Spiced Potato-Spinach Patties with Raita and Tomato Chutney

Creamy raita and tangy tomato chutney offer the perfect accompaniment to these crispy, savory, Indian-spiced potato patties spiked with a generous amount of spinach.

Spiced Potato-Spinach Patties with Raita and Tomato Chutney

Some veggie burgers try their best to taste like those made of beef -- some of them even succeed quite well. These potato and spinach patties, packed full of flavor thanks to a combination of warm and spicy Indian herbs and spices, are nothing like a hamburger. But their crispy exteriors and savory interiors offer the same satisfaction of a burger -- and the addition of some cooling raita and tangy tomato chutney doesn't hurt. Serve these patties with a salad for a full meal, or as part of a larger spread. 

Spices used in this recipe

Garam Masala
Cayenne Pepper
Peppercorns, Black, Grinder
Salt, Kosher
Cumin Ground
Mustard Seed, Brown
Paprika, Hungarian Hot
Paprika, Hungarian Sweet
Paprika, Spanish Sweet
Chili Peppers, Crushed
Cinnamon Sticks
Cumin Seed


Potato Patties:

  • 2 lbs. red or other boiling potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
  • 1 lb. fresh spinach, stemmed, washed, and finely chopped
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno chili, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Vanns Garam Masala
  • ½ tsp. Vanns Cayenne
  • ½ tsp. Vanns Black Peppercorns, freshly ground
  • 1 ¼ tsp. Vanns Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs or chickpea flour
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Tomato Chutney:


  1. First make the raita, which is best after at least an hour in the fridge. Peel the cucumbers and grated them on the large holes of a box grater. Place them in a bowl and toss with the salt. Let the cucumbers sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, then pour them into a strainer and gently press out as much liquid as you can, before patting them dry with a paper towel.
  2. Combine the yogurt, cayenne, cumin, lemon zest, and mint in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Stir in the cucumbers.
  3. In a small frying pan, heat the sesame oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the mustard seeds and fry for about a minutes, until seeds sputter and turn a lighter color. You may want to use a splatter screen to keep them from hopping out of the pan.
  4. Remove from heat and quickly pour over the yogurt-cucumber mixture. It will sizzle and sputter a bit. Quickly stir the oil into the yogurt until evenly combined. Sprinkle with a little paprika to garnish. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to combine.
  5. Next, make the potato patties, which need to chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Steam quartered potatoes in a steamer basket until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher -- there should still be small chunks of potato and potato skin throughout the mixture. Add all remaining ingredients except for panko or chickpea flour and vegetable oil and mix with your hands, squeezing the ingredients together until evenly combined. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
  6. Place the panko or chickpea flour in a shallow bowl. Use a ½ cup measure to portion out balls of the potato-spinach mixture. Roll each portion between the palms of your hands to make an even ball and then roll to coat in the pank or chickpea flour. Flatten each coated ball into a 3-inch patty and place on plate or baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  7. While the raita and patties chill, make the tomato chutney. Heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the chili flakes, cumin seeds, and cinnamon stick and cook until cumin seeds brown and become quite fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, taking care as the liquid may spit as it hits the hot fat. Still in the sugar and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick and fairly dry. Serve at room temperature, adding more salt as needed to taste.
  8. To cook the potato patties, set a rack over a sheet pan (or cutting board, if you don’t happen to have a rack that fits perfectly in a sheet pan) and heat oven to 250°F. Heat 2 Tbs. vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat until oil shimmers, swirling pan to coat with hot oil. Add as many patties to the pan as will fit without crowding, leaving 2 inches of space between them. Cook until well-browned on one side, around 4 minutes. Flip and cook until well-browned on the second side, another 4 minutes or so. Remove to the rack and place in oven to keep warm until serving. Add more oil to pan as needed and repeat process with remaining patties. Serve with raita and chutney.

Makes around 10 patties, serving 4-6 people as a main dish, or 6-8 as an appetizer.

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