Patra

This is is one of the most iconic and utterly delicious snack foods from the state of Gujarat. Best with chai or lassi in the afternoon or as a light lunch with a salad.

makes 10 - 12 slices

ingredients

8-10 colcasia leaves (aka elephant ears)
 

Paste:

3 cups chickpea flour

3 Tbsp ginger purée

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ajwain

2 tsp crumbled fenugreek leaves

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp chili powder

2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp sesame seeds

4 Tbsp sesame oil
 

¾ - 1 cup warm water

pinch baking soda
 

Pop:

2-3 Tbsp sesame oil

pinch asafoetida

few chopped kari leaves

1 tsp mustard seeds

instructions

  1. Remove and discard the inner center stem from the colcasia leaves. 
     
  2. In a large bowl, mix the chickpea flour, ginger purée, turmeric, ajwain, fenugreek leaves, sugar, chili powder, salt, sesame seeds and sesame oil. The mixture will be crumbly. Add the warm water and baking soda and mix just until the paste is smooth. It should be thick enough to spread onto the leaves but not crumbly, dry or too watery.  
     
  3. Lay two of the largest leaves flat onto a clean surface making sure there are no gaps between them. Spread with the chickpea paste, lay 2-3 smaller leaves on top and repeat. Tuck the edges in & roll the leaves up into a parcel. Repeat the process with  the remaining leaves. 
     
  4. Lay the patra parcels onto a steam basket and steam them for 15 minutes on low heat. Remove from steam and let them rest until they are no longer hot to the touch. At this point, the patra can be refrigerated and/or frozen.
     
  5. When ready to serve, slice the patra into ½ inch slices. In a large frying pan, heat up the sesame oil, add a pinch of asafoetida, kari leaves and mustard seeds. Add the sliced patra and sear on both sides for 2-3 minutes or until they are slightly golden in color. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro and fresh lime or lemon wedges to squeeze on top. 

ideas / variations

  • Use collards or kale if you cannot find colcasia.  
patra-india1948