15 July 2014

South Indian Patra

Stuffed, rolled and fried colocasia leaves are a delicacy popular in most parts of India, especially the Western belt, ranging from Gujarat, Maharastra, as also in Tamil Nadu. Different cuisines make use of different stuffings for the leaves, but the end result is always the same - uniquely delicious!!!
The plants are pretty easy to grow at home and quite maintenance free. Every time we get arbi, we plant a couple in a vacant flower pot. That gives us an almost continuous supply of good quality leaves round the year !!!
The South Indian variation makes use of toor dal (Yellow pigeon peas) ground along with spices and applied to the leaves. Let's take a look.....

Ingredients :

Arbi (Colocasia) leaves - 8 medium (or 4 large)
Toor Dal (Split yellow pigeon peas) - 1 1/2 cups
Urad Dal (split black gram) - 1 tsp
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Dry Red Chilies - 2 to 3
Method : 
1. Wash and soak the toor dal and urad dal for an hour. Drain the water.

2. Gently wash the arbi leaves and place face down on a counter. Carefully slice off the thick spine without tearing the leaf, so as to make the it less stiff and easily fold-able.

3. Add the dals, hing, red chilies and salt to a blender. Grind to a fine paste using very little water.

4. Now spread an arbi leaf face down and apply a generous ladle-ful of the paste over it. Cover with another leaf and repeat the process. If the leaves are quite large, 2 should suffice, else 4 medium. Once the leaves are stacked and well-smeared with the stuffing, roll them into a tight cylindrical shape.

5. Prepare a steamer bowl and place the rolled leaves on a steamer plate. Let cook for about 30 minutes.
Remove and let cool.

6. Cut the rolled leaves into 1/2 inch thick slices and shallow fry till crisp, just before serving.
In most South Indian house-holds, this is served typically with spicy Pepper rasam and South Indian kadhi


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