Friday, March 23, 2007

patra and patudi (khandvi)

I apologize to anyone that's been waiting for these... They're long overdue, I know. As I went through 300+ pictures, I realized that 85% of our pictures are with family. Therefore I'll post what I think people want to see; food, streets, people and India, in general.

Gujarat is well know for some of these foods: Oondhiyu, patra, dhoklas, patudi, dal dhokli, muthiya and a variety of sweets. Since the hubby and I aren't big on sweets, we didn't try too many. Prior to leaving for India, I expressed to my mother in law my interest to learn simple homemade Gujarati dishes from her.

"Patra are leaves of the Taro plant." Thanks Wikipedia. The dish itself is steamed leaf rolls.

The filling is made using dal, ginger, green chili paste, salt, and black peppercorns.

Soak Dal for 6+ hours. Drain 90% of the water and blend with ginger and green chili to make a foamy mixture. Then using mortar and pestle, the dal mixture is ground into a fine paste. One must spin the pestle rapidly, moving the dal around in the the mortar to attain the smooth consistency. (It's great for upper body/shoulder and arm work out).

Before spreading onto the leaves, add the whole black peppercorns.

The leaf is rolled, ensuring the leaf is covered with filling entirely. For smaller leaves, add addtional leaves covered with the filling to make a thicker roll.

Then the rolls are steamed for 20 minutes (more or less) depending on their size. Knife must come out clean when pierced in the thickest part of the roll.

Let cool, cut and serve. Top it with oil and lemon juice for great flavor and zing.

Patudi, also known as khandvi, is fairly simple though when heated, one has to work fast. It's made from gram flour (besan), chili powder, turmeric, and buttermilk. (ginger and green chili can be added) Mix all in a pan and heat on medium heat. Stir continuously to avoid lumping. It must form a smooth paste.

Spread onto clean surface; counter top, aluminum foil or back of a big plate.

Score with a sharpe knife, to make 3 inch wide rolls. Roll gently.

This is how it should look when they're rolled.
For tempering, heat gee or oil in small sauce pan on medium heat. Then add mustard seeds. When seeds start popping, add cilantro and remove from heat. Drizzle over patudi.

Both of these dishes are generally eaten as an appetizer or a side dish. Patudi's texture is very different from any food I've ever had, but it's really good.