Thursday, February 18, 2010

Patrode (Steamed Taro Leaves in Spicy Coconut Batter)

Patrode or Pathravadey is the most pampered Konkani dish I have come across. Making Patrode is a big ritual for those who are not used to it, primarily because its a labor intensive process, takes lot of time, patience and has finer steps to be followed till the completion. Surprisingly, many of my the ladies in my family are experts in making the tastiest Patrode. This is one dish which I can proudly say resembles my Mom's whenever I've made it. I follow her measurements accurately and its never failed me. Unlike some houses, we do not add Mong Daal to the batter but only use - Coconut, Rice, Red Chillies and Tamarind. This recipe has been followed by four generations in my family and has never failed us.

It is a must-have dish especially during Ganesh Chaturthi festival food preparation. I enjoy them with Paej/ Brown Rice soup and feel that best way to enjoy them would be when the rolls are piping hot. There are many versions of Patrode made at my home - Steamed Patrade, Phanna Upkari Patrado, Patradey Ghashi, Patrode Rava Fry.

Patrode has been a common dish at my home. My mother and me are big fans of these creamy spicy treats. Mom used to make these specially on Sunday lunches where elaborate conversations set the tone of the day. Patrode is made from Taro leaves which are a common sight to see in local markets particularly during rainy seasons where they grow in abundance on streets, marshy tree side, areas with vast foliage and fauna and damp areas.

There are two kinds of Taro leaves - One with green stem and the other with purple stem. Its a common belief that the one with purple stem causes less itchiness in throat while eating Patrode. Many refrain from eating owing to potential itchiness in trachea and throat region due to which you do not want to go through the ordeal. To tackle this, Tamarind is added to the batter. The main reason for itchiness in leaves is due to the presence of Calcium Oxalate crystals which is believed to reduce its impact after considerable amount of cooking.

Patrodo has 2 major parts - Getting the leaves deveined and getting the batter to be smeared ready which is also called as Peet in Konkani. The leaves mesh well with the paste to create a unique flavour which is one of its kinds. Various leaves used for making Patrode are - Marvala Paan, Tere Paan and Patrode Paan. While rest of them are available in plenty during the rainy season, Marvala Paan grows on trees and is very thick, rubbery in texture. My Ammama used to procure them from local farmers who used to rear their cattle into forests and pick them up from trees. Since they grow high on trees, one needs to be skilled enough to climb the tree and pick the right leaves.

Devour with some coconut oil slathered on top of each Patrode, you are set for a cool afternoon siesta. If some remain for the next day, dredge them in some Rava and pan-fry with little oil and they turn into crispy rolls. The Patrode taste even better the next day. :)

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes maximum

Taro Leaves/ Patrodey Paan/ Tere Paan/ Marvala Paan - 8-15
Red Chillies (Byadgi preferred) - 5-8
Rice (Sona Masoori) - 1/4 cup
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Asafoetida - 1 tiny ball - use the edible gum and not the powdery one
Tamarind/ Bilimbi (any souring agent) - 1/2 tsp
Salt - As per taste
Water - For batter consistency

Coconut oil - For garnishing Patrodo

Contraptions used ~ Idli Steamer/ Pedaavan or Patrodo/ Sanna Steamer

1. Wash the Taro leaves thoroughly and flip them over on the non-shiny side and remove the veins with a knife. Soaking in water is believed to reduce the effect of Calcium Oxalate crystals which causes the itchiness. Pre-soak rice for 2-3 hours in water. Roast Red Chillies and once they are cooled down, grind to a stiff paste with grated coconut, salt, tamarind, asafoetida and rice. The paste must be stiff and tight, so add very less water while grinding the paste. The stickier the paste the better.
2. Add enough water in a steamer and transfer on stove to boil water with the lid on. Arrange the leaves in order of their size, this helps while choosing the leaves for applying the paste. On a work surface, take one taro leaf with the non-shiny side facing up and the stem side facing you. Smear the paste evenly on the entire leaf, place another leaf covering 3/4 of the previous leaf and smear the paste. Similarly add leaves and smear the paste till all leaves are done. Fold the sides and roll them over to a cylindrical shape, apply paste on all sides and fold the edges in. Once done, you could tie a string to hold them together, make slices of 1/2 a inch and place them in the steamer side by side and stack one upon another when one complete circle is done. Alternately, one could also pick the whole roll (known as Lollo in Konkani) and steam cook it. The steamer water should be boiling hot by now. Cover the steamer with a lid and let it steam on medium-to-high flame for 30-45 minutes.
3. Once done and completely cooked, scoop each of the piece and serve hot with coconut oil. Should they remain for next day, dredge them in rava and pan-fry with little oil and you have Patrodo Rava Fry.


  1. hey we call this aloo this totally. nice and crispy..great step by step presentation..

  2. @ Deepa - Thanks. Aloo Vadee = bliss! I can munch on this anytime. :)


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