mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

Patode/Alu Wadi (Taro Leaf Spirals)

In on the side, Tea Party, Vegetables on May 10, 2007 at 5:32 pm

taro leaves
Taro leaves (also called not to be confused with Elephant’s Ears) from the garden

This blog has become a ready reckoner for the family and myself where I record family recipes and favourites. You will not find any disaster stories here (who can tell the future though?😀 ).

We are quite a mixed bunch in the family, and now spread all over the world. There are mostly Hindus, one Muslim, a few Christians, and a couple of atheists thrown in for good measure🙂 , with skin tones varying from white to black through all the gold tones, in my extended family which now counts Kashmir, Maharashtra, USA, Gujarat, UK, Punjab, Karnataka, Uttaranchal, Bihar, West Bengal, and Kerala as represented. I am talking first cousins and Aunts and Uncles only. Since marrying into a Maharahstrian household there is much that has been added to my repertoire which is unfamiliar to some of the rest of the family (you’d think!). Over the years they too have developed a taste for this cuisine and enjoy cooking some of their favourites in their own kitchens. Maharashtrian banana koshimbir (a left-side item) getting mistaken occasionally for dessert by the Kashmiri relatives notwithstanding😀 . And, I might add, some Maharashtrians have lunged for the mujj chatin expecting kheer!😆 And this is not the half of it.

Every family has their own versions of traditional fare. This blog is a record of what is traditional to my home, and the variations I try. I have already featured the bharleli mirchi which is an all time favourite and was much requested by my younger sister.

patode

Today I write about another traditional Marathi preparation served ‘on the left side’. There are plenty of alu wadi recipes on the blogosphere, but I know some in the family would like to have this recipe which is based on my MIL’s. Besides, I have been wanting to participate in Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables, and here is my chance – P is for…Patode/Patra Bhajia/Pathrado/Alu Wadi. Even if Pel just blogged about them the other day. He chose to not use my recipe.😉

Kashmiris know nothing about the taro or its leaves. I got my first taste of taro leaves after marriage. Preparing alu wadi (wadis made with taro leaves) is somewhat labour-intensive, but not hard. The leaves are layered with a spicy chickpea flour paste, rolled, and steamed. They are then sliced and either stir-fried or deep fried. I have heard of taro leaves being prepared similarly in the Northern Plains region but have never had an opportunity to taste that version. It is obviously not on restaurant menus here.

patode
Patode /Alu Wadi
(Taro-leaf Spirals!)

10-12 Alu (arbi/taro/colocasia) leaves

For the spice paste:
1 ¼ C besan (chickpea flour)
1 t red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
½ t turmeric powder
¼ t mild heeng
tamarind juice (soak a 1″ ball of tamarind in half cup of hot water for half hour; rub and extract the juice)
1 T sesame seeds
1″ chunk of jaggery, grated or mushed (or sugar)
1 t oil
salt

Mix all the above ingredients using a little water to prepare a spreadable paste – neither too thick, nor too thin.

Wash and trim the stems off of the leaves. Remove a thin layer off the central rib of the leaves to make them more pliable for rolling. I forgot this step this time. Next time, I’ll remember to refer the blog.🙂

For the layering I prefer to use an upturned thali which makes clean-up easier. Place an upturned leaf (rib-side up) on your work surface and apply a thin layer of the spice paste. Put another leaf on top of this and more paste. Use 3-4 leaves to get a good sized roll in the end. Fold over the sides, paste them down, and roll, as tightly as possible, to form a log. Place the logs in a steamer, seam side down. Prepare all the leaves in this manner and steam, in a single later, for 30-40 min. I steamed mine for 30 minutes in a pressure cooker without weighing down the vent. Thorough cooking neutralizes the oxalic acid present in the leaves which can irritate the upper digestive tract.

Slice into 1/3 inch thick rounds after the logs have cooled. Deep fry in hot peanut oil till medium brown in colour. Drain on paper towels. (Don’t the specks of sesame look pretty?) Serve with coconut chutney or good-old ketchup. Makes a great accompaniment to the simplest of Maharashtrian meals, the varan-bhat.

patode

As a healthier alternative, you may stir fry the steamed wadis in a tempering of mustard seeds, heeng, and turmeric, and garnish with grated fresh coconut and coriander leaves. But the fried wadis are, oh, so good! Highly recommended.
Note: Be careful when handling fresh cut taro leaves. The clear sap stains clothes a dark grey (becomes visible after a wash) permanently!

