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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Alu Vadi / Patra / Savory Taro Leaves Snacks

Alu vadi is a stuffed taro leaf (Colocasia) starter dish popular in western region of India. It is known as Patra in Gujarati and (Alu vadi or Aluchya Vadya in Marathi. In this savory steamed leaf roll recipe , a spicy, tangy and mildly sweet gram flour batter is applied on the arbi (Taro) leaves. The smeared leaves are then stacked upon each other , rolled up and then steamed. The steamed multi-layered taro leaf roll is then cut into slices and tempered or deep fried. 

Alu vadi is crispy on the outside and soft and moist from within. I have shallow fried it and then tempered with sesame seeds, curry leaves and garnished with coriander and grated coconut. Patra can be served as a starter dish with some dip or chutney. It also makes a perfect tea time snack. The steamed slices can also be stir fried with caramelized onions and served as a side dish with chapatti or dal rice. Best part is that we can prepare this dish ahead of time. The stuffed steamed taro leaves rolls can be packed in zip lock bags and stored in a freezer until use and deep fried or tempered just before serving. Alu vadi is a Satvik (onion-Garlic free) , vegan dish and if you skip asafoetida (hing) , it is gluten-free as well.

What are Taro leaves / Arbi?          
Taro leaves / Colocasia well known as Arbi ke pate in Hindi and alu che pan in Marathi are extremely nutritious and contain numerous micro-nutrients in vast quantities. Rich in dietary fiber , these leaves have good amount of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. They have 0% cholesterol while their total fat contributes by only 1 %. Taro has low levels of saturated fat , and that is the major reason why it is claimed to be a healthy food for the heart. Looking at this health benefits , it is clear that adding these evergreen leaves in our diet can improve our health and wellness.Source

What goes into my Alu Vadi Recipe?

Alu vadi or patra is a healthy and delicious steamed snack made with taro leaves (arbi ke patte). Lets have a look at its ingredients.
  • Taro leaves / Arbi ke patte : Use fresh, blemish free, tender leaves that are dark green in color for the best results. Do not use stale leaves that are wilted or yellow in color. 
  • Gram flour : The batter used to coat the leaves are prepared using chick pea flour / gram flour / Besan. 
  • Rice flour : Apart from gram flour , i also use a little rice flour to the batter.
  • Spices : Spice powders like red chili powder, cumin coriander powder, garam masala, asafoetida,  turmeric powder, and carom seeds are used in the batter while sesame seeds and mustard seeds are used for tempering.
  • Herbs: Fresh coriander and curry leaves are used.
  • Jaggery and Tamarind: A bit of jaggery along with tamarind balances the flavors of the patra and also reduces the itchiness of the taro leaves in the throat. 
  • Coconut: Fresh coconut is used to garnish the patra.
  • Oil: Very little oil is used in this recipe as we have shallow fried the patra instead of deep frying it.
Related Event : 

This is an old post that i had published in 2016 during my initial blogging days. I have updated this post today with new images and written content. The recipe remains unchanged though. I have many such old posts that need to be updated as the photography is dull and the recipe is not up to the mark. Thanks to Renu, my friend and a fellow blogger who came up with a Facebook group, Foodies_Redoing old posts as an initiative, where a bunch of like minded bloggers can update our old posts with new pictures or written content every 2 weeks. This is my 22nd entry into this event (4th September). The pic below is my old pic of patra. You can make out the difference in the food styling and photography by comparing the new updated pics with the old one. Meanwhile, do check out Renu's space for some healthy and delicious recipes like this Cauliflower and green Onion fritters that is next on my to do list.

