A delicious steamed Indian appetizer made from colocasia leaves rolled with a spicy mixture of gram flour and Indian spices, Paatra (Patrode) is a MUST-TRY recipe!
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Indian savories are always fun to make and great to enjoy. They take me down memory lane as they formed an integral part of my childhood. These savories are made quite often in our house and we enjoy them as a part of a meal or as an evening snack on weekends.
These savories are also called Farsan; a dish that features in Indian thalis. The typical thali consists of a curry, a dry vegetable, dal, sweet dish, farsan, roti and rice. It is quite a filling meal and calls for an afternoon nap for sure!
Farsans are either steamed or fried. Steamed delights like dhokla, khaman dhokla or muthiya are very popular. The fried ones are delicious; ranging from bhajiya or pakoda to vadas of various types. Paatra is a popular farsan too. This dish is made from colocasia leaves, layering them with a spiced chickpea flour mixture, rolled and steamed. The steamed rolls are cut into slices and tempered just before serving.
Paatra has been a favorite in our family for years! I loved it as a child and continue to LOVE them now! Though the method to make them is a little tedious, the results makes ALL the effort worthwhile. This is the recipe that my grand mother made, and my mom and me still make it using the same recipe.
How to make Paatra
As I mentioned above, paatra is a dish made from colcassia leaves. A popular snack in Maharashtra and Gujarat, this is also called Patrode or Alu Vadi in Marathi. This dish requires some patience and a handful of ingredients. There are few things to follow to get the recipe right each time!
To start with, paatra leaves are the basis of this recipe. Available easily at most Indian stores, these leaves generally come in a stack of 8 or 12. I try and get a couple of packets with similar size leaves so that I can make it at once and relish them! Make sure the leaves are not withered or have too many holes.
Start with removing the veins of the leaves. The veins tend to have thorns and not removing them will waste the effort completely. be careful not to rip the leaves while doing so.
Make a mixture using gram flour and other ingredients mentioned below. Keep the mixture thick so that it can be layered on the leaves easily. Taste the mixture before starting as that is the only way to add salt or spice in the recipe.
Make the rolls tight as they tend to open up if not rolled well. Place the rolls leaving some space between them so they do not stick to each other. Test for doneness by piercing a knife in the centre. It should come out clean.
Let the rolls cool completely before slicing. Else the gram flour will crumble while making the slices. These rolls can be enjoyed as is or can be converted to something even more delicious!
How to serve Paatra
If you are serving the steamed paatra as is, just sprinkle some coconut and cilantro on the steamed slices and serve. This is the easiest way to serve them.
Another way to serve paatra is by tempering the slices with green chili, sesame seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves in hot oil. The paatra can be added to the pan and made a little crispy before serving.
If you are a fan of fried dishes, just fry the paatra slices and serve. This is THE most delicious way to enjoy them! Though full of calories, I like this version once in a while.
A popular Gujarati recipe called Rasiya Paatra involves adding snake gourd and paatra in a sweet and spicy curry. A popular serving at many Gujarati weddings, this dish is a must-try if you like Indian food!
If you are a fan of Indian recipes, check these out:
- Deconstructed Potato Peas Samosa Bites
- Green Moong Dal Fritters
- Kale Muthiya | Kale Dumpling Rolls
- Mixed Lentil Handvo | Savory Lentil Cake
- Papad Paneer Rolls
- Dahi Vada
For the Paatra
Paatra Leaves/ Colocasia leaves 8 medium
Besan/ Chickpea Flour 2 cups
Ginger Chili Paste 1 tbsp
Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander Seed Powder 1 tsp
Jaggery 2 tbsp
Tamarind pulp 1 tsp
Oil 2 tsp
Baking Soda a pinch
Salt 1 tsp
For the tempering
Oil 3-4 tbsp
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Asafetida a pinch
Curry leaves 4-5
Green Chilies 1-2
Sesame Seeds 2 tsp
Shredded coconut and cilantro to top
Wash and pat dry the leaves. Place them upside down and using a sharp knife thin out the thick spine and veins. Be careful not to rip the leaves. Set aside.
In a bowl mix together Jaggery and Tamarind pulp till it dissolves properly. Add 1 tsp water if required. Once it all dissolves, add in the remaining ingredients under paatra. Mix well and make a thick paste.Add water if required.
Place a leaf vein side up. Apply 1 tbsp of the paste to completely cover the leaf. Place the next leaf on it and repeat. I used 4 leaves in one roll. If you want thinner rolls, use 2-3 leaves.
Tightly roll the leaves to form a roll. Repeat for the remaining 4 leaves and make another roll.
Add 1 cup water in a pan and heat it. Place a steamer basket an inch or two above the water level. Grease the steamer with some oil or non stick spray.
Place the rolls on the steamer basket and cover. Steam for 20-25 minutes on medium heat.
Turn down the flame, remove the rolls and slice them into 1 cm slices.
In a pan heat the oil and add all the ingredients under tempering. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add the paatra pieces. Mix gently and let them coat with the tempering.
Sprinkle cilantro and coconut and enjoy!
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