Maharashtrian Food, taro leaves, patrado, Alu Wadi, Patode

  1. I want one now! Mine didn’t have any tasty sesame seeds in ’em…😦

    I told ya!

  2. Pathrade is a Mangalorean favorite too,eaten with mutton curry. Remember eating it during the harvest festival in september. No idea how it is made or what goes into it.

    With mutton curry! Now that is interesting! Was it similar – steamed + fried?

  3. […] the sweet-sour state of Gujerat, and collected nine different recipes of similar sort to contrast, compare, calculate and finally arrive at a recipe indicative of the Gujerati opus but without any […]

  4. hit submit too soon.
    Now I have this version to try!

    You have a recipe now!

  5. looks just like my mom’s. i should try this with collards, since we don’t get anything like arvi leaves here. j wants to make it with seaweed. where is the rolling eyes icon?

    🙂 You know you could grow them – in pots even! And the leaves look so pretty. One time I had a long planting bed right at the entrance filled with these – they grew so tall and lush in the sun! And the pretty yellow blooms really surprised everyone!

    Have no experience with seaweed though!

  6. I don’t think Keralites know anything of thing dish either. We have an abundance of these plants in our home, but we only use the roots. The leaves are thrown out or left for the kids to play with. I would never have thought that the leaves are edible.
    If I go home and tell them these leaves are edible, I can only imagine the reaction. I am sure they will not take me seriously.

    Make it for them when you are home. And a couple of days ago, when I had just a few leaves, I made the patal bhaji that we were discussing some time back🙂 …another fav. It was my first time making it, and it turned out just perfect!

  7. those alu wadis are very tempting🙂 a quick Q, do we need to roast the besan? though i always stock the frozen kind, want to give it a try, loved ur recipe🙂
    btw, sesame seeds taste swell in the tadka as well.
    thanks

    Nope, Richa, no need to roast the besan. All that steaming takes care of that.

  8. Anita, this looks labor intensive with major clean-up. Any meditative experiences along the way?😆 That might make it even more attractive for me.

    Bee, tell Jai that he will need to eat agarbattis with the patra made from seaweed.

    Actually, it doesn’t really take all that long, as far as the prep work is concerned. And using a thali means you just have to wash that and whatever you mixed the paste in! You could always do the layering in slow-mo though for meditative therapy.😆 I know people who find dish washing therapeutic, so…I think this is just the thing for you to do after 10 pm (applying the paste and thinking of a massage, then lovingly rolling up the logs/ giant cigars, and stop!). Leave the steaming for the morning?😉

  9. manisha,
    tu sang tyala. me sangitle tar aiknar nahi.

    [the author of this comment is requesting Manisha, another commentator, to tell her husband (the author’s) to listen to reason]

  10. Haaaaaaaa! i posted my comment after Manisha’s! and its gone!! 😦

    Ah! just wanted to say that they look so good! i love patras…..whatever name you call it🙂. and like Bee, my option too is to go for Collards! Loved the step-by-step pictures and the arvi leaf pictures. its such a treat, Anita🙂.

    Collards seem to be the substitute of choice. They used to stand in for haak for me.

  11. Steamed, not deep fried, in a huge brass steamer called thondar. And I think my family’s version had rice and not besan. Eating it with mutton curry was for ispecial occasion only. Harvest festival food was pure veg. and no meat was cooked that day. Your post brought some memories!

    Very interesting indeed, Shilpa. (Incidently, one of my Aunts is from Mangalore!)

  12. Ah! and you made patal bhaji too🙂 should i be hopeful to see the recipe soon😀

    Yes, Musical I did. But no pics, so will have to wait till the next set of leaves are ready! Maybe you can share your recipe till then – I’m sure you have one.

  13. Anita, what?! No steaming after all that applying, massaging, lovingly rolling? Nights are meant to be steamy. 8)

    Well, go right ahead then. Steam. And then the hot oil bath as well, that’s a must!😀

  14. I found this dish to have a few, uh, overtones… as well. There is no way I could leave the steaming for later!😉 You gotta do it right away and then let ’em cool off and have that after-glow smoke… and that’s just the warm-up for what comes the next day when you heat up the oil bath!😀

    I’m in total agreement.😆

  15. Oh, exquisite! Thanks so much for participating🙂

    Yup, at long last!

