Palak Chaat

23 Sep

Palak Chaat

I recently had the pleasure of dining at Rasika, a very popular DC Indian restaurant, and trying their famous palak chaat. This dish is an amazing medley of textures and flavors, with crispy spinach playing off a sour-sweet chutney and sweetened yogurt, and I knew almost immediately that I had to try my best to recreate it. I’ve dedicated this week to a series of posts on recreating all the pieces of Rasika’s palak chaat. This post is the third in a series of three. See post 1: Chaat Masala and post 2: Date Tamarind Chutney.

Creating the perfect crispy spinach was the difficult piece of this recipe. Going off of all the information I could glean from my dining experience and some internet research, I first tried frying the spinach with a light coating of gram flour, baking soda, and salt. This was a disaster; the batter kept burning in the oil, and the spinach was either not crispy enough or crumbled apart unpleasantly when eaten. After some experimentation with oven temperature, I found that not only was it much easier to bake the spinach, but it yielded much better results.

This recipe makes approximately four appetizer-sized servings (or potentially two full meals), but the flavors are truly addictive so you may very well want to double the recipe. When I prepared this, I included some chickpeas (you can see them peaking out from under the spinach in the photo), and diced avocado or dates would also be welcome additions.

Palak Chaat
Yield: 4 appetizer servings


  • 1/4 cup gram flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 lb baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt*
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • chaat masala, to taste**
  • date tamarind chutney, to taste**
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced

*Greek yogurt adds an extra richness to the dish; you can substitute regular yogurt, but I’d recommend straining it (let it sit in a cheesecloth-lined strainer for about half an hour) to get closer to the consistency of Greek yogurt.
**You’ll probably want about a tsp of chaat masala and 2 Tbsp of date tamarind chutney per serving, but as the flavors of your masala and chutney may vary, make sure to taste and adjust.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine 1/4 cup gram flour and 1/2 tsp kosher salt, then sprinkle the mixture over 1 lb baby spinach.
  3. Spread the spinach out on a baking sheet, making sure that there is no overlap – you will need to use multiple sheets and/or do multiple batches. Bake for 5 minutes or until crisp.
  4. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and 1/2 tsp sugar. Set aside.
  5. Set out chaat masala, date tamarind chutney, 1/2 red onion, diced, 1 large tomato, diced, and 1/4 cup cilantro, minced. For each serving, start with some crispy spinach and build with the yogurt mixture and these accompaniments.

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3 Responses to “Palak Chaat”

  1. Coco January 26, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    They use chickpea flour. I asked the waiter, that’s why your spinach keeps burning.

    • Claire January 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

      Gram flour is just another name for chickpea flour :)

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