A delighted Natalie Manning found out how to make her favourite Indian recipe Palak Patta Chaat on a recent night out at Aki’s Indian restaurant Woolloomooloo, Sydney.
Palak Patta Chaat
150g besan (chickpea flour, available from Asian and Middle Eastern food stores)
50g (1/3 cup) rice flour
2 tsp chilli powder
Peanut or canola oil, for deep-frying
1 bunch spinach, leaves picked, washed and patted dry (you will need about 20 leaves)
300g sebago potato, boiled until tender, peeled, then diced
30g cooked chickpeas
Chopped coriander leaves, to serve
Mint and coriander chutney:
½ cup mint leaves
1 bunch coriander, washed and coarsely chopped
4 fresh long green chillies, chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbls finely chopped ginger
Date and tamarind chutney:
30g pitted dates, chopped
1 tbls tamarind concentrate
15g (1½ tbls) grated palm sugar
2½ tsp ground cumin
Chilli and tomato chutney:
4 fresh long red chillies, chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2½ tsp sweet paprika
250g Greek-style yoghurt
1 tbls caster sugar
1 tbls ground cumin
1. Combine flours, chilli powder and 2 teaspoons salt in a bowl, make a well in the centre, then gradually add 350ml water and whisk until smooth. Cover and stand until required.
2. For mint and coriander chutney, process all ingredients with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and stand until required.
3. For date and tamarind chutney, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until soft. Strain mixture through a fine sieve, cool, then cover and stand until required.
4. For chilli and tomato chutney, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer for 10-15 minutes over low heat or until soft. Strain mixture through a fine sieve, cool, then cover and stand until required.
5. For yoghurt dressing, combine all ingredients, season to taste with sea salt, then cover and refrigerate until required.
6. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 180C. Dip spinach leaves, one at a time, into batter, shaking off excess, then deep-fry, in batches, until crisp and golden. Drain on absorbent paper.
7. To serve, divide fried spinach leaves among plates, scatter with chopped potato and chickpeas, spoon over a little yoghurt dressing, then top with 1 teaspoon each of the chutneys. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve immediately.
Aki’s Indian Restaurant
6 Cowper Wharf Rd
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011 Australia
+61 2 9332 4600