Happy friday everyone! I’m so glad the weekend’s almost here! You know how some weeks you just feel a bit… off your game? I’m having one of those weeks for sure and for no reason in particular. So this weekend I plan on recharging the ol’ batteries and it coincides with a trip to see my best friend in Canada! So excited 🙂
On to today’s recipe! If you’re unfamiliar with chaat- it’s a type of Indian street-food that traditionally involves layering different types of spicy and sweet chutneys, fresh veggies like onions and tomatoes and on top of different vehicles ranging from samosas to small puris (crispy hollow puffed circles of dough). There are hundreds of variations when it comes to chaat and people are still inventing new concepts!
Today’s recipe was originally inspired by the whole palak chaat craze. Palak chaat has been a phenomenon, particularly in DC thanks to Rasika (one of the most sought after Indian restaurants in the area). I’m not remotely obsessed with Rasika, I’ve only been there three times since I moved to DC in 2007. But their palak chaat is well-known and loved for a reason.
A couple of weeks ago I had made kale chips- as you know another phenomenon people seem to be crazy about. While I was eating some, I had a thought- what if I used kale chips as a base for chaat? If it can work with deep fried spinach, maybe oven baked kale chips can work just as well? Guess what? It did!
There’s definitely nothing wrong with deep fried spinach or kale, but as you know I love oven-baked anything. The crunch of the kale, coupled with a variety of textures of the other ingredients made for a perfect bowl of chaat. How closely does this resemble Rasika’s palak chaat? No idea! The last time I went to Rasika was 2 years ago. But is this kale chaat delicious? A resounding YES!
- 1 bunch kale, rinsed & dried, stems removed and leaves torn into bite size pieces**
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp of cumin powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 medium cucumber, diced
- 2 small roma tomatoes, seeded & diced
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds, *optional
- Sev, *optional
- 1 cup of roasted masala chickpeas
- 1 cup yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup of water (sauce consistency), in a serving bowl
- 1 cup Green Chutney, in a serving bowl
- 1 cup of Sweet Tamarind Chutney (ingredients & instructions below)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the middle.
- In a bowl toss the kale with the olive oil, turmeric & cumin powders and a pinch of salt.
- On a baking sheet lined with parchment (you will most likely need two 13x9 pans), spread the leaves out and place pan(s) into the oven.
- Check the oven after 10 minutes to make sure the kale isn't burning and if it isn't crisp wait for another 2-5 minutes or until the kale is crisp. Remove pan(s) from the oven when finished and let the kale cool on a large surface area (you can take the parchment paper with the kale and place on a counter top)
- Assemble & serve your chaat (I recommend serving in shallow bowls)- first place a handful of the crispy kale into the bowl, top with a handful of chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber and onion. Drizzle desired amount of the yogurt, green chutney and tamarind chutney and top with the optional pomegranate and/or sev.
- Here's how I made all the linked ingredients/recipes for this dish-
- 1) Cut/prep all the ingredients needed for this dish, including the chutneys, before you begin. Make sure you dry the kale COMPLETELY because moisture will prevent the kale from becoming crunchy!
- 2) I roasted the chickpeas on a separate pan but at the same time as the kale. The kale finishes in 15 minutes but you can keep roasting the chickpeas for 5-10 minutes past the kale.
- 3) While the kale and chickpeas roast, I made all the chutneys and placed them in serving bowls.
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp of tamarind paste
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- In a small sauce pan on medium-high heat, bring the cup of water and tamarind paste to a boil. Using a steel whisk or wooden spoon mix the paste into the water until completely dissolved
- When the water comes to a boil, add the brown sugar and the spices and mix well.
- After about a minute of boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and let this simmer for about 15 minutes- until the consistency is more saucey.
- Turn the heat off and place the chutney into a serving bowl.