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Pathrode | Patra | Colocasia Leaves Pinwheels – Cookilicious

Pathrode/Patra/Alu Vadi is a delicious Indian delicacy. This is a Karnataka-style recipe, where the colocasia leaves are smeared with spiced rice and lentil paste, then steamed and fried. It can be made in 30 minutes (excluding the soaking time) and is a vegan and gluten-free snack.

a hand picking up one patra from a plate
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What are pathrode

Pathrode, Pathravade, or Patra is a traditional pinwheel-style snack recipe made in different parts of India using a special leaf called Colocasia. Colocasia leaves are also called arbi ke patte, alu leaves, or taro leaves.

The Colocasia leaf is smeared either with besan paste or ground spiced rice and lentil coating, then steamed, sliced into pinwheels, and fried. It’s a flavorful dish with a good mix of spicy, sweet, sour, and tangy.

While the leaves are the same, the masala or stuffing differs depending upon the region. Even the names vary from cuisine to cuisine. Patrode is a Mangalorean and Konkani delicacy (coastal Karnataka) and the recipe is slightly different because the stuffing is prepared with rice, lentils, and coconut.

These Taro leaf rolls are called Alu Vadi in Maharashtrian cuisine and Patra in Gujarati cuisine. In both of them, the stuffing is mainly prepared with besan. In the Udipi cuisine, they make pathravade without rice. It’s an easy, and handy alternative to the traditional one.

Colocasia spirals served in a platter with green chutney

What are colocasia leaves

Colocasia leaves also known as taro root leaves, gabi, alva panna, gabi leaves, arbi ke patte in Hindi, and Alu in Marathi are large green heart-shaped leaves. These leaves are not to be eaten raw as they can cause itching in the mouth and throat. They need to be cooked first (steamed, fried, sautéed, and boiled).

BTW, recently I got to know that you get Taro leaves in Hawaii and they are called luau leaves. Even in the Philippines, Colocasia leaves are used to make a dish called Laing. In India, they are found in Maharashtra, Udipi, and Mangalore, and they grow generously adjacent to water streams in Coastal Karnataka.

Health benefits

  • Low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium
  • Rich in vitamins A and C
  • A low-calorie green vegetable
  • High in fiber and micronutrients
  • Rich in potassium and folate
  • Helps boost heart health

This is a hand-me-down Karnataka/Konkani/Manglorean-style Patra vada recipe and could vary slightly from the traditional one because every home has its own way of making it. It’s made using rice, and lentils but without besan, milk, or tomatoes.

Why make this

  • A naturally vegan and gluten-free snack
  • Great way to include Colocasia leaves in the diet
  • Can be enjoyed as a healthy low-fat steamed snack
  • It can also be served as a fried snack
  • Simple, and quick to make
  • A relatively easy recipe
  • An innovative traditional Indian dish
  • Great for large groups

Ingredients needed 🧾

all the ingredients needed to make patra placed on a table with labels on them

Colocasia leaves are the key ingredient here. Carefully pick the ones that need to be fresh, tender, young (not fully ripe), and green. Use fresh tender Colocasia leaves with black stalks as far as possible as they tend to have less calcium oxalate in them. Calcium oxalate crystals in these leaves are responsible for the itching or stinging sensation in the throat, and mouth. So be careful when choosing the leaves.

You can find Alu leaves in Asian or Indian grocery stores or check with your Indian neighbor if they have this growing in their garden. That is exactly how I got my hand on these leaves. But yes, ensure that you buy them from a reliable source and cook them thoroughly to avoid their side effects.

Rice – This taro leaves recipe is made using rice. Use any variety of rice because it doesn’t matter. It’s all going to be ground, so pick any variety.

Lentils – moong dal and tur dal are the two kinds of lentils used in this recipe. You can find this in an Indian grocery store or on Amazon. You can also use chana dal instead.

Jaggery is added to this masala paste to minimize the impact of itchiness from the Colocasia leaves and also helps balance the sour flavor. You can also use sugar instead.

Tamarind paste is added to help balance the slightly sour taste of the leaves. If you don’t have tamarind paste, add lemon juice instead. It also helps reduce itchiness.

Coconut – I have used unsweetened desiccated coconut here. You can also use freshly grated coconut, or dry coconut shreds/flakes.

Spices – coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, and dried red chillies are the basic whole spices that you will need to make these colocasia leaves pinwheels.

