Crispy Kale Chaat

If you have been to an Indian restaurant in Washington D.C., then you have seen either a “crispy spinach chaat” or “crispy kale chaat” on the menu. Its a twist on a popular Indian street food – chaat – which is basically a loose term for a collection of sweet/savory dishes that are usually found in roadside stalls in India (but is usually found in restaurants both there and here all prettied up!). I think chaat is kind of hard to explain unless you have had it, since the flavors are a real explosion of sweet/salty/tangy/crispy all in one. I love it. Chaat nights where we just eat a bunch of different types of chaat is up there with my favorite meals of all time.

I tried to recreate the crispy kale chaat I love so much at a restaurant here called Bombay Club. I am not sure its as good as the restaurant version, but it does the trick for a unique appetizer thats not very hard to put together!

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I start by getting the kale ready to bake in the oven, seasoning it with olive oil, salt and cumin powder. The restaurants usually deep fry the kale, so this makes it healthier.

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The kale comes out nice and crispy. I garnish it with lemon juice to cut some of the bitterness.

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Then I get the herbs ready for the chutney using fresh mint and cilantro.

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I blend all the ingredients together, adding yogurt, cashews, and spices.

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Then I assemble the chaat, starting with the mint chutney and the tamarind (brown-sweet) chutney.

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Finally I add the yogurt, onions, and tomatoes. I garnish with lemon and cumin powder.

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Prep time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups kale, in bite-size pieces with stems taken of
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Half of a red onion, chopped
  • Half of a tomato, chopped
  • Mint Chutney (see ingredients below) – about four teaspoons
  • Tamarind Chutney – about four teaspoons (pre-bought from the store)
  • Yogurt – about four teaspoons (thinned out with water)
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/2 of a lemon

Mint Chutney ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • Salt
  • Red chili powder
  • 1/4 small red onion, in chunks
  • 6-8 cashews
  • Cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • Water as needed
  • Fresh lemon

Recipe

  1. Spread the kale out on a baking pan. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and cumin powder. Lay out on one even layer.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the kale for about 25-30 minutes until crispy.
  3. Combine all ingredients for the mint chutney in blender. Add water as needed but sauce should be slightly thick.
  4. Thin out some yogurt with water so its pourable.
  5. Assemble the chaat: Put about half of the kale on one plate. Drizzle with mint chutney and tamarind (sweet) chutney. Then drizzle with the thinned out yogurt.
  6. Add onions and tomatoes on top, as well as cumin powder. Squeeze fresh lemon on top.
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