DISH OF THE WEEK: Kale pakoras from Chai Pani in Decatur
It's a commonly held truth that if there's a food that makes your stomach turn, you need only to throw it in some batter and fry it up to make it palatable.
If you normally turn your nose up at vegetables, especially the explosion of but-it's-so-good-for-you kale in recent years, the kale pakoras at Chai Pani will have you singing the praises of the green before you even get a chance to lick the plate clean (though fans of the veggie will find lots to love here, too).
The modern take on the classic Indian fritter sees kale leaves lovingly bathed in chickpea batter made with gram flour, then deep fried to a golden crisp that lasts hours after they're served (if, yknow, you decide to a second helping home with you), without much of the grease you're likely used to from other similar fried delights.
They're served with a tangy green chutney made with mint and cilantro and a sweet yogurt sauce perfect for dipping, but really, those just serve as distractions -- these lovelies are best enjoyed in their naked, unadorned glory. They're so good that even if you find yourself far from Decatur, you might be tempted to make the trek for your pakora fix -- they're just that good.
The team behind Chai Pani is set to open Boti Walla in Ponce City Market in March -- here's to hoping the pakoras make an appearance on that menu.
Kale pakoras, $7.99. Chai Pani, 406 Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 5:30-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 5:30-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 404-378-4030, chaipanidecatur.com/.
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