  16. dang, anita, i didn’t want j to understand what i was saying. the only two marathi words he knows are “mala watla…” it’s the only language i can bitch about him in, that he won’t understand.😀

    You’ll note I didn’t translate exactly.
    😉

  17. first time I got to understand how a taro leaf looks like. have seen this recipe in many blogs but did not get to know what the leaf looked like. thanks for that.

    They looked so pretty on the brick floor – I had to include a pic!

  18. wow your photos and writeup is wonderfull.i too just posted the same but a different version! i am to check your blog regularly!

    Hi Roopa. And a spicier version it is – with rice flour too! Will like to try that as well.

  19. MY!!!!! Those leaves look the freshiest I have ever seen!!! Its exactly the way we make.🙂

    In gujju we also make a gravy side dish with this and call it turia patra……. (ridge gourd + patra in a spicy gravy!!!)

    You got that right, Coffee. These were cut just seconds before! Now, turai patra would be a handy recipe to have – a third dish I could make with the pretty taro leaves.

  20. Anita …patal bhaji recipe…pl.pl.pl.

    Yes, of course. But it’ll have to wait till the next bunch of leaves is ready. I can’t post a recipe without a picture now, can I?🙂

  21. you can post without a pic and post the pic four years later like our fav blogger.😀

    http://indianfoodrocks.blogspot.com/2003/04/vangi-bhath-spiced-rice-with-eggplant.html

    There is always that! 😀

  22. Tch! All these young ‘uns. They don’t know the history of the Internet. Or Blogger. If they did, they would know that initially there was no way to post pictures on Blogger.

    You, old-er? 😆

  23. Really Manisha? Wow! [sits down in front of her rocking chair] tell us some stories from the old days… please!

    Yes, why don’t you?

  24. Wait…I’m looking for my teeth. In the meanwhile, why don’t you go pour me a nice drink, Anita can whip up some mutsch and Bee can carve salad.

    Since you can’t have alcohol (at your age), maybe a cup of spicy kahwa?

  25. And i agree with Bee🙂 I do have recipe for patal bhaji! but made with collards😉 and no pictures (because that from my pre-blogging days). Will try getting fresh collard and making it again🙂.I use them a replacement for haak too. Kale steps in for soutsal!! i made haak like dish with red chard too.

    NO! You don’t make soutsal! Is there any kind of cuisine that you don’t know the in and out of!! [bows]

  26. Alright Grandmanisha… [walks over to the wet bar and begins to mix a martini- extra dry] Hey, I found your teeth in the ice bucket! Grandma! How’d they get in here?!

  27. lol. where is grand marnier….i mean grandmanisha?

  28. “Bee can carve salad”

    carve salad?

    poor thing. she’s going downhill fast.

    She’s human after all!!😆

  29. Was that what it was? An ice bucket? Hmmm. Now I wonder what I did with the…never mind.

    Bee, dear, I was away – belly-dancing in my kitchen. And what is all this downhill business? You must get your mind off those ski slopes. I took my butt off as soon as I could.

    Anita, in foodland, most people carve chickens or turkeys but this young Bee, she carves salad.

    There!

  30. I missed that post Bee! What a fun forest you’ve carved indeed! You’re gonna hate me on one of my upcoming posts I’m afraid…

  31. No! i don’t make Soutsal here😉. I don’t get Soutsal here, hence the need to use other greens😀

    “Is there any kind of cuisine that you don’t know the in and out of!!”

    Lots!! I guess i should bow too, because i see more Maharashtrian, UP and even Punju recipes here than Kashmiri recipes🙂 You, the cuisine explorer😀 This, as i wait for the promised Tsurtschot😉

    And that is what I too was thinking of! That is what’s for breka today! And should get blogged soon…the Kahva as well!

  32. Anita:

    Strange that you wrote about this dish since a couple of weeks ago I was speaking to a person of Indian descent from the Caribbean. She mentioned that her family and many people in the West Indies make this dish. But guess what? She thinks her family comes from either Punjab or Uttar Pradesh a 100 years ago. I am wondering how these folks came in contact with this dish a 100 years ago.

