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Aki's Palak Patta Chat

Try award-winning chef Kumar Mahadevan's signature entree dish.


  • 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

  • Yoghurt dressing

  • 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.

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