

  • Wash and dry spinach leaves well. Cut off long stems. A little stem is ok and helps give you a little "handle" to dip each leaf in the batter.
  • Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Slowly add water to make a smooth, thick but flowing batter.
  • Heat oil for frying on medium-high. Once oil is hot, dip each spinach leaf in the besan batter to coat.
  • Fry in hot oil, flipping over until they are golden brown. Once browned, remove with a slotted spoon and plate on a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.
  • While the pakoras are hot, sprinkle chaat masala.

Assemble the palak chaat

  • Add one to two teaspoons of chopped red onions. Drizzle tamarind chutney and green chutney along with nylon sev.
  • Finish off with yogurt, pomegranate, and a final sprinkle of chaat masala.

Nutrition

Calories: 176kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 8gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 508mgPotassium: 354mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 546IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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