Oil for frying – Use coconut oil for the best flavor.

How to make it 🔪

4 image collage showing the steps to prep for making patra
  1. Wash and soak the rice and dal in water for 3-4 hours.
  2. Clean and wash the Colocasia leaf well. Flip the leaf, and using a knife, remove the hard protruding stem & the large veins of the leaves as much as possible. Chef Tip – Keep doing it till the vein is flat as the taro leaf. Additionally, you can also flatten it with a rolling pin. This will help them cook fast and make them less itchy. Plus it helps to roll them easily. But be careful to not tear the leaf. Use gloves if needed.
  3. In a grinder, add coconut, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, dried red chillies, and jaggery powder. Drain the water and add the rice and dal, tamarind pulp, and salt.
  4. Grind this to a thick paste (not runny) consistency by adding water.
4 image collage showing how to make alu vadi using colocasia leaves
  1. Generously smear the ground masala on the veins side of the largest leaf using your fingers.
  2. Place another leaf over it and again generously smear the masala all over it. Layer at least 3 more leaves over it in the same manner.
  3. Fold the sides of the leaf towards the center and then roll it tightly along the length of the leaves to make a roll.
  4. After it is rolled, smear some masala on top of it as well. Make as many rolls as you want. Place the rolls in the steamer and cook them for 15-20 minutes. Chef Tip – The masala should be fully cooked, and the roll should be firm and hold its shape. You can pierce a knife or toothpick to check if it’s fully cooked or not.
2 image collage showing how to slice and fry the pathrode
  1. Slice the rolled cooked pathrode evenly (½ inch thick) like pinwheels or spirals after they have cooled down. You can serve them at this point or choose to fry them.
  2. If you choose the second option, deep-fry or shallow fry the patra golden brown. Keep the flame on medium. Cook one side till it turns golden and then flip to the other side. The fritters need to turn crisp and golden.
a hand transferring a small platter of patra to a big platter

Serving suggestions 🍽

There are 4 ways of serving them after they are steamed and sliced. You can either enjoy them as is or:

  1. Pour a tempering of mustard seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves, and cilantro over these steamed rolls and serve.
  2. Deep-fry the Patra till they turn crispy. Then serve them. This is my favorite and the traditional way as it brings out the flavors in the best possible way.
  3. They can also be pan-fried till they turn crisp and golden.
  4. If you are health conscious and want to avoid fried foods, you can also air-fry or bake them at 375 degrees F for 5 minutes on each side. Spray oil on them to make them crispy.

Alu Vadi can be served warm as a snack at any time of the day. They can also be served as a party appetizer or finger food. We normally serve it as an evening snack along with Tea or Coffee or as an accompaniment with these Arbi leaves Patra. When serving, add some green chutney and/or ketchup on the side. You can also make it for festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, and Diwali, or for the holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Top recipe tips 💭

To make the pathravade spicy, add 1-2 teaspoons of chilly powder to the batter. It helps. I would suggest you portion the masala depending on the number of leaves you have before you start smearing. Leave just a small bit to smear over the rolls. This is to ensure there is an equal amount of masala in every layer. I used a total of 8 leaves and made two rolls using 4 in each. Also, arrange the leaves from large to small.

The number of Alu Wadis may vary depending on the size of the Colocasia leaves. If after 20 minutes, you feel the rolls are not cooked, continue to steam them for another 8-10 minutes. The leaves should turn soft and the masala should be cooked and not raw when done. Slice them after they are steamed as they are easier to cut.

Recipe FAQs 📖

Working with Colocasia leaves

When cutting the stems from the colocasia leaves, be careful. Slice the stems thinly so that you don’t end up cutting into the leaf. Use a small knife. Additionally, you can also run a rolling pin over the patra leaves lightly to press the stems down. This helps to roll the leaves easily. If you feel itchy after eating these Vadis, then drink lots of sour buttermilk.

Substitute for Colocasia leaves?

You can use large spinach, swiss chard, cabbage, mustard, or kale leaves. Basically, use any greens that won’t get wilted easily upon cooking. The flavors will vary but still taste great.

Which steamer to use?

I prefer to use Idli Cooker to steam the Patras. I place them on a dhokla plate and steam them. You can also steam these Colocasia pinwheels in the Instant Pot, Multipot, or in a regular Pressure Cooker without the whistle.

