Afternoon Snack: Palak Patte Ki Chaat at Desi Galli

Afternoon Snack

Quick bites to tide you over without spoiling dinner.

It's late afternoon and dinner is a few hours away. Where do you get a quick bite to carry you through the day? Afternoon Snack looks at quick bites to tide you over without spoiling dinner. Got a snack we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.


[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

I'm always on the lookout for a solid chaat: the mix of fried crispy starch, crunchy onions, and spicy sauces is hard to beat. Newly opened Desi Galli offers one made with fried spinach leaves in place of the usual fried crackers or chickpeas. This Palak Patte Ki Chaat is not only quite good; it's also a steal at $3.29.

The large spinach leaves are dipped in chickpea flour and fried, then tossed with raw red onion, diced (admittedly cottony) tomato, tiny fried sprinkles of sev (chickpea threads), and the usual host of yogurt, mint, and tamarind sauces. The fried leaves suffer a bit under a takeout conditions, but they retain a bit of their bite and green verve, and chickpea and spinach are natural flavor partners. (I'm looking forward to trying this straight from the fryer.) The real draw is the sauces, each of them bright and generous and everything chaat sauces should be. This chaat could easily hold its own against the kings in Jackson Heights.

Desi Galli

101 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016 (map) 212-683-2292