Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pathrado / Konkani Patra / Colocasia or Taro Leaf rolls

Patrado is a Konkani delicacy made with Taro leaves or Patharade paan. It is found in abundance during the rainy season and is grown in backyard kitchen gardens in south India. People in Hawaii also consume  lot of taro leaves and the leaves grow there in abundance all year round due to the unique climate.In Bay area you can find taro leaves occasionally at Indian stores. Taro leaves are available year round at the San Francisco farmer's market and at King's Seafood in Sunnyvale. 

There are various different recipes for making pathrado. I use 100% moong dal for the stuffing. Other variations are 1) 100 % whole moong 2) 75% whole moong or moong dal and 25 % rice 3) 50 % toor dal and 50 % rice 4) 50 % chana dal and 50% rice 5) 25 % chana dal 25 % moong dal and 50 % rice. My mom would prepare it with chana dal and rice in the past but of late she prepares it with moong dal and rice as moong is much lighter on the tummy than chana dal. 

Taro leaves can cause itching in the hands while handling them due to the calcium oxalate. This can be avoided by rubbing hands with tamarind juice before handling taro leaves. I didn't get any itching while handling the ones from King's Seafood though I cannot say the same about the ones we get in India. Pathrado is also garnished with coconut oil to prevent itching in the throat. The secret to tasty pathrado also lies in using tender or young taro leaves as opposed to larger taro leaves.

Pathrado makes a great combination with rice and bland dal or dalitoy. When I was a kid I would relish it with "duddh-sheet" (milk mixed with rice in Konkani). These are the photos from when my mom made pathrado during my last India trip. 


 
Ingredients
10-15 patra leaves
2 cups moong dal or use the pulse and rice combination mentioned above
1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or half lemon sized piece of tamarind
1 tablespoon jaggery or gur
1 cup grated coconut
pinch of asafoetida
10-15 byadgi red chilies or as per taste
salt for taste
coconut oil for garnishing

Method
Wash and soak moong dal or the desired pulse-rice combination for 4-5 hours. Roast the red chilies on slow flame till crisp. Take care not to burn the chilies. Wash and clean the taro leaves. Gently remove the veins found on back of these leaves with a sharp knife. 


Drain the soaked moong dal  or the pulse-rice combination you are using, and grind it into a smooth paste with jaggery, tamarind, coconut, asafoetida and red chilies.  use as little water as possible to make a paste of thicker consistency. Add salt as per taste.


To make the pathrado take the pathrado leaf and keep it back side up on a plate or "taat" in Konkani. Spread the paste on the leaf.



 If the leaf is small you can keep two leaves side by side.




Keep adding leaves and spreading the mixture until you have around 6-8 leaves depending on the size. The idea is to use as many leaves as possible, but also keep room to fold the leaves into a roll.

When the second set of leaves are added on the lower set place them upside down (see the above photo and the one below). It helps to roll the leaves with ease.







 When the mixture has been spread on the leaves it is time to roll the pathrado. First roll the sides towards the center.

 

Then roll it from bottom to top.





 Place the roll in a steamer (Pedavan in Konkani) or the pathrado can be steamed in a pressure cooker without using the weigh.




Steam it for around 25-30 minutes till it is well cooked. Undercooked pathrado can cause itching in the throat. Cut the roll into 1/2 inch slices and garnish well with coconut oil. 




Remaining pathrado can be shallow fried the next day with rice powder mixed with chili powder. This makes great pathrado phodi.