Alternate ways to fry the patra

There are 3 ways of serving them after they are steamed and sliced. You can either serve them as is or pour a tempering of mustard seeds, sesame seeds, and curry leaves, over these steamed rolls before serving.

Alternatively, you can deep-fry or shallow fried the patra till they turn crispy. Then serve them. If you are health conscious and want to avoid fried foods, you can also air-fry them at 375 degrees F for 5 minutes on each side. Spray oil on them to make them crispy.

How to store them?

You can store them after steaming and slicing them. Then fry them fresh as and when needed. Steamed ones stay well in the fridge for 4-5 days. If storing the fried ones in the fridge, they will lose their crispiness. But they will still taste good when reheated. The steamed ones can also be frozen for a couple of months. You can also freeze the Alu Vadis in freezer-safe containers.

Is this safe for pregnant women?

This seems to be a very popular query, so addressing it here. Indian Taro/Colocasia/Gabi leaves can cause trouble so it’s best to avoid it or check with your doctor first.

More unusual Indian recipes

Pathrode served in a round plate with chutney on the side

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Recipe 📖

Pathrode served in a round plate with chutney on the side

Pathrode | Patra | Alu Vadi | Colocasia Rolls

Pathrode/Patra/Alu Vadi is a delicious Indian delicacy. This is a Karnataka-style recipe, where the colocasia leaves are smeared with spiced rice and lentil paste, then steamed and fried. It can be made in 30 minutes (excluding the soaking time) and is a vegan and gluten-free snack.

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Course: Appetizer, Snack

Cuisine: Indian, Karnataka, Konkani

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Soaking time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Servings: 16 slices

Calories: 259.79kcal

Author: Priya Lakshminarayan

Instructions

  • Wash and soak the rice and dal in water for 3-4 hours.

  • Clean and wash the Colocasia leaf well. Flip the leaf, using a knife, remove the hard protruding stem & the large veins of the leaves as much as possible. Chef Tip – Keep doing it till the vein is flat as the taro leaf. Additionally, you can also flatten it with a rolling pin. This will help them cook fast and make them less itchy. Plus it helps to roll them easily. But be careful to not tear the leaf. Use gloves if needed.

  • In a grinder, add coconut, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, dried red chillies, and jaggery powder. Drain the water and add the rice and dal, tamarind pulp and salt.

  • Grind this to a thick paste (not runny) consistency by adding water.

  • Generously smear the ground masala on the veins side of largest leaf using your fingers.

  • Place another leaf over it and again generously smear the masala all over it. Layer at least 3 more leaves over it in the same manner.

  • Fold the sides of the leaf towards the center and then roll it tightly along length of the leaves to make a roll.

  • After it is rolled, smear some masala on top of it as well. Make as many rolls as you want. Place the rolls in the steamer and cook it for 15-20 minutes. Chef Tip – The masala should be fully cooked, and the the roll should be firm and hold its shape. You can pierce a knife or toothpick to check if its fully cooked or not.

  • Slice the rolled cooked pathrode evenly (½ inch thick) like pinwheels or spirals after they have cooled down. You can serve them at this point or choose to fry them.

  • If you choose the second option, deep-fry or shallow fry the patra golden brown. Keep the flame on medium. Cook one side till it turns golden and then flip to the other side.

Notes

To make pathravade spicy, add 1-2 teaspoons of chilly powder to the batter. It helps. I would suggest you portion the masala depending upon the number of leaves you have before you start smearing. Leave just a small bit to smear over the rolls. This is to ensure there is equal amount of masala in every layer. I used a total of 8 leaves and made two rolls using 4 in each. Also, arrange the leaves from large to small.
The number of Alu Wadis may vary depending on the size of the Colocasia leaves. If after 20 minutes, you feel the rolls are not cooked, continue to steam them for another 8-10 minutes. The leaves should turn soft and the masala should be cooked and not raw when done. Slice them after they are steamed as they are easier to cut.

Nutrition

Serving: 2pieces | Calories: 259.79kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.82g | Protein: 6.36g | Fat: 7.67g | Saturated Fat: 6.21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.23g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.64g | Sodium: 25.52mg | Potassium: 327.23mg | Fiber: 5.47g | Sugar: 6.84g | Vitamin A: 3646.66IU | Vitamin C: 9.77mg | Calcium: 56.61mg | Iron: 2.95mg

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