Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Patra

Patra is a authentic Gujarati dish, made from Colocasia leaves, the leaves of Arbi. The leaves are not readily available, as its available the dish is made. Patra tastes delicious, being sweet, spicy and tangy. It is a steamed dish, made from gram flour mixture. 
I am trying this dish the second time, as I was not sure whether I could make it good. But after making, I am happy that it is has come out quite well. 
With my second time experience, I feel the process of making patra needs some patience. I am explaining the recipe with its full process, so that it will be useful for beginners like me.

Ingredients:
Colocasia Leaves/ Arbi Leaves - Selected properly, Big and medium in size - 5 - 6 leaves
For Paste:
Gram Flour/Besan 1 1/2 cup 
Rice Flour 1/4th cup
Green Chili Paste 1 tbsp
Ginger paste 1 tbsp
Cinnamon-Clove Powder 1 tsp
Khus Khus 1 tsp
Jaggery 1/2 cup
Tamarind Pulp 1/2 cup
Salt as per taste
Red chili powder 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric 1/2 tbsp
Baking soda 1 pinch
Oil 1 tbsp
Water as needed
For Tempering:
Oil 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
White Sesame seeds 1tsp
For Garnish :
White Sesame 
Freshly Chopped Coriander Leaves
Freshly Grated Coconut (optional)

Method:
Step 1:
  
Wash and Clean the Colocasia Leaves both the sides carefully. Keep aside.

Step 2:
Soak Jaggery and Tamarind in warm water and mash and drain with hand and keep the jaggery-tamarind mix aside.

Step 3:
Making the Batter
In a bowl add gram flour, rice flour, green chili paste, ginger chili paste, jaggery-tamarind mix, cinnamon-clove powder, khus khus, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, baking soda, and oil. Mix throughly with needed water and make into a smooth paste. {You can have a taste check here}. Now keep aside for Half an Hour.

Step 4:
In a steamer, add around 3 cups of water and pre-heat it. You can keep for pre-heating when you reach the rolling process 3*  
Grease the plate with a bit of oil.

Step 5:
Take the colocasia leaves, cut its stalk (till its stalk end).
Remove a little of the peel of the stalk that starts on the leaf too. Do the same for all the leaves, and keep ready.

Step 6:
Now the main process starts. 
Layering the patra
We will be layering 3 leaves, and then roll them.
Step 1:
Layer 1:
Take a bigger size leaf, place the leaf flat on the surface with the leaf's green part below and the back side of the leaf facing towards you.
Step 2:
Take the batter, mix, take little(better to use your hand) and apply thoroughly on the back side of the leaf. 
Step 3:
Layer 2:
Now take a medium size leaf, place it flat on the bigger leaf (or first leaf) on which we have applied the batter, keeping the back side of the leaf facing towards you.
Step 4:
Again take some batter, apply thoroughly on the back of the medium sized leaf. 
Step 5:
Layer 3:
Final layering, for which again a medium(or a bit smaller) sized leaf is taken. Place it flat over the battered leaves, keeping the back side of the leaf facing towards you.
Step 6:
Again take some batter, apply thoroughly over the leaf.
Our layering of the patra is done.

Step 7:
Rolling of the patra
Process 1:
Start with folding the top end right side of the leaf, towards inside and then fold the top end left side of the leaf towards inside. Now that two top ends are folded, apply some batter roughly on it.
Process 2:
Now, fold lengthwise the right side of the battered leaf, and then fold the left side of the leaf. You can again just apply the batter roughly.
Process 3*:
Now, start rolling from the top end of the folded leaf, towards down. Here you need to be careful - taking care that you are rolling it tightly, yes tightly(but not extremely tight, without any gap, as the patra is going to be steamed and fried, where we don't want the patra to get opened up).
Roll till the end and keep ready.

Step 8:
Steaming the Patra
Take the pre-heated steamer. Place the rolled patras on the steamer plate. Close the steamer with lid, and steam on medium flame for about 20 minutes. Switch off the flame. 
Remove the plate from the steamer, and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
Now take the steamed patra, cut it in equal slices, not too thick nor too thin. 

Step 9:
Tempering the Patra
In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds and white sesame seeds. Once it starts spluttering, place the patras into the tempering carefully, being gentle, so that it doesn't opens or breaks. Once it is fried, take out carefully into a dish.

Serving:
Place the fried patras in a serving plate. Garnish with white sesame seeds and Freshly chopped coriander leaves. 

You can also garnish with freshly grated coconut.

Our traditional Gujarati patra is ready.

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