The Crispy Kale Chaat at this “particular restaurant is so good that my family is willing to brave the traffic on I-66 and dress up for the occasion. It’s the kind of place that people in the Indian community boast about dining at, & where you might overhear snippets of conversation from powerful politicians at the next table. For my parents, it’s a special treat that’s worth the trip from our suburban home in Northern Virginia to the bustling city.
Rasika, a popular restaurant in Washington, D.C., has become a favourite among both “Indian aunties and political elites. As you take your seat, you can feel the energy, of the city & observe the diverse mix of patrons enjoying their meals. One dish that stands out is the crispy kale chaat, a modern twist on classic Indian street food. The kale is coated in a light batter and fried until crispy, then topped with a tangy tamarind chutney and sweet yoghurt sauce. Finely chopped red onions and tomatoes add a fresh crunch to the dish, making it a must-try for anyone visiting Rasika.
Ingredients required for Crispy-Kale-Chaat:
8 ounces kale, stems removed, washed and dried
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1.5 teaspoons Chile powder
One Teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black salt
1/2 teaspoon kosher Salt
Half cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
4 tablespoons tamarind chutney (tamarind date is best)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped (optional)
1/4 cup boondi or thin sev (optional)
1/2 cup whole milk Greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher Salt
How to prepare Crispy-Kale-Chaat:
1 To make crispy kale chaat, start by preheating your oven to 300°F. Next, remove the kale leaves from the stems and tear them into large pieces. It’s important to pat the kale dry with a paper towel to ensure that the leaves are completely dry. If the kale is wet, it will steam instead of crisping up in the oven.
2 Take a large bowl and add the Kale to it. Drizzle some olive oil over the ‘Kale & use your hands to massage it with the oil, ensuring that every leaf is coated evenly. Next, sprinkle some chilli powder, ground cumin, black salt, and kosher salt onto the ‘Kale. Use your hands again to evenly coat the Kale with the spices. Now your Kale is ready to be baked or fried to crispy perfection!
3 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out the kale in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd it. Bake the kale on the centre rack for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on the kale to make sure it doesn’t burn and turn bitter. Once it’s done, the Kale should be curled up at the edges and crispy.
4 Once it’s done, take it out of the oven and let it cool completely without covering it.
5 Start by mixing all the ingredients for the yoghurt sauce in a small bowl. Once mixed, cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill.
6 Start by placing the kale in a large serving bowl and adding red onions and tomatoes evenly throughout. Next, drizzle a mixture of yoghurt sauce and tamarind chutney over the top, loosening the chutney with a bit of water if needed. Finally, garnish with cilantro and boondi for an extra burst of flavour. This dish is best enjoyed immediately after preparation.
Frequently Asked Questions:
At what temperature should I bake the kale?
For the perfect crispy kale chaat, it’s important to bake the kale at a low temperature. While higher temperatures may seem like a quicker option, they can easily lead to burnt leaves. Instead, try baking at 300F for a longer period to achieve the perfect level of crispiness without sacrificing flavour.
What variety of kale is best for kale chips?
For those looking for a healthy & delicious snack, a crispy kale chaat is a great option. To achieve the perfect crunch, it’s important to use either curly kale or lacinato kale, also known as dino kale or Tuscan kale. These varieties are sturdier and hold up well in the oven, resulting in a satisfyingly crispy texture.