Spinach and other greens are some of the easiest things to grow in the garden, so we always have them in abundance. One easy way (and delicious way) to use them is to make this great Indian snack, generally eaten during the Monsoon season. Spinach leaves are coated in a chickpea flour batter and deep fried. So put on your rainy weather gear, pick the palak, and make this bhajiya with lots of friends and lots of laughter. In the UK Bhajiya is called Bhajji (confusingly), and this practice is spreading. We could just call them Pakoda and be done with it.
Palak Bhajiya | Spinach Fritters
Take 20 – 30 spinach leaves or leaves of other greens, wash and dry them and spread them out on tea towels to dry. Cut larger leaves into smaller pieces.
Mix a cup of chickpea flour (gram flour, besan) with half a tspn of turmeric powder, half a tspn of coriander powder and a tspn of chilli powder. Make it 2 tspns of chilli powder if that is your preference. Add salt to taste, and then gradually add water, mixing well all the time until a nice batter consistency is reached. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
Beat the batter again to ensure it is lump-free, then stir in 0.5 tspn eno – this is optional but it adds a lightness to the batter.
Heat ghee or oil in a deep kadhai or pan for deep frying. Take one leaf of spinach, pat it dry, and dip it into the batter – ensure that you coat the leaf on both sides. Slide it into the oil and prepare 2 or 3 more leaves in the same fashion.
Deep fry the leaves until light brown and the spinach remains green. Drain on kitchen paper towel.
Serve with a green chutney, tomato chutney or tomato sauce for a lovely monsoon snack. Or just sprinkle with amchur, salt and lemon juice. I used a squeeze or two of cumquats. Enjoy!
recipe notes and alternatives
Use a variety of greens. I have even used nasturtium leaves in bhajiya. Fresh, crisp leaves are best and will retain their shape, but if a little wilted, crunch them together in the batter for nice little round pakoras.