Patra or Patoday are batter coated rolled Arbi/Colocasia leaves, first steamed and then fried. Typically eaten as snacks, here is Atma Prakash Mishra’s (AP) curry version…
AP says “In my home, my mother used to prepare Patoday in a slightly different manner; it enhances the crunchiness when deep fried. We combined the Patod/ Patoday/Patra/ Rikaunch with a spicy curry and it came out extremely well”
Ingredients for Patoday:
4-5 Medium size , tender Arbi/Colocasia) leaves , The best ones are light green colour , not bigger than approx. 12 inches diameter.
250 Gram Chana Dal/Split Bengal Gram, soaked overnight
5-6 Green Chilies
10-15 Cloves of Garlic
1 Inch Ginger
½ tsp Haldi/ Turmeric powder
½ tsp Heeng/Asafoetida powder
Salt , to taste
3-4 tsp Aamchur/Dried Mango powder
Ingredients for the curry:
Paste of 1 big Onion
Paste of 2 medium sized Tomatoes
5-6 Green chili paste
10-15 Curry leaves
1 stick Cinnamon
½ Black pepper powder
1 tsp Haldi Powder
1 Tsp Degi Mirch powder
Salt to taste
Mix chopped green chilies, garlic and ginger with presoaked chana dal and grind to make a thick coarse paste. Be careful, not to make a watery paste, and not to grind too fine – the coarseness of chana dal adds texture.
Add haldi powder, salt, aamchur and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep aside.
Wash and pat dry the Arbi leaves. Spread one leaf with the inner side facing up, on a kitchen platform (don’t forget to clean the platform first ) Spread the chana dal paste on the leaf evenly – neither too thick , nor too thin. Layer another Arbi leaf , repeat the process, make 3-4 such layers. Hold the bottom leave from one side and roll it. Tie the roll with a thread on 3-4 places.
Steam the roll in an Idlii Steamer for 15-20 min. Check in between by inserting a toothpick or spoon handle (as you do for Idli). My mother said that, if the steaming in not proper, it will cause itching in the throat, so no harm in steaming it for few extra minutes. Once the spoon handle comes out clean from the roll, take out the roll, let it cool and become hard. Then, cut it into approx. ½ inch thin slices. Keep aside and let it further cool.
This is important as the chana dal paste sets while cooling and binds the leaves together.
Take a flat pan (pls. don’t use a kadhai/wok). Heat mustard oil and then add jeera. Once it splutters, add cinnamon and black pepper powder. After a few seconds, add onion, chili paste and fry for 5 minutes on low flame.Add haldi, salt and let it fry for another 10 mins. Add tomato paste, curry leaves, mix well and cover the pan.
When the masala releases oil, add 2 cups of water and make a gravy. The consistency of gravy should be slight watery, as the Patoday will absorb the same once they are dunked in.
Let it boil for 5-6 mins. Lower the flame and gently slide in the Patoday pieces one by one.
Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. Transfer the curry carefully in a serving bowl so that you do not brake the Patoday ( which will be a little soft by now).
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with roti or rice.
Recipe by Shubhra and AP Mishra