Gujarati Patra / patrode / alu vadi

A traditional steamed healthy snack made of colocasia leaves rolled with a tangy, sweet and spicy chickpea flour paste and finished with tempering of sesame seeds and curry leaves.

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Roaming through the wet markets in Singapore, I was suddenly taken back to my childhood when I spotted a peculiar shaped bunch of greens popping at me amongst many other greens. It was a familiar shape but why were the leaves so small? ‘Aunty’ mistook my curiosity and started to tell me how delicious it tastes when stir fried with garlic and chilly. I plunged in and bought a bunch of heart shaped vivid green leaves. Sorting through the leaves and a bit of google search told me that they were not the colocasia leaves I have eaten but sweet potato leaves that the Chinese use to make a delicious stir fry. But for me, it was meant to be eaten as patra. I must say, it tasted no different than what I have grown up eating. And I am fairly certain, it would taste equally good with spinach as well.

And for me, it has invoked so many memories…taste of that crispy patra, smell of the roasted sesame seeds and the sight of my mother rolling each roll so methodically. I can visualize my mother sitting down on the kitchen floor, painstakingly smearing the chickpea flour paste on each and every leaf. She would arrange the leaves keeping the largest at the bottom and finishing with four layers, fourth layer being the smallest in size. Her quick efficient moves would soon have her gone through all the leaves in no time. Small bundles would be then arranged in a steamer waiting for us to relish them soon. The smell of sizzling sesame seeds and crispy curry leaves would awaken our senses bringing us in the kitchen for that first bite of patra…yum!

It is definitely not a dish that you can call it quick. It’s a methodical dish and time consuming but the wait is worth it. Sorting the leaves, cleaning and drying the leaves is a process one needs to do with patience as the leaves are fragile and can tear. And then it’s all about learning the skill of smearing the paste and rolling the leaves correctly. I have therefore given pictorial steps in my recipe and I hope you enjoy making them as much as I do.

If you liked this recipe, do check few other Gujarati recipes too:

  1. Valor / Papdi dhokli nu shaak
  2. Satpadi rotli (Indian flatbread with 7 layers)
  3. Bharela marcha (stuffed chili peppers)
  4. Orange glazed muthia 
  5. Kutti dal na dhokla 

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Let me know how this recipe turned out for you by writing to me in the comments below. And if you take a picture, please tag me on my instagram handle @acookwithin to share your creation😊 It would make my day!

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