Patrado is a konkani dish made with Alu (colocassia/taro) leaves. The leaves grow well during the rainy season but can grow in summer too in places that have abundant water.
Use small leaves as much as possible as the bigger ones are likely to itch the throat after eating. Some times even when you handle the stalk of the leaves, they cause an itchy sensation. To avoid this, rub hands with tamarind, lemon juice or coconut oil before the prep. If your throat feels itchy, drink some warm milk.
There are several versions of the masala used for patrado. Some use only moong (green gram) while some use a variation of moong, chana dal/tur dal and rice. Coconut is a must in this masala and more the coconut, the patrodo becomes soft and fluffy. Using only rice and coconut will make patrodo harder so it is always better to use a combination of lentils as it’s healthier and have a soft and fluffy texture.
What you'll need :
1/2 cup each of moong (green gram), rice, tur(or chana dal)
1/2 coconut (or around 1.5 cups grated coconut)
10-12 red chillies fried on medium heat for 2 minutes with 2 drops of coconut oil
1 marble sized tamarind
Salt as per taste
2 tsp asafoetida
15 leaves of colocassia leaves
How to :
Soak all the lentils together in around 3 cups of water overnight or a minimum of 3 hours
Grind the coconut, lentils, chillies and tamarind to a coarse paste, using very little or no water. Add salt and asafoetida to the mixture and allow to rest for sometime. It’s always better to add more salt, chillies and asafoetida than needed to the mixture as the masala is smeared onto the leaves. So when you taste the mixture, you might feel that the salt or chillies are more, but will taste perfectly fine, once the patrodo is cooked.
Clean the taro leaves and remove the stems and veins. Pat dry all the leaves so that the leaves are completely dry.
Take the biggest leaf and keep it on a plain surface with the vein side up. Spread some masala uniformly over the leaf. Now place another leaf a bit smaller covering half of the first leaf and again spread the masala. Repeat this action for all the leaves. Once all the leaves are used up, fold the sides at full length and then roll the leaves tightly. If you have never made patrodo before, you should watch any of youtube videos to understand how the patrodo is rolled up. Tie up the roll at every 2-3 inches with a thread. Cut the rolls into 2 using a bread knife. Smear any left over paste on either sides of the rolls.
Meanwhile keep the steamer ready. I have used a traditional Mangalorean steamer called 'Pedavan' but any other steamer is just fine. Pour enough water in the steamer and when the water comes to a boil, place all the rolls vertically and allow to steam on high flame for the first 15 minutes and on low flame for the next 30 minutes.
Check if the rolls are cooked by poking using a kitchen knife, you should see that the masala doesn't stick to the knife.
Once done open the lid, remove the patrodo from the steamer and allow it to cool down. Never turn off the heat and keep the lid closed as it turns mushy. Also do not keep the patrodo in the steamer with the lid opened as the outer layers turn hard because of the residual heat.
After it cools down a little, remove the thread and make slices. Pour a tsp of coconut oil over patrodo before serving(optional) Serve as a side dish with rice and dal.