    Don’t gujjus also make a similar dish? I first learnt to make this dish from a rajasthani lady from Madhya Pradesh in San Jose, California!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Kamla

  33. I just bought some raw almonds today. Aren’t collard greens the same as haak? Grand-Marnier-sha… hmmm LOL

    Nope – haak is a Kashmiri green, as is soutsal (this is not the exact spelling, naturally!). The closest to haak is a type of green available in Chinese greens stores..but I don’t know what it is called🙂 It is the shoot tip of the plant with the top 4-5 leaves – does that help?

  34. Great minds think (and may be eat) alike😉

    They were sooo good! Pictures canned!

  35. Google says there is nothing like soutsal. It says you are saying southall incorrectly.

    Musical knows more! Besides Kashmiri is hard to write using the English alphabet, and there is hardly anyone trying! Everyone ends up spelling it different!

  36. in southall, the most important dish has nothing to do with greens. it is KFC – kapurthala fried chicken.

    Chicken Tikka Masala is their National Dish!

  37. No, it does not help. I thought haak was the name of the dish and not the name of the green. Botanical/scientific name will help. Pictures, too.

    And if you are done tchrring and tshotting, please post that as well!

    Hey, look, Pel has an avatar!

    Yes, I’m quite done tchrring for today.😆 Tsotting…am not so sure, tsot being Kashmiri for roti! There is no getting away from that at mealtimes in this HH.

  38. i might just try making it…i hv had it wen i was in pune… it was made during ganesha puja at ma frd’s place and was yummy! thx for thr ecipe😀
    P.S. r the leaves available in saddi dilli?

  39. Hmmmm….it would really help if you could send a photo or two, perhaps, of the fresh greens? I find the subject of haak most fascinating, if not a bit perplexing, and that would certainly be of great assistance to me!

  40. I come back from my siesta and find you guys are still up and about!

    You’ll have to wait till winter then – it is a winter green for Delhi. In Kashmir, it is available all through summer though😦 I’ll search to see if I can find the botanic name and maybe a picture somewhere. Meanwhile, I’ll post on monjji haak!

    Yes, I noticed (Pel’s avatar), and you have a new one. Now I want to get one! In my pre-blog days I wouldn’t have known it was possible for earthlings!

    Later: Okay I found what that Chinese green closely related to the Haak is: Kai-lan. Haak also belongs to the brassica family – its seed looks like a big mustard seed.🙂 That helps? At least you know which veggie to substitute. Recipe to follow…time for a few Kashmiri ones I think.

  41. Here is Kamla’s comment that WordPress is not letting me de-spam! Sorry, Kamla.

    Anita:

    Strange that you wrote about this dish since a couple of weeks ago I was speaking to a person of Indian descent from the Caribbean. She mentioned that her family and many people in the West Indies make this dish. But guess what? She thinks her family comes from either Punjab or Uttar Pradesh a 100 years ago. I am wondering how these folks came in contact with this dish a 100 years ago.

    Don’t gujjus also make a similar dish? I first learnt to make this dish from a rajasthani lady from Madhya Pradesh in San Jose, California!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Kamla

    Actually, the name Patode is from the Northern parts. Gujjus call it Pathrado. My friend from Delhi mentioned it a long time ago, but I never got to try the North Indian version. It will, in all likelyhood, not have the gur, and maybe, not even the tamarind.

  42. Such a wonderful recipe. I prepared it in my B’de party and got the good comments.
    Clips are also attractive.
    Keep on giving such tempting recipes.

    Glad to know these were a success at your party, Menka!

  43. Sorry,I just happenned upon this site and read your comment about Taro. There is, literaly, a Big difference between the Taro leaf and the leaf of the ‘Ape plant(pronounced ahpay)or (elephant ears). The ‘Ape’s leaf can easily be four or more times larger than the leaf of the Taro. Although they are both from the same family,’Ape was ONLY eaten at times when there was nothing else to eat, or times of famine. Even at present time I have never heard of anyone who has eaten this plant. At least not on purpose. The ‘Ape is a dryland plant and during its growth CAN easily be mistakened for the dryland variety of Taro unless you know what to look for. Majority of Taro is the wetland variety which needs an abundance of water and is usually grown upland. Dryland Taro can be grown in your back yard. So do not confuse the Taro leaf to the ‘Ape leaf. Mahalo
    AKI Hawaii

    Thanks for the info, Aki – will amend the post accordingly – am not very strong on the English names! Thanks, again!