Dietary Notes:
  • Satvik (onion-garlic free)
  • Gluten-free (if you skip adding asafoetida/Hing)
  • Vegan
  • Healthy
  • Kid friendly

Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 20 minutes
Serves: 25-30 slices

  •  12-15 Colocasia leaves (Taro leaves) /Arabi ke patte
For Gram Flour / Besan batter :
  • 1 ½ cup gram flour / Besan
  • 2 tablespoon rice flour
  • 2 tablespoon coriander cumin powder / dhaniya jeera powder
  • 2 tablespoon crushed or powdered jaggery
  • 2 tablespoon tamarind 
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oil + for shallow frying
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder / haldi
  • ¼ teaspoon carom seeds / Ajwain
  • Pinch of asafoetida / hing
  • Salt to taste
For tempering:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds / til
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coconut, scrapped or grated
  1. Soak the tamarind in 1/4 cup warm water for 10 minutes.

  2.  Meanwhile wash the taro leaves, chop the stalk and wipe them with a kitchen towel. Squeeze out the tamarind directly in the water and extract the pulp. 


  3. To a large mixing bowl, add the spice powders (coriander cumin powder , red chili powder , garam masala, turmeric powder, hing) , carom seeds , salt , jaggery and 1 teaspoon oil to the tamarind pulp.

  4.  To this add the rice flour and gram flour and make a thick paste which can be easily applied over the leaves. Use water as required. Taste the batter and add salt or jaggery powder if required.

   5.  We will be using 4-5 leaves per roll. Place one leaf face down on a clean board or plate. Apply the gram flour paste over it in a thin layer. Now place another leaf over it but in opposite direction. Repeat the same for 5- 6 leaves. Tuck in the edges of the leaves and apply batter on them. Now roll them tightly in horizontal direction. Similarly prepare the rest 2 rolls.

  6.  Place the rolls on a greased steamer pan and steam for about 15 minutes.

  7.  Once the rolls cool down , slice them with a sharp knife and either deep fry or temper them.

  8.  For tempering, heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds , once they splutter add the curry leaves, followed by sesame seeds. Put off the flame after few seconds. Arrange the alu vadi on a serving plate. Now pour this tempering over it and garnish with finely chopped coriander and shredded coconut. Serve delicious and healthy alu vadi /patr with dip of your choice at tea time. 

Recipe Notes:
  • Use fresh, blemish free, tender leaves that are dark green in color for the best results. Do not use stale leaves that are wilted or yellow in color.
  • The batter consistency should be such that it can be easily applied on the leaves at the same time it does not drip off.
  • Do not steam the alu vadi roll for more than 12-15 minutes.
  • The rolls can be packed in a zip lock bag and stored in a freezer for about a month. Just thaw the rolls, slice them and shallow fry the alu vadi just before serving.
  • One more way of serving alu vadi apart from as a starter is to stir fry the steamed vadi with caramelized onions , season it with spice powders and serve the stir fry as a side dish with chapati or dal rice.
  • Sometimes, while in a hurry when i do not have time to soak the tamarind and extract pulp, i simply add the Khajur imli Chutney / dates and tamarind chutney and skip the jaggery.
I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

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  1. An interesting recipe of stir frying the patra with onion. Love how crispy each slice looks. My all time favorite snack.

    1. Thank you di. We can have patra as snack bit we love it as stir fry and eat it with chapati. Glad you liked it.

  2. This year I have missed making alu vadi something I made every year. I love the side dish to be served with chapati sounds like a great way to dish up the dish.

    1. Thank you Archana di. I usually pair stirfried alu vadi with chapati as my family loves it that way.

  3. Patra is one of my favourites but I don’t get the leaves here. Your dish looks so tempting and delicious

  4. my elder one loves this... and I get the leaves sometimes but dont make it somehow.. these look so delish, Poonam

    1. Thank you Kalyani. Alu vadi is a regular affair at my place, especially during monsoon when these leaves hit tje local markets.

  5. Every single time amma made these, I love to do the seamring of the batter on the leaf. It was such a therapeutic experience. I cant get these leaves here, if I do, will surely try your recipe.

  6. I’m not that much of an internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road. benefits of taro leaves