Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pathrade/ Patra ( Stuffed and layered Colocasia Leaves); Diabetes Friendly Thursday.

Creating Recipes with a Cause!

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Rakshabandhan is a Hindu festival celebrated in India, celebrating the love between siblings. Sisters tie a special thread ( wristband) to their brother's wrist and pray for the brother's health and happiness. The brothers in-turn give the sister a gift and also promise to always look-out for them. This festival is celebrated with much pomp back home. To celebrate this occasion, Team DFT has decided to share healthy recipes that is their sibling's favorite. My contribution is a traditional konkani dish, Pathrade which happens to be my brother's favorite! Team DFT is also celebrating Onam which is a harvest festival celebrated in the southern state of Kerala in India.

As a rule, my brother does not care for vegetables or vegetarian dishes. But, when it comes to Pathrade, he makes an exception. He enjoys it. These are made using Colocasia leaves. Colocasia leaves are also known as Taro leaves or Elephant ears. A spicy batter made with mung-beans, rice and coconut is smeared over the back of the leaf to cover it completely and then many such leaves are layered on top of each other which is then rolled and steamed. The steamed roll is then sliced drizzled lightly with coconut oil and served. This is a true traditional konkani ( Amchi) recipe that is delicious and healthy.It is a speciality of the konkani people living in the coastal areas of Karnataka.The people living in the rest of the konkan region of India make something similar called Aluwadi which is however fried.

Servings: 4-6 ( Serving size: 2 slices per person).


Colocasia leaves: 14-16 leaves
Mung beans : 1 cup
Raw rice: 1/2 cup
Freshly grated coconut: 1 cup
Red chillies: 4-6
Tamarind: 1 marble sized piece
Asofoetida ( hing): a pinch
Salt : to taste
Water: 6 cups+ 1/2 cup+1/2 cup+ 4 cups

Pan frying the slices ( optional):
Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig


Rinse the mung beans and rice thoroughly and soak them together in 6 cups water for 4-5 hours.

Grind together freshly grated coconut, red chillies, tamarind and hing with 1/2 cup water to a fine paste. Take it in a bowl and keep aside.

Grind the soaked mung beans and rice to a fine paste adding water as needed. Add this to the above bowl. Add salt and mix well. Now the batter for the Pathrade is ready.

Wash the Colocasia leaves thoroughly and wipe them dry with a rag or paper towels.

Note: these leaves in the picture are collard greens and not colocasia leaves.

Using a knife, gently but thoroughly remove the thick veins present at the back of the leaf.

This is important so that the leaves can be layered flat and so that they don't itch upon eating.

Do this to all the leaves.


Arrange one big leaf first bright side down( upside down) on a clean surface. Apply a layer of the batter on the back of the leaf.

Now arrange another big leaf or a few small leaves on top of this layer and repeat the process. Do this until you have 4-5 layers.

Fold the sides of the leaves inwards. Apply another layer of batter on the folded portion.

Now starting from the bottom of the leaf roll it tightly upwards to the top.

Keep aside.

In an idli steamer or pressure pan, boil water with the steamer tray.

Once the water begins to boil, place the rolled Pathrade seam side down on the steamer tray . Cover and cook on medium flame for 30 minutes or until tender.

Once cooked, take a roll out and slide it into 1.5-2 cms thick slices.

Serve hot with 1/4 tsp coconut oil on top.

Alternatively, the slices can be lightly pan fried and served.

Pan-frying the slices ( optional):

Heat 1 tsp coconut oil on a skillet/griddle.

Add 1 tsp mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves.

Now place the Pathrade slices in a single layer and let it cook until it is slightly golden brown, around 4-5 minutes on low flame.

Flip them and cook them from the other side.

Serve hot.

Cooking made easy:

One of the perils of eating Colocasia leaves is that they might make the inside of the mouth itch. This can be successfully prevented by ensuring that the veins of the leaves are removed thoroughly, using adequate amount of tamarind while grinding and cooking the Pathrade thoroughly.

Outside of India, at times Colocasia leaves might be hard to find. Under these circumstances, these leaves can be substituted with collard leaves, Swiss chard or spinach.

collard greens

I have found that collards make the best substitute due to the similar texture of the leaves and the cooking time.

The bonus is that collard leaves do not itch!!!

Footnotes( tip for healthy living):

We are all aware of the benefits of eating greens regularly. The most important one being the soluble and insoluble dietary fiber that maintains the health of the gut by preventing constipation. It also adds bulk to the meal thereby making us feel full early and preventing over-eating. Dietary fiber also gives the food a lower GI index thereby preventing blood sugar spikes.  Greens are a great source of various essential vitamins like vitamin A & C , protein and minerals like calcium. They are rich in immunity supporting phytonutrients.

Disclaimer:I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet.

Other Rakhi/Onam Special Dishes from Team DFT!

Sonal's Ragi Vermicilli

Shailja's Rajma kidney Beans Arancini

Prachi's Stir-fried vegetable Kadhi

Sarika's Dal Macaroni

Chahat's Green peas Ghugni

Apsara's Lime pickle

Swati's grilled paneer and mushroom

Vidhya's Jackfruit seed Toran

Paro's Pumpkin Erissery.

Food for thought:

Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over. F.Scott Fitzgerald

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