Pakora are a street-food favorite across India and in many other parts of the world. These crispy fritters make a fabulous snack or appetizer and are fairly quick to pull off at home. Pakora usually feature besan (chickpea flour) and can include a variety of seasonal vegetables; onions are standard, and here I add tender baby spinach. These are a favorite of mine, especially on a rainy day with a hot cuppa chai.
For the pakora: Pour the oil into a large, deep pot and place over medium heat until it registers 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer.
Meanwhile, combine the spinach, onion, cilantro, besan, rice flour, ginger garlic paste, fenugreek, turmeric, chaat masala, garam masala, chili powder and salt to taste in a large bowl. Stir the mixture well. Stir in enough water to make a thick batter.
When the oil is hot, working in batches, drop balls of the batter mixture into the oil. Fry until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with chaat masala and serve hot.
For the cilantro-mint chutney: In a food processor or blender, combine the cilantro, mint, mango, chiles, lime juice and salt to taste and process or blend until smooth. Serve alongside the pakora.