  44. […] recipes that use produce from my tiny patch: Alu Wadi (Taro-leaf Spirals) Mint and Walnut Chutney Gulkand (Rose-petal Preserve) Published […]

  45. I didnt know you indians ate Taro.
    We Samoans have been eating them for thousands of years also. Check out our recipes for luaau online, where we mix coconut cream with chopped onions,sometimes with curry, wrap it carefully with taro leaves then wrap it in aluminium foil & then pressure cook or steam cook it for 3 & a half hours. Tastes beautiful!! Tastes best when you eat it with the taro root which we peel chop up into pieces & boil or roast.

    We do! I will search out the recipe for a variation!

  46. I have been picking these up from my local organic foods store, prepackaged and made by Shakti from Berkeley, CA. They are SO delicious! I find myself going out of my way to buy them in order to feed my craving🙂 Maybe i’ll try making them one day

    They are a little bit of work, but, as you said, very delicious!

  47. you grow these leaves at home? When I visit, I’ll borrow 5 or so and make patrodo at home🙂

    your recipe looks amazing.

  48. And yeah, I think I can so identify with your family. I have mixed parentage and on both sides of my family I have relatives from all over the country…and the world too. And I married into a part of the country that wasn’t otherwise represented🙂

  49. […] made Anita’s version @ A Mad Tea Party. They turned out great. (There’s a reason why we call it ‘the […]

  50. Hey… lovely description… felt like i m at home and watching my mom do it🙂
    thanks🙂

    😀 You’re welcome.

  51. […] Taro/Colocasia leaves are stacked up, rolled into spirals with a spiced chickpea paste, steamed and then fried to make patra/pathrode/ALU WADI. […]

  52. I found this in my local (Somerville, MA, USA) Indian grocery as “Laxmi Brand Patra – Curried Taro Leaves” packaged in a can from Mumbai. The instructions on the can say to slice and fry in oil. I instinctively threw in some black mustard seeds and green chilis first. And I also garnished with sesame seeds.

    This is my very first experience with this dish. I have to say I’m wild about it. That’s why I started looking on line and found your site! Fantastic! I think I’ll be staying with the canned version for now because I’ve never seen the fresh leaves in the stores around here, although it’s very easy to get the other ingredients.

    Some friends have tried with collard greens!

  53. And yeah, I think I can so identify with your family. I have mixed parentage and on both sides of my family I have relatives from all over the country…and the world too. And I married into a part of the country that wasn’t otherwise represented

  54. […] I’m really hungry This is what I use taro leaves for Patode/Alu Wadi (Taro Leaf Spirals) ? A Mad Tea Party patra ni […]

  55. The tamarind juice is the necessary ingredient and should be used in a generous quantity. otherwise patode will prick the throat and very nastily. This information was given to me by a maharashtrian friend, when i attempted to make patode, the first time.

  56. Excellent recipe and photography!

    I know this dish as ‘Patra’ and have only ever seen it in two Bhel Poori houses in north London – Jai Krishna & Chutneys.

    Anyone know where I can buy taro leaves in London or Berlin?

  57. if adding a spoon of rice flour in the mixture will also give a great taste try it.

  58. […] root leaves. Think about deli swirls  but done with greens like spinach minus the meat. Mad Tea Party and Vee of Past,Present and Me both have excellent instructions to make these at home, that is if […]

  59. […] leaf spirals), for those of you with a hankering to deep fry (click here for all three recipes and here for brief background on patode/alu wadi and the original […]

  60. […] in Vadodara.  Without getting too deep into the heart of the city we were able to procure dhokla, patra, and khandvi, all packed in paper packages and tied with […]

  61. Great recipe! I made it for the first time…. Awesome recipe, clear and concise… Thanks!!

    Thanks for trying it our, Aruna! I do make an effort to write in detail – it makes a difference especially when we are trying something for the first time and may not have seen someone cook it.

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