It is the awesome weather days here in the UAE, perfect wintry mornings to start the day sipping piping hot masala chai . As I water my balcony plants and enjoy the reflection of the sun rays from the glass pane of a multi-storey building across the street falling on our balcony plants and was admiring this calm moment being in midst of nature, these Colocasia leaves spread out in all directions catches the eye.
This potted plant was brought home from our friend’s garden, they live in a big power-plant township and have a beautiful house with gardening patch on all sides of the house. The front garden has all the fragrant flower plants, the sides have Papaya trees and Colocasia plants, and in the backyard is the vegetable patch where she plants all the seasonal veggies. I get some supply of home-grown vegetables from them whenever anyone of us is visiting each other. The leaves, as seen in the picture, were growing big and so I made use of them to make this famous Maharashtrian recipe. ”Thank you” Naina (if you happen to read this) for giving us the plant and the joy of enjoying the fresh garden leaves Alu Vadis :).
This is also a popular recipe of Gujarat state of India, where it is known by the name Patra/Paatra.
Alu leaves/Colocasia leaves: 10-15 nu.
chickpeas Flour/Besan: 200 gm
Tamarind : 20 gm
Sesame seeds: 1 Tbsp
Ajwain/Carom Seeds: 1 Tsp
Red Chili Powder: 2 Tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1 Tsp
Garam Masala Powder: 1/2 Tsp
Salt : To Taste
Water: 200 ml (As needed to make a medium thick batter).
Cooking Oil: 200 ml ( for deep-frying)
Note: I have used medium-to-small leaves.
Wash and clean the leaves, and dry using the kitchen towel/tissue. Soak the tamarind in 50 ml water/half katori water. Use this tamarind pulp, but sieve it before use.
Take the besan in a bowl, add all the spices, 1 Tbsp oil, Sesame and Carom seeds, tamarind pulp and mix. Add only as much water as required to make a medium thick batter.
Apply this chickpeas flour batter to the underside of each leaf, then place another leaf on top and apply the batter, and then again place the next leaf on top and continue the layers.
After a few leaves, fold the tops parts of the leaves and bring to the center, then fold the lower part and form a bundle-shape. Apply another coat of batter on the top of the bundle. Start applying batter to the remaining leaves and form another bundle if any leaves were remaining.
Grease the cooker basket/plate to place in the cooker to steam these Colocasia bundles.
Steam the leaves for 15-20 min in the steamer or pressure cooker (without whistle).
When cool then cut the steamed roll into thin slices, and deep fry until crisp in hot oil. One can also shallow fry them using little oil, if one does not like deep-fried foods.
- Serve the crispy fried pinwheels with tomato ketchup or mint yogurt dip. It is served as part of a Maharashtrian thali meal too. It is usually cooked on occasion of festival and served as fried item of the special menu.
- The steamed pinwheels are also used to add to a spicy gravy or can be cut and made into a dry sabji as my mother used to make, it was one of my favorites. I will have to wait for the next batch of leaves to make the dry sabji post :).
This is also a favorite snack in Gujarat. During my stay in the state, I would see it as a snack item sold in Farsan shops, a fasting selling item that would get sold out within an hour or so in the shop near my residence. In Gujarat they do add a little |sugar to the ingredients list, but I have never used sugar. The tamarind is used to avoid itchy discomfort in the throat that it causes, an irritant in the leaves causes it, to some people after eating. Lemon juice can also be used, but I feel the tamarind pulp gives the batter the perfect taste.
I enjoyed sharing another of my Maharashtrian recipe with you all, looking forward to hear your thoughts.
Have a great weekend, Happy Sunday. For us, in this part of the world, it is the start of another week tomorrow. Enjoy 🙂 .