Patora Colocasia* Leaf Rolls
Arvi Patte ke Patore
Bottom Picture: Spread besan paste on top of leaves. Step 6 and 7
Top Picture: Rolls ready to steam. Step 8
Patora are made of fresh colocacia leaves which are approximately 10x10 inch 25x25cm) and heart shaped. They look a little like water lily leaves. In UK, they are available only in Indian grocers, in small bundles of approximately 250 gm. They are easy to make once you have understood the procedure. Each roll requires approximately 5-6 leaves. DO NOT BE PUT OFF BY LENGHTY PROCESS. THEY ARE EASY TO MAKE. Serves 6-8
*Colocasia esculenta probably originated in India, where it is generally known as Arvi. Its tubers/corm look like small yams, with brown rings, dark and light alternating, all along its fibrous surface. They have a white, cream or light pink flesh. The tubers are used to make chips, soup, numerous varieties of curries and bhajies, roasted like potatoes, even made into flour. It is a staple food in many tropical countries around the world, it is an excellent source of fibre, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, and folic acid. Colocasia leaves of the Indian variety are edible but they must be boiled before eating, in order to remove the oxalates that cause irritation of the tongue. See Colocasia Leaf Rolls, delicious! There are many varieties of Colocasia around the world; eddo, dasheen, elephant's ear, West Indian kale, cocoyam and old cocoyam, and coco. Some varieties contain oxalates even in their tubers, and can cause irritation of the skin and tongue and should be avoided.
For making Patra rolls
250 gm colocasia or arvi leaves, washed and drained
125-150 gm. besan or gram flour
3-4 green chillies, washed and finely chopped( or red chilli powder to taste)
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp. salt to taste
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala powder
1/2 tsp baking powder (it keeps the leaves green when cooked)
Water for making batter
A pressure cooker or a steamer
1 tbs. olive or other oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
2 whole red chillies, broken roughly
6-7 curry leaves (not bay leaves)
Place all ingredients, except leaves, in a food processor and blend until a grainy batter is obtained. Add water only a little at a time, to avoid making a watery batter. If you do not have a food processor, grate onions finely, place all ingredients in a bowl and make batter by hand or an electric beater.
Making patra rolls:
Place each leaf vein side up and slice off the thick, central vein.
Make a slit at the wider end of each leaf, the base, so that it will lie completely flat on a board.
Place first leaf on a board or a flat surface and spread a thin layer of batter to cover it all over. This is best done by using your fingers.
Place second leaf on top of the first and repeat the process. Continue like this until 5-6 leaves are layered, ending with a layer of batter.
Roll up the layered leaves together to make a roll, starting from pointed end first.
Divide each roll into two halves, so that it will fit in your pressure cooker or steamer.
Continue to make rolls like this until all leaves are used up.
Place a steaming plate (with holes) at the base of a steamer or a pressure cooker.
Add a cup of water and boil.
Meanwhile, cut 3-4 layers of aluminium foil to fit the steaming plate.
Place first layer on the steaming plate and then place 2-3 rolls on it, side by side and not on top of each other.
Cover with second layer of foil and place a second layer of rolls on it.
Continue until all rolls are used up.
Steam, with lid closed but without the pressure, for 15-20 minutes.
When cool, slice each roll into 1 -2 cm. thick slices. Keep aside.
Tarka or baghar or tempering:
Heat oil in a wok.
Add mustard seeds and allow the seeds to splutter. Keep a lid on or the mustard seeds will go in all corners of your kitchen!
Add curry leaves and dry red chillies, stir and then add sliced colocasia rolls and fry on medium high, turning over gently, until lightly browned on all sides.
Also see Chat Selection.
You can deep fry the slices from step 18, instead of tarka or tempering. When crisp, drain on a kitchen paper and serve hot and crisp.
Steamed slices can also be served in a curry sauce.
Alternative filling for Patoras:
Soak skinless Urad dal (split black gram dal) for 3-4 hours. Drain and grind it to a paste. You can coarsely grind the dry dal and then soak it in enough water to just cover it, for 3-4 hours. Add a little more water to make a paste. Add salt to taste (and chilli if desired). Make patoras as described above, steam and slice them and deep fry; see last picture.
You can use very large spinach leaves (they are rather fragile to handle) or cabbage leaves to make similar rolls.